7.6/10
100,402
422 user 251 critic

House of Flying Daggers (2004)

Shi mian mai fu (original title)
Trailer
1:56 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.

Director:

Yimou Zhang

Writers:

Feng Li, Bin Wang | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,595 ( 698)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ying xiong (2002)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He
Fearless (2006)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.

Director: Ronny Yu
Stars: Jet Li, Li Sun, Yong Dong
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Jin Zhang
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun, Hao Zheng
Gui lai (2014)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Daoming Chen, Huiwen Zhang
The Warlords (2007)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Set in China in the 1860's during the Taiping Rebellion, the story is based on the assassination of Ma Xinyi in 1870. Loyalist General Qingyun is the only survivor of a battle with ... See full summary »

Directors: Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Wai Man Yip
Stars: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro
Red Cliff (2008)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang
To Live (1994)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: You Ge, Li Gong, Ben Niu
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Jin
Andy Lau ... Leo
Ziyi Zhang ... Xiao Mei (as Zhang Ziyi)
Dandan Song ... Yee
Hongfei Zhao Hongfei Zhao ... Performer
Jun Guo Jun Guo ... Performer
Shu Zhang Shu Zhang ... Performer
Jiusheng Wang ... Performer
Zhengyong Zhang Zhengyong Zhang ... Performer
Yongxin Wang Yongxin Wang ... Performer
Dong Liu Dong Liu ... Performer
Qi Zi Qi Zi ... Performer
Xuedong Qu Xuedong Qu ... Performer
Liping Tian Liping Tian ... Performer
Hongwei Zhao Hongwei Zhao ... Performer
Edit

Storyline

During the reign of the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called "The House of the Flying Daggers" rises and opposes the government. A police officer called Leo sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the "Flying Daggers". Leo arrests Mei, only to have Jin breaking her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of stylized martial arts violence, and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

14 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

House of Flying Daggers See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

CNY 100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

CNY 55,000,000 (China), 18 July 2004

Opening Weekend USA:

$397,472, 5 December 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,050,094

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,863,945
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Yimou Zhang has said that he will rewrite the screenplay to remove Anita Mui's character following the veteran star's death. This is meant to be a sign of respect for Mui. It was earlier reported that Michelle Yeoh or Brigitte Lin would be cast instead. See more »

Goofs

When Wind stops on his horse to return to Mei the first time, his horse is a light brown when he stops, but throughout the scene, it changes to a dark brown. See more »

Quotes

Jin: What's your name?
Mei: Mei
Jin: Mei?
Jin: Every girl here is named after a flower. Why is yours so plain?
Mei: I don't want to compete with those others girls. The flowers here can hardly be called flowers. Real flowers bloom in the wilderness.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Memory of Anita Mui 1963-2003 See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK version is cut by the BBFC by 18 seconds. The cuts were to remove three instances of real animal cruelty (in this case, three horsefalls) which would have fell foul of Animal Cruelty laws in the UK. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Codes of Gender (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovers
Music and lyrics by Shigeru Umebayashi
Performed by Kathleen Battle
Played during the closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A feast for the senses, a fully satisfying cinematic experience.
20 April 2005 | by budmasseySee all my reviews

Shi Mian Mai Fu belongs to a growing body of work that embodies a clearly Asian aesthetic packaged just as clearly for Western consumption. It is no coincidence that, each time I paused the DVD for whatever reason, the still image on the screen was as beautiful as any classic wood block print by Hiroshige or Hokusai. Xiaoding Zhao's elegant cinematography imbues every scene with haunting beauty. Think Tak Fujimoto times ten, with no disrespect meant to Fujimoto, who shoots Western movies and still manages to inject his refined visual sense into such great films as Silence of the Lambs and Sixth Sense.

Director Yimou Zhang's work in Hero was more epic, more heroic, but SMMF has a more refined sense of story. The cast, the scenery, the music, including vocal performances by the legendary Kathleen Battle; all elements conspire brilliantly to convey subtle and nuanced meaning in moments. The story, as do all good stories of this genre, revolves around a delicate interplay of love, betrayal, deception and heroism of many different kinds, and, oh yes, those stunning ballets of combat layered with evocative sounds and effects.

In a nutshell, the plot goes something like this. A beautiful blind showgirl is captured as a spy. Her captors conspire to trick her into leading them to her leader. Along the way, both hunter and quarry become entangled in a web of subterfuge and deception. Add in a beautifully tragic romantic story line, again, as all such movies must have, and never forget that the essence of all truly great tragedy is inevitability.

This movie is also known as Ambush From Ten Sides, and in that more literal translation of its title you will find its essence. A worthy successor to Hero, though not as magnificent as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, in which Ziyi Zhang gives the performance of a lifetime and the one against all her other roles will be judged, and in this case, fall short, House of Flying Daggars is nevertheless a feast for the senses and a fully satisfying cinematic experience.


53 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 422 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed