Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Production Facts

Cost of Making:   $15 million
     $209.1 million worldwide as of August 2, 2001
     U.S. Box Office Chart
     May 2000, 53rd Cannes Film Festival (world premiere)
     July 2000, released in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia
     October 2000, released in Mianland China
     December 2000, released in U.S.A.
Shooting Time:  
     August - December, 1999
Shooting Locations:   The film was entirely shot in China.

(click the map to see more details)
* Beijing, Chengde, Ming Tombs - all Beijing (Peking) scenes
* Gansu (Gobi desert), Xinjiang - flashback
* Zhejiang, Anhui, Huangshan (Mt. Huang) region - southern China scenes: bamboo forest, Shu Lien's security headquarters
* Cangyanshan (Mt. Cangyan), Huangshan (Mt. Huang) - the scenery of Mt. Wudang (Wudan)
* Beijing Film Studio - certain scenes were filmed in the studio, including Shu Lien's security headquarters, which had to be rebuilt in Beijing due to Michelle's injury.

Hongcun Village, Huangshan
Region, Anhui Province

Anji, Zhejiang Province

Feicui Vally, Huangshan
Region, Anhui Province

Anhui Province

Hebei Province

Gobi Desert,
Gansu Province

Flaming Cliffs/Mountain,
Xinjiang Province




Zhengyang Gate,

Ming Tombs,
Beijing suburb

Hebei Province

Studio: Peking streets *

Studio: kiln *

* The last two pictures are from MonkeyPeaches's site

Meaning of the Title:  
     The English title "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is a direct translation of the original Chinese title "Wo Hu Cang Long", which is also the title of the novel that the film is based on. The title has a double meaning. For one thing, it is a well-known Chinese phrase that is often used to describe a place or a situation in which there are many undiscovered capable people and hidden power. For another, it also directly refers to the names of the two central characters of the original novel: I.e., Yu Jiao Long (Jen)'s name contains the Chinese written character for "Dragon" in it while Lo Xiao Hu (Lo)'s personal name similarly contains the Chinese written character for "Tiger".

     Meaning of the Chinese names of the main characters (surnames are highlighted):
      Yu Shu Lien: Shu (Xiu) = graceful/elegant/beautiful; Lien = lotus;
      Yu Jiao Long (Jen): Jiao = tender/sweet/charming; Long = dragon;
      Li Mu Bai: Mu = admire; Bai - literally means white, here it should stand for Li Bai - the greatest poet from Tang dynasty;
      Lo Xiao Hu (Lo): Xiao = small/young; Hu = tiger.

      N.B. Although both Shu Lien and Jiao Long (Jen)'s surnames have been transliterated into English as Yu, they actually are written and pronounced differently - i.e., with different intonations - in Chinese.

Novels (Crane - Iron Pentalogy):   The author of the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" novel is Wang Du Lu (1909 - 1977). In total, Wang Du Lu wrote 16 wuxia novels. The most famous of these are in a sequence of five novels that are collectively called the Crane - Iron Pentalogy. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (the film) is based on the Pentalogy's fourth book. The pentalogy describes certain linked stories of love and hate which spanned three generations set in the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911).

The names of these five novels are: "Crane Frightens KunLun", "Precious Sword, Golden Hairpin", "Sword Force, Pearl Shine", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", and "Iron Knight, Silver Vase". For more details, please visit Novels page on this site.

Prequel & Sequel:  
     A prequel is in its early (script writing) stage of development. It will be mainly based on part II of the pentalogy - "Precious Sword, Golden Hairpin" - and focus on the characters of Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien. Ang Lee hopes to bring back the bulk of the CTHD on and off screen team. Currently he's not interested in making a sequel since he thinks the ending of the CTHD film is perfect as it stands.

Miscellaneous Movie Notes:  
     Green Destiny:   It's an extremely strong and sharp sword. It cuts other weapons - be they made of more ordinary metals or wood - like a knife cuts through butter. But it doesn't have any magic power and it's no different from, or better than, other weapons when touched elsewhere other than on its cutting edge. This is why in the film's second fight between Yu Shu Lien and Jen, Shu Lien was trying to expressly hit it on its flatter - and blunter - sides.

     Flying:   Can Wudan masters fly? The answer is probably "No". But there (supposedly) exists this kind of martial art technique that translates into English as Lightening Skill (Qing Gong). The martial artists who are masters of it can leap much further and higher than ordinary people. They may even run up on a wall and balance on a tree branch. One of the Wudan Clan's famous techniques is its Lightening Skill. Li Mu Bai and Jen cannot fly. But they are supposed to be good in Lightening Skills.

     Re Language and Accents:   The CTHD film was shot in Mandarin, the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan. It certainly posed problems for the diverse cast: Only Zhang Ziyi (Jen), who hails from Beijing (Peking), speaks with the accent that is considered most "proper" by Mandarin language purists (no doubt on account of Mandarin being closely related to Beijing's dialect). Chang Chen (Lo), like most other Taiwanese, speaks Mandarin with a Taiwanese accent. Hong Kong actors Chow Yun-Fat (Li Mu Bai), Michelle Yeoh (Yu Shu Lien), and Cheng Pei-Pei (Jade Fox) speak Cantonese. Chow Yun-Fat and Cheng Pei-Pei had to polish the Mandarin which they previously knew (but spoke with a Cantonese accent). Malaysian Michelle, who not only did not know Mandarin but also cannot read Chinese characters, had to learn and memorize her lines phonetically. The light accents of the actors could be noticed in the film sometimes, but they are totally understandable and not distracting (at least for me).

     Re Special Effects:   There wasn't much computer technology used in the making of CTHD beyond the shots of old Beijing (Peking) and digital removal of the wires that Yuen Wo-Ping and his team attached to some of the actors who played Jen and others to enable them to 'fly'.
     N.B. Stunt doubles were used for some of the actors (as in most action movies). On the commentary audio track of Ang Lee and James Schamus that is a special feature of the R1 CTHD DVD, they mentioned that everyone on the Xinjiang location shoot fell in love with the Mongolian horsewoman who was Zhang Ziyi's stunt double in the horse chase scenes.

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( page created: 06/25/01,   last modified: 08/07/01 )