7.2/10
2,183
18 user 19 critic

Green Snake (1993)

Ching se (original title)
Two snake spirits become human and learn about love and suffering. A monk discovers his own weaknesses and finds that morality is not as simple as he had thought.

Director:

Hark Tsui

Writers:

Pik Wah Lee (novel) (as Lillian Lee), Pik Wah Lee (screenplay) (as Lillian Lee) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This big hit at the Sundance Film Festival had audiences cheering. Set during the Ming Dynasty, this acclaimed production tells the story of a power hungry eunuch who employs an evil sect ... See full summary »

Directors: Raymond Lee, Siu-Tung Ching, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Tony Ka Fai Leung, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A parody of Louis Cha's novel The Eagle Shooting Heroes (thats the literal translation). Story begins with the Queen of Golden Wheel Kingdom had an affair with her cousin West Poison, and ... See full summary »

Director: Jeffrey Lau
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Basically a retread of the first movie, in which the evil Tree Spirit is back with yet another ghost played by Joey Wong. The Swordsman Yen and Leslie Cheung characters are replaced by a ... See full summary »

Directors: Siu-Tung Ching, Hark Tsui
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Joey Wang, Jacky Cheung
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a string of bad luck, a debt collector has no other choice than to spend the night in a haunted temple, where he encounters a ravishing female ghost and later battles to save her soul from the control of a wicked tree demon.

Director: Siu-Tung Ching
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Joey Wang, Wu Ma
Action | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a scroll containing valuable martial arts secrets is stolen from the Emperor, an army detachment is sent to recover it. Blademaster, a young martial arts expert, accidentally ends up ... See full summary »

Directors: Siu-Tung Ching, King Hu, and 4 more credits »
Stars: Samuel Hui, Cecilia Yip, Jacky Cheung
The Blade (1995)
Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After the master of the Sharp Manufacturer saber factory abdicates and appoints On, his least popular worker, as his successor, On, unwilling to lead his surly colleagues, embarks on a ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Wenzhuo Zhao, Xin Xin Xiong, Sonny Su
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this installment of a phenomenal saga of the super natural, four young people are caught in a tug-o-war of evil between an Imperial Wizard and a corrupt General. Outrageous special ... See full summary »

Director: Siu-Tung Ching
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Joey Wang, Michelle Reis
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Brand new epic adventure set during a tumultuous time in China, when left without a leader, the cavalry is attacked by the powerful allies and pirate bands. A martial arts master, Wong ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Wenzhuo Zhao, Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A royal official accompanies a Portuguese warship to the Black Cliffs to see the site of the defeat of the evil Invincible Asia, who attained supernatural abilities by following the sacred ... See full summary »

Directors: Siu-Tung Ching, Raymond Lee
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Joey Wang, Rongguang Yu
Swordsman II (1992)
Action | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

With an entirely new set of actors, this movie continues the story from Swordsman (1990). Blademaster and his martial arts school decide to retire to a distant mountain. Before leaving, he ... See full summary »

Directors: Siu-Tung Ching, Stanley Tong
Stars: Jet Li, Brigitte Lin, Michelle Reis
The Lovers (1994)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During the Eastern Jin Dynasty, parents dress a pretty girl like a boy, so she may be educated in a local boarding school. There, she falls in love with a poor, but industrious young man. However, their short love affair ends in disaster.

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Nicky Wu, Charlie Yeung, Carrie Ng
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chinese soldiers in an ancient civil war get caught up in a fantastical quest to save the universe.

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Biao Yuen, Hoi Mang, Adam Cheng
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Maggie Cheung ... Siu Ching (Xiao Qing), the Green Snake
Joey Wang ... Bak Sei Juen (Bai Suzhen), White Snake
Wenzhuo Zhao ... Monk Fatt Hoi (Fahai)
Hsing-Kuo Wu ... Hsui Xien (Xu Xian), the scholar
Ma Cheng-miu Ma Cheng-miu
Feng Tien ... Spider
Tung-Mui Chan Tung-Mui Chan
Kong Lau Kong Lau ... Blind Monk
Shun Lau ... Old Monk
Nagma ... Bharata Natyam Dancer (as Najma)
Edit

Storyline

Two snakes reformed into two beauties. White Snake chose pedagogue Xian Xu as her husband and enjoyed human life, while Green Snake played around every day. Jealous to White Snake, Green Snake kept on flirting with Xian Xu. Xian Xu eventually found they were snakes ... After being tempted by Green Snake, monk Fahai decided to imprison the two "monsters". He kidnapped Xian Xu. A battle began ... Just then, White Snake borned her new baby. What should monk Fahai do? Adapted from an old Chinese folk story but quite different from the original. Written by Zheng Wang <zhwang@das.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

snake | monk | baby | f rated | snake woman | See All (33) »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese

Release Date:

4 November 1993 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Green Snake See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Baeksa buin (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance of Sunlight
Music & Lyrics by James Wong
Performed by Shu-Hua Chen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Tsui Hark impresses
17 October 2008 | by OnderhondSee all my reviews

From time to time I like to dabble in a pool of older genre films. I don't find many masterpieces there, but some films are pretty entertaining. And once in a while, something really neat pops up. Green Snake is one of those films, ranking among the top films the early 90s Hong Kong period has to offer.

Green Snake is a strange blend of genres, but not at all uncommon for those type of films. If you want to compare it to anything (that is remotely known) I guess A Chinese Ghost Story comes closest.

The film's main focus are two demon snakes that have traveled to the human world to live a better life. They act as dames and try to find a husband, as they can secure their lives in the human world by getting a human child. This might sound a bit silly, but in essence it differs little from many Roman or Greek legends we know (and accept them for what they are).

Of course, no HK film from that period is complete with at least some flashes of martial arts thrown in. So a traveling monk and Buddha priest are added to make the lives of our snakes a bit harder. Both are trained in the more magical areas of the martial arts field, resulting in many magical spells and little hand to hand combat.

What sets this film apart from his peers is the visual brilliance. It won't be to everyone's liking, but the abundant use of color is simply superb. Every shot in the film looks lush, be it through it's impressive, colorful set design or through the many filters that are used. The editing gives you little time to absorb all this beauty, but every new shot is impressive enough not to care.

Also typical for these type of films is the type of editing used. Because the means and budgets were not high enough to create the effects required in a believable way, many magical scenes are often shot up close and edited in such a way that the viewer will fill in the blanks. It can become a bit confusing this way, but all in all it's a splendid solution. Some scenes still look pretty cheap, but overall the effects never take away from the film.

Another thing worth mentioning is the music. Although probably hit and miss for many, I liked the music Hark has chosen for this film. Especially the song with the Indian (?) dancers stayed long after the movie had finished. Pretty strange, not everyone will far for it but I think it worked wonders here.

Of course, there's also the quirky acting and silly humor that are ever present in these HK films. It comes with the territory and I don't mind one single bit, but it's another factor that will turn off some people from films like Green Snake. Their loss I guess.

It's pretty easy to love or hate these kind of films. But if you're a fan of this kind of cinema, Green Snake is one of the best films to pick. It's Tsui Hark at his best, the film is lush in its visuals and score, is entertaining to the core and wastes no time on unnecessary things. Very likable and extremely well-made. 4.0*/5.0*


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed