Jump to: Spoilers (1)
The actors almost invariably performed their own stunts. CGI was used to remove the wires holding them up.
256 of 256 found this interesting Interesting? |
Michelle Yeoh deliberately did not work for a year before filming began so she could concentrate on training and learning Mandarin.
236 of 236 found this interesting Interesting? |
"Crouching tiger hidden dragon" is a quote from Chinese mythology. It refers to hiding your strength from others -- advice which is followed all too well by the characters in the film.
288 of 291 found this interesting Interesting? |
Taiwanese-born Hong Kong actress Shu Qi was originally cast in Ziyi Zhang's role of Jiaolong Yu and worked on the film for several weeks, until her agent pulled her from the movie to do a Pepsi commercial in Japan. She has since changed agents.
286 of 289 found this interesting Interesting? |
While Ziyi Zhang's character is obviously highly trained and skillful in martial arts, the actress herself never had any official martial arts training at all. Instead, she used her dance techniques to learn her moves in these scenes as if they were a dance rather than a fight (which, in terms of creating and filming them, is actually not that far from the truth).
211 of 213 found this interesting Interesting? |
The four main actors all spoke Mandarin, but with different accents. Chow Yun-Fat had a Cantonese accent, Michelle Yeoh had a Malaysian/English accent, Ziyi Zhang had a Beijing accent, and Chang Chen had a Taiwanese accent. Because of the difficulty some Chinese-speaking markets had with the voices, some markets actually had a dubbed version (into standard Mandarin) of the soundtrack.
195 of 197 found this interesting Interesting? |
According to Chow Yun-Fat, he had to do twenty-eight takes of his first scene on the first day of shooting, because he had such difficulty speaking Mandarin. When asked in an interview with TIME Magazine how he felt about his Mandarin pronunciation, he replied, "It's awful."
141 of 142 found this interesting Interesting? |
Michelle Yeoh tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) during the shooting of an early fighting sequence and had to be flown to the United States for knee surgery. She returned to the set at different times to film non-action scenes until her knee had recovered.
136 of 137 found this interesting Interesting? |
The embroidered dress that Ziyi Zhang wore in her opening scene took two months to make by four qualified embroiderers.
122 of 123 found this interesting Interesting? |
Director Ang Lee pitched the film to Michelle Yeoh as "Sense and Sensibility (1995) with martial arts."
120 of 121 found this interesting Interesting? |
The Green Destiny Sword used in the movie, along with other weapons in the movie, were made in Taiwan. The swordsmith was actually a neighbour of Ang Lee in his current residence in Tainan, Taiwan.
149 of 151 found this interesting Interesting? |
Director Ang Lee described the film as "a dream of China...that probably never existed."
172 of 175 found this interesting Interesting? |
The first draft of the screenplay said, "You will note in the script that none of the fight scenes are described, and I will just inform you now that they will be the greatest fight scenes ever in the history of cinema, period."
140 of 142 found this interesting Interesting? |
This was the only martial arts film to date to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.
250 of 256 found this interesting Interesting? |
The film was an adaptation of the fourth novel in a pentalogy, or five-novel cycle, known in China as the Crane/Iron Pentalogy and written by noted wuxia (kung-fu) novelist Du Lu Wang. The novels are "Crane Frightens Kunlun," "Precious Sword, Golden Hairpin," "Sword's Force, Pearl's Shine," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," and "Iron Knight, Silver Vase." Much of the story is not about Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien; they are in fact secondary characters who only become important later in the series. When a comic book adaptation of the fourth book in the pentalogy was slated, illustrator Andy Seto rewatched the film to get inspiration for how to depict the fight scenes.
106 of 107 found this interesting Interesting? |
In 2001, this became the first foreign language film to earn over $100 million in the United States.
180 of 184 found this interesting Interesting? |
The film's action choreographer, Woo-Ping Yuen, was also responsible for the fighting sequences in The Matrix (1999) and its progeny.
180 of 184 found this interesting Interesting? |
The Green Destiny Sword Li Mu Bai carries translates to Green Dark World Sword, a place where the dead go. The "Mu" in Li Mu Bai's name translates to a kind of positive jealousy or longing, as in wanting something but probably never getting it.
61 of 61 found this interesting Interesting? |
Dun Tan had only two weeks to compose and record the musical score.
116 of 118 found this interesting Interesting? |
A computer mock-up of what Chow Yun-Fat would look like as a bald man was generated before the actor agreed to shave off all his hair.
113 of 115 found this interesting Interesting? |
Ziyi Zhang studied calligraphy for several months, along with her other training, for the movie.
106 of 108 found this interesting Interesting? |
The film holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a foreign language film along with Roma (2018) with 10 nominations. Additionally, it shares the record for most Oscar wins by a foreign language film with Fanny and Alexander (1982) and Parasite (2019). All three films won four awards.
148 of 152 found this interesting Interesting? |
(At around 1 hour, 5 minutes) At the cave scene, Lo sings a song. This song is in one of the old Turkish languages (probably the Uyghur language), which still can be understood in today's Turkish language. It is something along the lines of, "...yiriliyorida, gordum su guzel kiz havar guni, ...bu guzel aylari, ey guzel kiz havali kiz." It means, "...while she was singing softly, I saw that beautiful girl when sun goes down, ...this beautiful months, You beautiful girl, cool girl."
119 of 122 found this interesting Interesting? |
The scenes shot in the Gobi Desert were constantly interrupted by rain.
97 of 99 found this interesting Interesting? |
In Chinese, Lo's name is "Little Tiger" and Jen's name is "Gorgeous Dragon."
88 of 90 found this interesting Interesting? |
Michelle Yeoh did not speak Mandarin. The script was presented to her phonetically with help from Mandarin-speaking crew members. In fact, her Malaysian accent can be heard throughout. Chow Yun-Fat did speak Mandarin (his first language is Cantonese), but native Mandarin speakers thought his accent was strained and overdone.
93 of 97 found this interesting Interesting? |
Director Ang Lee found the intensity of shooting this film to be so high, he took up smoking again.
72 of 75 found this interesting Interesting? |
(At around 15 minutes) In the first night scene, Bo meets two night-watchmen who later give two knocks on clappers/rods, indicating that it was the second watch of the night. The first watch begins at 7 P.M., and each watch is two hours long, so it was after 9 P.M. when Jen first sneaks into Sir Te's residence. If the number of times the night-watchmen sounds the small cymbal/gong was shown, the audience would know more precisely what time it was between 9-11 P.M.
47 of 49 found this interesting Interesting? |
(At around 5 minutes) The stamped documents shown by Shu Lien to the guards at the city-gate before she enters Beijing shows the date "in the 43rd year of the reign of (Emperor) Qianlong, the sixth month, the eighth day," which is the year A.D. 1778, somewhere in June or July.
62 of 66 found this interesting Interesting? |
This was the highest-grossing foreign language movie in American film history.
63 of 68 found this interesting Interesting? |
Director Ang Lee commented that originally, he did not wish for Shu Lien to wield the heavy two-handed straight sword against Jen. This was consistent within the movie, as Shu Lien indicates her preference of the "dao," the saber with a broad, curved blade, instead of the straight-bladed "jian," Li Mu Bai's weapon of choice. The Green Destiny is itself a jian.
47 of 50 found this interesting Interesting? |
Jet Li was originally cast to play Li Mu Bai but turned the part down to appear in Romeo Must Die (2000). The role was next offered to Hong Kong singer/actor Leon Lai, but he also turned it down.
54 of 58 found this interesting Interesting? |
According to old Taiwanese newspapers, there was a Taiwanese-speaking movie in 1959 called "Luo Xiao Hu and Yu Jiao Long," an earlier adaptation of Du Lu Wang's novel. The old newspapers noted that this version was also a martial arts film. The leading actress, Hsiao Yan-Chiou, was originally a traditional Taiwanese opera actress. After the movie was released, Hsiao married, leaving "Luo Xiao Hu and Yu Jiao Long" as her last movie. The film is thought to be no longer in existence now, and it seems to hold no connection with Ang Lee's "Wo Hu Cang Long," except for the adaptation source.
29 of 31 found this interesting Interesting? |
'Jet Li' bowed out of starring in this film to fulfill a promise made to his wife 'Nina Li' that he be with her during the pregnancy of their first child together.
13 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? |
The film is ranked #10 in the Hong Kong Film Awards' List of The Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures (March 2005).
39 of 44 found this interesting Interesting? |
For the English language dub, extra care was taken to ensure that the voice actors' performances and wording matched the original lip movements almost exactly.
12 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? |
(At around 3 minutes) In the hall where Shu Lien first meets Li Mubai, there are two large sets of couplets hung on the wall behind them. The inner couplet reads, "(right) The Tall (Qiao) Tree spreads thousands of branches, but don't they have the same roots; (left) the Long (Yangtze) River flows into tens of thousand of distributaries, but all have the same source," and it is about maintaining harmony. The outer couplet reads, "(right) In Spring and Autumn sacrifices, follow the Ancient Sages' Rites and Customs; (left) Arraying Left and Right, trace One Family's Generations of Continuity," and it is about maintaining tradition.
24 of 32 found this interesting Interesting? |
The film is included among the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
36 of 52 found this interesting Interesting? |
Ranked number 78 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018.
11 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? |
Actress Shu Qi turned down the role to shoot a soft drink commercial in Japan. It was next offered to Zhang Ziyi who then shot to international stardom after the film was a success.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? |
In an interview with the New York Times, director Ang Lee explained about the final scene between Yu Shu Lien and Li Mu Bai stating,"I knew those were real tears," Lee said of Yeoh filming a tearful goodbye scene. "A lot of pressures gushing out, months of repression, and perhaps a lifetime of hopeful thinking. All that effort comes up." After witnessing Yeoh's performance on set, Lee said he had to excuse himself to cry in private for 15 minutes. "In Chinese, we call it xiang you xin sheng -- your countenance, when the way you look comes from the heart," Lee added.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? |