7.9/10
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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Wo hu cang long (original title)
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2,457 ( 280)

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 96 wins & 130 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Master Li Mu Bai (as Chow Yun Fat)
...
...
...
Sihung Lung ...
...
Jade Fox (as Cheng Pei-Pei)
Fa Zeng Li ...
Governor Yu
Xian Gao ...
Bo
Yan Hai ...
Madame Yu
De Ming Wang ...
Police Inspector Tsai / Prefect Cai Qiu
Li Li ...
May (as Li Li)
...
Auntie Wu
Jin Ting Zhang ...
De Lu
Rui Yang ...
Maid
Kai Li ...
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Storyline

In 19th century Qing Dynasty China, a warrior gives his sword, Green Destiny, to his lover to deliver to safe keeping, but it is stolen, and the chase is on to find it. The search leads to the House of Yu where the story takes on a whole different level. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A film by Ang Lee


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

HKD 7,714,001 (Hong Kong), 20 July 2000, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$663,205, 10 December 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$128,078,872

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$213,525,736
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actors almost invariably performed their own stunts. CGI was used to remove the wires holding them up. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 30 mins) During the fight between Yu Shu Lien and Xiou Long many floor tiles are smashed by Shu Lien. After Shu Lien discards her heavy metal weapon and continues to fight, the tiles appear repaired. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man: Master Li is here! Master Li is here!
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Connections

Referenced in Witless Protection (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

A Love Before Time
Music Composed by Jorge Calandrelli, Dun Tan
Lyrics by James Schamus, Elaine Chow (Translation)
Performed by CoCo Lee featuring Cello Solo by Yo-Yo Ma
Coco Lee appears courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beware of cheap imitations
22 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Crouching Tiger is Ang Lee's take on the Wu Xia tradition of film making. Wu Xia, for those not familiar with the style, evolved out of popular Chinese fiction. It contains formulaic elements such as honourable warriors, powerful swordswomen, powerful swords, and often magic and mythical beasts. Possibly, it has a parallel with sword and sorcery pulp literature – and even Western romances.

Although he grew up in Taiwan, not Hong Kong or China, Ang Lee has said he has always wanted to make a Wu Xia film. When he did, he brought sophistication and strong production values which, while not uncommon in mainstream Chinese cinema, was less common in the martial arts or Wu Xia traditions.

Make no mistake; Crouching Tiger is a beautiful, beautiful movie. The colours are rich, the light dances and the movements are balletic. But unlike lesser imitations, such as Hero, it is much more than that just stylish production and mesmerising action.

Most films (Western or Eastern) have a rigid plot against which characters move. At worst the characters become ciphers; they advance the story by making choices regardless of whether these choices are in keeping with their character. Crouching Tiger, like the best of cinema, has dynamic characters whose internal struggles advance the plot. The dog wags the tail, not the other way around.

At the heart of Crouching Tiger is the relationship between Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) and Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). Mu Bai is looking for a way out of the Gang Ho (Warrior) lifestyle – he joins a monastery, as a route to enlightenment and peace, but cannot cast aside his unrequited love for Shu Lien (another warrior). On the brink of declaring their love for one another, Mu Bai's Green Destiny Sword is stolen, and his arch enemy returns. He must temporarily put aside his feelings to recover the sword and bring his master's killer to justice… Seeming to take a fair chunk from his previously directorial role, Sense and Sensibility, Ang Lee weaves a story which tragically juxtaposes the loving and giving but repressed relationship of Mu Bai and Shu Lien, with the fiery, wilful and destructive passions of Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi) and Lo (Chang Chen). The result, for me, was breathtaking.

Some critics have suggested that the characterisation is quite slight. I think this just demonstrates the high standard to which they were prepared to judge this film. Ang Lee perfectly marries action/adventure with drama. The results may not please purists from either camp, but for the rest of the audience it is pure magic.

In many ways, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is pure Wu Xia. But it has also re-invented the genre and given it artistic credibility. The greatest joy of the film is watching great Hong Kong stars like Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh being given characters with depth – and watching them fill the screen with their performances. The film also benefits from great performances from Zhang Ziyi and a very under-rated Chang Chen.

Quite simply, Crouching Tiger has everything. It is beautiful, breathtaking and deeply moving. 9½ /10


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