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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

Poster for the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny"

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)

PG-13 103 min - Action, Adventure, Drama - 18 February 2016
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A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption.

Director:  Yuen Woo-Ping
Writers:  John Fusco, Bey Logan


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A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption.

Collections: Yuen Woo-Ping

Tagline: The past returns with a vengeance.


Official Website: 
Country:   China
Language:  English
Release Date:  18 February 2016

Box Office

Budget:  $20,000,000

Company Credits

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 43 min

A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a critically acclaimed wuxia martial arts adventure film released in 2000. Directed by Ang Lee, the film was written by Wang Hui-ling, James Schamus, and Tsai Kuo-jung. It features a prominent cast including Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen. The movie is an adaptation of the Chinese novel of the same name, written by Wang Dulu and part of his Crane Iron pentalogy.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny Movie Trailer

Production and Release

With a budget of $17 million, the film was produced by Edko Films, Zoom Hunt Productions, in collaboration with China Film Co-productions Corporation and Asian Union Film & Entertainment for Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia and Good Machine International. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2000, and was later released in the United States on December 8, 2000. The dialogue is in Standard Chinese with subtitles for various markets. The film was a surprise international success, grossing $213.5 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing Mandarin-language film in American history.

Critical Acclaim and Awards

The film received universal acclaim for its story, direction, cinematography, and martial arts sequences. It won over 40 awards and received 10 Academy Award nominations in 2001, including Best Picture. It won awards for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score, and Best Cinematography. At the time, it had the most nominations ever for a non-English-language film, a record it held until 2018’s “Roma.” It also won four BAFTAs and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Foreign Film. It is often cited as one of the finest wuxia films and is regarded as one of the greatest films of the 21st century.


Set in Qing dynasty China, the film revolves around Li Mu Bai, a renowned Wudang swordsman, and Yu Shu Lien, a female warrior and security company head. Both characters, bound by loyalty to a deceased friend, suppress their feelings for each other. The story involves Mu Bai’s retirement and the handing over of his sword “Green Destiny,” and the ensuing events after the sword is stolen. The plot thickens with the involvement of Jade Fox, the murder of Mu Bai’s teacher, and the introduction of Yu Jiaolong (Jen), a governor’s daughter with hidden martial arts skills. The film explores themes of love, loyalty, and the quest for freedom, culminating in dramatic martial arts battles and emotional revelations.

Themes and Significance

Title Significance

The title, translating a Chinese idiom, suggests the existence of hidden masters and symbolizes the underlying emotions and hidden passions in polite society. The film’s characters and narrative embody these themes, with the female characters especially representing the ‘hidden dragons’ in a male-dominated society.

Gender Roles

The film is notable for its focus on female characters, challenging traditional gender roles. It explores the constraints faced by women in society and their desire for freedom, as exemplified by the characters of Shu Lien and Jen.

Use of Poison

Poison in the film symbolizes not just physical harm but also moral corruption and bitterness, particularly embodied by the character Jade Fox. It represents the darker aspects of revenge and deceit in the martial arts world.

Cinematic Style

Ang Lee aimed to create a “China of the imagination,” blending Eastern and Western aesthetics. The film’s setting does not adhere strictly to historical accuracy, instead of offering a more artistic and fantastical portrayal of China.

Impact on Western Audiences

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” played a significant role in introducing Western audiences to the wuxia genre and Chinese martial arts films. It paved the way for other Asian films in Western markets and significantly influenced Western perceptions of Asian cinema.

Reception and Legacy

The film was both a box office success and a critically acclaimed masterpiece. It opened new avenues for Asian films in Western cinema and has been recognized for its significant impact on the film industry globally. Its legacy includes influencing a generation of filmmakers and audiences alike, reshaping the landscape of international cinema.

source: [wikipedia]