In early nineteenth-century China, in the waning years of the Qing dynasty, the renowned swordsman who yearns for enlightenment, Li Mu Bai, decides to give up his legendary Green Destiny sword: the sharp four-hundred-year-old blade of heroes. To mark the end of a blood-stained career, Li entrusts the excellent female warrior, Yu Shu Lien, with the precious weapon to deliver it to Governor Yu; however, once there, an audacious and nimble masked thief manages to steal it. As Shu Lien is hot on the trail of the skilled burglar, unrequited loves; fervent passions; an unconquerable desire for freedom, and bitter loose ends stand in the way. Can Mu Bai shake off his violent past?Written by
A computer mock-up of what Yun-Fat Chow would look like as a bald man was generated before the actor agreed to shave off all his hair. See more »
(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 »
Master Li is here! Master Li is here!
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The opening title appears in Chinese and English. See more »
The English subtitles on the DVD are translated differently than the original theatrical version. See more »
A martial arts movie filmed with great visual brio
Chinese martial arts films had found a market in the West during the Kung Fu boom initiated by Bruce Lee in the early 1970s But "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" represents a new departure, an attempt to produce a sophisticated, big-budget Chinese film that would appeal both to mainstream Western audiences and to audiences in the Far East Through their quest to find the stolen sword of Green Destiny, warriors Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) and Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) explore themes of love, loyalty and sacrifice
Ang Lee was an astute choice as director The location shooting was on the Chinese mainland and the actors came from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as China Instead of the Shaolin school of martial arts favored by Bruce Lee, Ang Lee opted for the more spiritual form of Wudan; brute force is replace by scenes of balletic grace as opponents climb up walls or flit through tree-tops
The widespread success of the film is a firm indication that Chinese culture is making its mark
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