IMDb > House of Flying Daggers (2004)
Shi mian mai fu
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House of Flying Daggers (2004) More at IMDbPro »Shi mian mai fu (original title)

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House of Flying Daggers -- A romantic warrior breaks a beautiful member of a rebel army out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.


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Release Date:
14 January 2005 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 21 wins & 39 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Almost a great film See more (411 total) »


  (in credits order)

Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Jin

Andy Lau ... Leo

Ziyi Zhang ... Xiao Mei (as Zhang Ziyi)
Dandan Song ... Yee
Hongfei Zhao ... Performer
Jun Guo ... Performer
Shu Zhang ... Performer
Jiusheng Wang ... Performer
Zhengyong Zhang ... Performer
Yongxin Wang ... Performer
Dong Liu ... Performer
Qi Zi ... Performer
Xuedong Qu ... Performer
Liping Tian ... Performer
Hongwei Zhao ... Performer
Weina Huang ... Performer
Dan Ge ... Performer
Xiadong Yang ... Performer (as Yang Xiaodong)
Yisha Shang ... Performer
Ying Liu ... Performer
Jingwen Huang ... Performer
Keija Zhang ... Performer
Tianyou Luo ... Performer
Lin Zhu ... Performer
Jiwei Hu ... Performer
Yu Hong ... Performer
Bojie Hao ... Performer
Jiajun Zhu ... Performer
Ge Xu ... Performer
Jingxiu Chou ... Performer
Cuifang Guo ... Performer
Chengyuan Li ... Performer
Shuo Zhang ... Performer
Jidong Zhang ... Performer
Qiang Li ... Performer
Yang Fu ... Performer
Yang Guang ... Performer
Yang Wen ... Performer
Liang Chen ... Performer
Xiuqiang Lin ... Performer
Kun Wang ... Performer
Meng Li ... Performer
Ming Dong ... Performer
Xiaodong Zheng ... Performer
Chacha Song ... Performer
Xuanyi Wang ... Performer
Xueying Huang ... Performer
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Directed by
Yimou Zhang 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Feng Li 
Bin Wang 
Yimou Zhang 

Produced by
William Kong .... producer
Weiping Zhang .... executive producer
Yimou Zhang .... producer
Zhenyan Zhang .... associate producer
Original Music by
Shigeru Umebayashi 
Cinematography by
Xiaoding Zhao 
Film Editing by
Long Cheng 
Production Design by
Tingxiao Huo 
Art Direction by
Zhong Han (supervising art director)
Bin Zhao 
Costume Design by
Emi Wada 
Makeup Department
Siu-Mui Chau .... chief hair stylist (as Chau Siu Mui)
Lee-na Kwan .... chief makeup artist (as Lee Na Kwan)
Shui Niu .... assistant hair stylist
Yang Ruo .... assistant makeup artist
Ge Xiufang .... assistant makeup artist
Xiaohai Yang .... chief makeup artist
Diu Zhijuan .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Tianhui Ge .... unit manager
Larissa Khaliapina .... unit manager: Ukraine (as Larysa Khalyapina)
Wenhua Ma .... assistant production supervisor
Jane Maguire .... post-production supervisor
Lu Sen .... unit manager
Huang Xinmin .... assistant production supervisor (as Huang Xinming)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Xiaoyang Chang .... assistant director
Art Department
Huo Depeng .... assistant property master
Yi Ho .... property master (as Yi Hou)
Zhongquan Hu .... set dresser
Bao-Tai Li .... assistant property master (as Li Baotai)
Miao Li .... assistant art director
Shaochun Liu .... special props
Ke Mu .... assistant property master
Marco Nero .... matte painter
Guo Hong Sheng .... assistant property master
Ming Wu .... assistant art director
Xiaolong Xu .... assistant property master
Sound Department
Steve Burgess .... sound effects editor
Huijun Cao .... location sound assistant
Chris Goodes .... sound editing assistant
Alex Gordon .... adr recordist
Wei He .... sound effects editor
Vic Kaspar .... sound editor
Jo Mion .... sound editor
Damon Mouris .... sound mixer assistant
Andrew Neil .... re-recording mix assistant
Andrew Neil .... sound effects editor
Glenn Newnham .... sound editor
Zeliang Niu .... location sound assistant
Paul Pirola .... sound effects editor
Roger Savage .... sound mixer
Roger Savage .... sound re-recording mixer
Roger Savage .... sound supervisor
Blair Slater .... foley recordist
Jing Tao .... sound
Mario Vaccaro .... foley artist
Zhigang Zhang .... first sound assistant
Gina Nuccio .... additional adr editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Lindsay Adams .... digital compositor
Charlie Armstrong .... digital compositor
Vaughn Arnup .... digital compositor
Mark Barber .... digital compositor
Jason Billington .... digital compositor
Roger Bolton .... digital compositor
David Booth .... visual effects
Kent Boswell .... visual effects production manager: Fuel
Dan Breckwoldt .... digital compositor
Andy Brown .... visual effects supervisor
Paul Buckley .... animator: Digital Pictures Iloura
Sam Cole .... compositing supervisor: Fuel
Fiona Crawford .... visual effects producer
Chris Davies .... digital compositor
Jonathan Dixon .... digital liaison
Clinton Downs .... digital artist
Bryn Farrelly .... digital compositor
Morgane Furio .... Inferno compositor
Darrin Hanley .... digital compositor
David Hansen .... CG artist
Mick Harkin .... digital compositor
Mark Harmon .... digital grading
Jason Hawkins .... video operations technician
Jamie Hediger .... digital compositor
Luke Hetherington .... cgi supervisor
Alwyn Hunt .... texture artist: Animal Logic
Michelle Hunt .... digital compositor
Bhakar James .... senior animator: Animal Logic
Krista Jordan .... senior compositor
Jong Ik Kang .... visual effects supervisor
Angie Lam .... visual effects supervisor
Stefan Litterini .... digital artist: Animal Logic
Ineke Majoor .... visual effects producer
Michael Mellor .... animator
Keith Meure .... rotoscope artist
Kirsty Millar .... visual effects supervisor: Animal Logic
Naomi Mitchell .... visual effects producer
Nick Monton .... digital compositor
Nick Monton .... digital intermediate supervisor: Digital Pictures
David Mosqueda .... digital compositor
Nick Murphy .... video operations technician
Mark Nettleton .... senior compositor
Matthew M. North .... digital compositor (as Matthew North)
Jongsu Oh .... digital artist: Animal Logic
Murray Pope .... visual effects executive producer
Glen Pratt .... digital compositor
Paul Raeburn .... digital compositor
Danielle Rubin .... visual effects production manager
Evan Shipard .... digital matte painter/compositor
Nathan Stone .... animator
Robert Sullivan .... video operations supervisor: Animal Logic
Paul Taylor .... video operations technician
Sandeep Vengsarkar .... digital compositor
Ian Watson .... visual effects artist
Peter Webb .... digital compositor
Eddy Wong .... visual effects supervisor: Mendfond
Victor Wong .... visual effects supervisor: Mendfond
Bryce Brecheisen .... visual effects coordinator (uncredited)
Xia Bin .... stunts
Zhan Bo .... stunts
Hua Cao .... stunts
Chuanyong Cheng .... stunts
Ou Chengwei .... stunts
Shi Feng .... stunts
Zhong Feng .... stunts
Xiang Gao .... stunts (as Gao Xiang)
Fei Goa .... stunts
Li Lei .... stunts
Zhu Shaojie .... stunts
Li Wei .... stunts
Zheng Xin Xin .... stunts
Hu Yan .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Xiaoyan Bai .... still photographer
Shuiqiang Cao .... electrician
Guan Fei .... camera grip
Xu Tie Gong .... electrician
Huangpu Honghao .... generator operator
Jianmin Ji .... lighting designer
Raymond Lam .... Steadicam operator
Raymond Lam .... camera operator
Raymond Lam .... director of photography: "b" unit
Wang Liam .... camera grip
Sun Xin Shang .... electrician
Cao Tongan .... electrician
Lihong Wang .... gaffer
Li Xuebo .... electrician
Jiandong Yu .... electrician
Huilong Zhu .... camera grip
Jin-Di Zhu .... assistant camera (as Zhu Jindi)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bao-Rong Huang .... wardrobe supervisor (as Huang Baorong)
Editorial Department
Leo Bahas .... negative matcher
Siggy Ferstl .... digital intermediate colorist
Olivier Fontenay .... film and digital color grader
Al Hansen .... digital colorist
Bin Li .... assistant editor
Gu Pinghu .... dv editor
Gu Pinghu .... on-set editor
Music Department
Mark Franken .... music editor
Other crew
Xu Aidong .... production assistant
Xu Bin .... second production assistant
Amealy Go Chan .... massage therapist
Cynthia Chang .... assistant: Mr. Kaneshiro
John Charles .... software engineer: Sony DAC
Siu-Tung Ching .... action choreographer
Julian Chiu .... second production assistant
Zhao Danian .... production assistant
Kerry Dibbs .... post production assistant
Yexin Fan .... catering assistant
Ke Gao .... production assistant
Ni Guanche .... second production assistant
Li Haoxue .... catering assistant
Zhang Hui .... interpreter
Wenrui Jia .... caterer
Du Jian .... second production assistant
Zheng Jie .... dancer
Du Jin .... interpreter
Xiaowei Lang .... accountant
Cai Li .... martial arts coordinator
Qiang Li .... choreographer
Yanlong Li .... catering assistant
Mingna Liu .... accountant
Maria Lo Orzel .... creative consultant
Zheng Lu .... dancer
Stanley J. Orzel .... creative consultant
Zhang Rui .... cashier
Jianguo Wang .... second production assistant
Yabin Wang .... dancer
Wu Weifeng .... dancer
Yinqian Xiao .... production assistant
Xiaoshun Xu .... location production assistant
Hong Yan .... cashier
Li Yan .... assistant: Ms. Zhang
Yan Yan .... dancer
Alice Yeung .... production coordinator
Mao Yun .... catering assistant
Shi Zeyi .... production assistant
Jianmin Zhang .... choreographer
Shufen Zhao .... accountant
Philip Lee .... special thanks
Anita Mui .... dedicatee
Yatming Tang .... special thanks (as Tang Yat Ming)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Shi mian mai fu" - China (original title)
"Attack from Ten Directions" - International (English title) (literal title)
"Lovers" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for sequences of stylized martial arts violence, and some sexuality
119 min | Australia:118 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-15 | France:U | Germany:12 | Hong Kong:IIB | Iceland:12 | Iceland:14 | Ireland:15A (original rating) | Ireland:15 (video rating) (cut) | Italy:T | Malaysia:U | Mexico:B | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:M | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Philippines:PG-13 | Singapore:PG (original rating) (cut) | Singapore:NC-16 (re-rating) | South Korea:12 | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:16 (canton of Zurich) | UK:15 (cut) | USA:PG-13
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Concerned that Western audiences would not be able to tell Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro's apart in the beginning of the film as they are dressed similarly, Yimou Zhang had Kaneshiro's character eat peanuts throughout many of the opening scenes to distinguish them.See more »
Continuity: Early in the final battle between Jin and Leo, it switches between them holding each other's swords away at the sides to their swords being crossed in front of them while they're on the ground.See more »
Mei:To be free like the wind.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Codes of Gender (2010)See more »
Beauty Song (Jia Ren Qu)See more »


What are the differences between the British BBFC 15 Version and the Uncensored Version? Is the PG-13 Version uncensored?
See more »
163 out of 223 people found the following review useful.
Almost a great film, 30 October 2004
Author: Axel-9 from London, England

Zhang Yimou set a new benchmark for martial arts movies with Hero. Visually both inventive and dazzling, whilst having a strong thematic thread, it still managed to kick ass, with energetic fight sequences. He continues in the same vein with House of Flying Daggers, with love and romance replacing Hero's chivalry and honour. It is at times as blisteringly exciting and exquisite to view, but there are a few problems.

Set in a similar time to Hero, the plot revolves around the mysterious House of Flying Daggers, a group of assassins leading a rebellion of sorts, against the rulers of their land. News has reached the local military captain Leo (Andy Lau) that the leader of the House can be found plying their trade in the local brothel. Sensing that this could be the key to ending their resistance he sends one of his men, Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro), to infiltrate the establishment posing as a customer. This soon leads him to the beautiful blind dancer Mei (Zhang Ziyi), who may just be the daughter of the assassinated former leader of the House. What follows is his journey with edit her, through forests and meadows, as he vies to gain her trust, all the while intent on leading the army to their destination in an attempt to discover the leader of the House.

The plot is actually far more complicated than my short synopsis could come close to. We are treated to a twisty turny adventure, punctuated with set pieces of (excuse the tired terminology) balletic grace. Yimou sets a number of scenes within symmetrically perfect backgrounds, the picture set up like a work of art. We find ourselves in a dance hall encircled with drums, where the camera moves with a sense of fluidity, as though part of the dance, as we see Mei play a game of "echoes" with the Captain. Each time he hits a drum with a flicked nut, she follows, striking it with her flowing robes. The scene has a steady tempo, finally hitting a crescendo as the whole bowl is flung, nuts flying everywhere like missiles striking every drum. The sound of each strike reverberates like thunder.

For me the other set pieces never quite match the "echo" dance for majesty, rhythm or look. We get to see numerous showdowns between, with Mei and Jin taking on the soldiers that chase them, all the while with Jin trying to maintain his cover. The fights very much feel like a dance, and are filled with POV shots of arrows, sharpened bits of wood and of course flying daggers. I thought this camera trick felt overused, it looks good, but eventually started to feel tired as yet another dagger is seen boomeranging into action.

As events reach a climax, the plot gets pretty messy, as revelation after revelation is thrown about. In contrast to Hero's coda, where the action became about what's doing right for the good of the whole country, House of Flying Daggers has one of a more personal nature. It never quite rings true, there just isn't the emotion on display for this to work. The final act is somewhat botched, with a "it's over, no it isn't" feel to it, which caused a few "no ways" to be uttered in my vicinity. It is yet another gloriously shot scene, but we'd already seen some extraordinary moments. I felt it seemed to be reaching a more natural conclusion, and with a bit of editing a tighter last half hour would've made this a classic.

As it stands House of Flying Daggers is a fine movie, never quite as good as Hero, and probably behind Crouching Tiger too, and maybe it goes on a bit too long, but it's far superior to most of the formulaic actioners Hollywood produces. Out of ten, I'd give it an eight.

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An ignorant language question lemony
style over substance again JoeyRamone
House of Flying Daggers Ending (may contain spoilers) kuyenmotdivad
What was the meaning in the way the soldiers held their swords? jussum1
Future same styled movies? orion_jrm
Unrealistic !? danaa-lii
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