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Ashes of Time (1994)

Dung che sai duk (original title)
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A broken-hearted hit man moves to the desert where he finds skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings.

Director:

Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)

Writers:

Louis Cha (novel), Kar-Wai Wong (screenplay) (as Kar Wai Wong)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Brigitte Lin ... Mu-rong Yin / Mu-rong Yang
Leslie Cheung ... Ou-yang Feng
Maggie Cheung ... The Woman
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Blind Swordsman (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Jacky Cheung ... Hung Chi
Tony Ka Fai Leung ... Huang Yao-shi
Li Bai Li Bai ... Hung Chi's Wife
Carina Lau ... Peach Blossom
Charlie Yeung ... Young Girl
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joey Wang ... (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Ou-yang Feng lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi, who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong's sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang's continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman, a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman who doesn't like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give... Written by Scott Hamilton <stomptokyo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Spain] | See more »

Country:

Hong Kong | Taiwan

Language:

Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

17 September 1994 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Ashes of Time See more »

Filming Locations:

China

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Box Office

Budget:

HKD 40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,372, 12 October 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$173,526, 4 January 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Redux)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Redux version)| Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Apparently, Joey Wong, Veronica Yip, and Kenny Bee were originally also in the cast list of Ashes of Time. Due to Wong Kar Wai's shooting overrun of epic scales, producer Jeff Lau gathered everyone and shot The Eagle Shooting Heroes, a nonsensical comedy version of the story and maintained many of Wong Kar Wai's original casting decisions.

During this break, Wong Kar Wai decided to have a complete overhaul of who plays who. By then, Joey Wong had to leave the production for her other filming obligations. Wong Kar Wai wanted to delete all of Joey Wong's footage, but she was already listed as a cast member in the rushes screened to film investors, hence he retained an 8-second shot of Joey Wong's side profile in the Taiwanese print (this did not survive in the redux version).

Charlie Yeung later joined the production as a quasi-replacement for Joey Wong. See more »

Quotes

Ou-yang Feng: Before I took him to the villagers, I bought him a pair of shoes. It's because there's quite a difference in the fee paid to a shoeless swordsman and one with shoes.
See more »

Connections

References Shogun Assassin (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Seasons Come Anjd Time Will Go
4 October 2008 | by crossbow0106See all my reviews

I saw this at the New York Film Festival in which Bridgette Lin, who was in the first segment of the film, was there. She still looks beautiful. This film is not a remake, it is a redone version of the film, a 1992 drama set and shot in the Chinese desert in which Ouyang Feng (the late Leslie Cheung) plays a person for hire, mostly to kill others. Through the film, you see various people enter his life, and their stories are told in the passing of the seasons. This absolutely stellar casts includes Maggie Cheung, both Tony Leungs, Carina Lau and Jacky Cheung, along with Bridgette Lin and Leslie Cheung. The film chronicles tales of love, lust, betrayal, vengeance, pain and yearning admirably. There is also excellent swordplay in this film, but the real brilliance of this film is the cinematography by Christopher Doyle. The desert is punctuated with wind & sandstorms, and many images are purposely blurred. Really, if you are a film buff of any kind, this film is essential viewing for the cinematography alone. The film is more dramatic than violent and you are filled with a sense of foreboding throughout, wondering what will happen next. I never saw the film in its original incarnation, so I can't compare, but if you did see the film and liked it you have to see this. If you're a fan of director Wong Kar Wai, this is also essential viewing. Do yourself a favor and try to catch this film in a theater, where you can enjoy the overall majesty of it. Not a perfect ten only because at times it is a bit hard to follow, but stay with it and you'll be rewarded with a great cinematic experience.


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