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House of Flying Daggers (2004)
"Shi mian mai fu" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  14 January 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 87,424 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 417 user | 248 critic | 37 from

A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Xiao Mei (as Zhang Ziyi)
Dandan Song ...
Hongfei Zhao ...
Jun Guo ...
Shu Zhang ...
Jiusheng Wang ...
Zhengyong Zhang ...
Yongxin Wang ...
Dong Liu ...
Qi Zi ...
Xuedong Qu ...
Liping Tian ...
Hongwei Zhao ...


During the reign of the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called "The House of the Flying Daggers" rises and opposes the government. A police officer called Leo sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the "Flying Daggers". Leo arrests Mei, only to have Jin breaking her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

House of Flying Daggers  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CNY 100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$892,536 (Hong Kong) (16 July 2004)


$11,041,228 (USA) (1 April 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was originally going to be Anita Mui's final appearance in film and she had already accepted the role but, because she was battling cervical cancer, her part wasn't going to be filmed until early 2004. After her death on 30 December 2003, director Yimou Zhang decided to alter the script rather than find a replacement. Anita's name will still be listed in the credits. See more »


The amount of blood coming from Mei's mouth in the final scene changes between shots. See more »


Jin: If my body should perish, girls I shall still cherish.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Memory of Anita Mui 1963-2003 See more »


Music and lyrics by Shigeru Umebayashi
Performed by Kathleen Battle
Played during the closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Without a doubt, Hollywood is going down...
22 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have never, ever seen a film that the West has ever created that can top Chinese cinema in this form, with the exception possibly being Lord of the Rings. I truly applaud Oriental taste. I can't count the number of times I have completely forgotten that I've actually got my own physical form while watching films like House of Flying Daggers, but I can count how many times that's happened during Western films: zero.

For those of you who have no taste I beg you: but aside your views on gravity-defying fight scenes and subtitles. Just remember that this is something called FANTASY. It isn't real, no matter how much you wish it to be. It's called cinema: you can do whatever the hell you like in film. I don't complain when you've got aliens that spurt out your chest. I don't complain when the dead rise from their graves. I don't complain about the lack of reason behind the ideas that aliens would have less intelligence than humans or that the living dead would harbour grudges against the really living. I complain when it just looks simply uninspiring and frankly visually boring.

So, Zhang Yimou, please bring on more heroes and flying daggers

250 of 394 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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