Tsui Hark

Once Upon a Time in China

Once Upon a Time in China

Writer-producer-director Tsui Hark’s sprawling vision of a changing nineteenth-century China begins with this riotously entertaining epic, a blockbuster hit that cemented Jet Li’s status as the greatest martial-arts superstar of his generation. Li displays his stunning, fast-and-fluid fighting style as the legendary martial-arts teacher and doctor Wong Fei-hung, who, with a band of disciples, battles a host of nefarious forces—foreign and local—who are threatening Chinese sovereignty as British and American imperialists encroach upon the Mainland. Once Upon a Time in China’s breathtaking blend of kung fu, comedy, romance, and melodrama climaxes in a whirlwind guns-vs.-fists finale that is also a thrilling affirmation of Chinese cultural identity.

Film Info

  • Hong Kong
  • 1991
  • 134 minutes
  • Color
  • 2.39:1
  • Cantonese

Available In

Collector's Set

Once Upon a Time in China: The Complete Films

Once Upon a Time in China: The Complete Films

Blu-ray Box Set

6 Discs


Once Upon a Time in China
Jet Li
Wong Fei-hung
Yuen Biao
Leung Foon
Jacky Cheung Hok Yau
Bucktooth So
Rosamund Kwan
Thirteenth Aunt Siu-kwan
Kent Cheng
Yen Shi-kwan
Iron Vest Yim
Tsui Hark
Produced by
Tsui Hark
Screenplay by
Tsui Hark
Yuen Kai-chi
Edward Leung Yiu-ming
Elsa Tang Bik-yin
Cinematography by
David Chung Chi-man
Bill Wong Chung-piu
Arthur Wong Ngok-tai
Ardy Lam Kwok-wah
Wingo Chan Tung-chuen
Wilson Chan Pui-ka
Edited by
Marco Mak Chi-sin
Art director
Kenneth Yee Chung-man
Costume designer
Bruce Yu Ka-on
Martial-arts direction by
Yuen Cheung-yan
Yuen Shun-yi
Lau Kar-wing
Yuen Wo-ping
Original music by
James Wong Jim


Once Upon a Time in China: The Complete Films: Past Master
Once Upon a Time in China: The Complete Films: Past Master

Tsui Hark’s epic martial-arts saga revolutionized Hong Kong cinema by presenting a complex portrait of modern Chinese history and setting a gold standard in action choreography.

By Maggie Lee