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Near the beginning of the Tang dynasty, in 7th century China, General Shi Yan-sheng is tricked into leaving the crown prince unguarded. The crown prince is murdered by one of his brothers ... See full summary »

Director:

Clara Law

Writers:

Eddie Ling-Ching Fong (screenplay) (as Ling Ching Fong), Pik Wah Lee (screenplay) (as Lilian Lee) | 1 more credit »
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6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Joan Chen ... Princess Hong-e - Scarlet / Qing-shou - Violet
Hsing-Kuo Wu ... General Shi Yan-sheng / Jing-yi
Fengyi Zhang ... General Huo Da
Ming-Yang Li Ming-Yang Li ... The Abbot
Lisa Lu ... Shi's Mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Teddy Robin Kwan ... Soldier
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Storyline

Near the beginning of the Tang dynasty, in 7th century China, General Shi Yan-sheng is tricked into leaving the crown prince unguarded. The crown prince is murdered by one of his brothers who then becomes emperor. Shi retreats to a monastery, perhaps to hide, perhaps to plan a coup. When his loyal troops as well as the princess he desires are slain, he seeks refuge in a remote, abandoned monastery where an aged abbot schools him with practical, earthy teachings. The emperor's forces pursue Shi: first a woman, then a general seek to overpower him with lust and might. Over the course of the film, the reds of battle give way to blues of meditation. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

25 August 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Temptation of a Monk See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Chen had her head completely shaved for the role of Qingshou (Violet). See more »

Quotes

Shi Yan-sheng: [says the evening prayer]
The Abbot: So noisy! Even the birds can't sleep! Didn't you want peace?
Shi Yan-sheng: I want to say the evening prayers.
The Abbot: Go sleep in your room!
Shi Yan-sheng: I can't sleep, my heart's not at peace.
The Abbot: Go find something to eat!
Shi Yan-sheng: Not hungry.
The Abbot: You don't eat, tummy's empty, heart's not!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly enjoyable medieval spaghetti eastern
5 September 1999 | by bgilchSee all my reviews

"Temptation of a Monk" has a bit of everything. It starts out as a dry morality tale of a kingdom collapsing under historical duress. Here it is pretty and easily mimics Chen Kaige. It then turns into a wandering ronin movie with comedic touches and low culture carnival. But then our hero, the exiled and chased bodyguard, hides in a monastery and brings violence and sex that threaten the spiritual lessons of the cloistered environment. And so on.

This film manages to make numerous changes of course and imitates almost every genre of historical Chinese filmmaking. From the high culture ideal of the court to the equal severity of the cloister to the comedic about face of the hot-tub scene, director Law shows a playful seriousness and the power of mimicry as she rapidly changes forms--even as the film heads towards a seemingly inevitable spaghetti eastern showdown replete with fire and destruction to make Clint Eastwood blush. That is, if Clint hadn't already blushed at the fabulously hetero sex scene. Stoic lust never looked so good, or so demanding.

The acting is very strong; the cinematography first-class and often breathtaking with its numerous different landscapes and set constructions. And the battle scenes are of course expertly delivered.

SUM: This film is knowledgeable fun for those who know the high forms of Asian cinema but who want the swords put to good, if tasteful, use. Deserved winner of numerous Hong Kong film awards 8.5/10


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