Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, US/HK/China/Taiwan) (aka Wo Hu Cang Long)

In Ang Lee's Best Picture-nominated martial arts/romantic film set in 18th century China, with spectacular cinematography and martial arts action sequences, that won the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award:

  • the many exciting, kinetic action sequences revolving around the mystical, legendary 400 year-old Excalibur-like sword known as "Green Destiny"
  • the first appearance of Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi), the 18 year-old district governor's daughter, and the revelation that she was a disciple - secretly apprenticing under the harsh tutelage of bitter, heartless, murderous, evil and treacherous arch-criminal Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei) (who had been posing as Jen's governess for many years)
  • the scene of the theft of the Green Destiny sword in an estate by impetuous and headstrong masked thief Jen Yu, and the exciting scene of security officer and female warrior Yu Shu Lien's (Michelle Yeoh) gravity-defying pursuit of masked thief Jen up walls, across buildings and over rooftops, and their martial-arts styled fighting
  • the poignant, secret and unfulfilled romance between Yu Shu Lien and heroic spiritual master and martial arts/swordsman fighter Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) who was about to retire, when they shared their love for each other over a cup of tea: (Li Mu Bai: "Shu Lien - There's no eternity to the things we can touch. My master would say, 'There's nothing we can hold onto in this world. Only by letting go can we truly possess what is real.'" Shu Lien: "Even to an old Taoist like you, not everything is an illusion. When you were holding my hand just now, wasn't that real?" Li Mu Bai: "Your hand is cold and callused from practicing machetes. All these years, and I've never had the courage to touch it. Crouching tigers and hidden dragons are in the underworld, but so are human feelings. Swords and knives harbor unknown perils, but so do human relationships")
Li Mu Bai: "Real sharpness comes without effort."
The Sword Fight In Green Bamboo Forest
Lo to Jen: "A Faithful Heart Makes Wishes Come True"
  • Li Mu Bai's fatherly and scholarly interest in the petulant Jen, casually imparting advice during one sword fight and teaching her: ("Real sharpness comes without effort. No growth, without assistance. No action, without reaction...")
  • the visually-stunning sword fight between Li Mu Bai and Jen on the top of a green bamboo forest
  • the "faithful heart makes wishes come true" speech by Jen's kind lover - a barbarian desert bandit named Lo "Dark Cloud" (Chang Chen) - about a mystical legend of a man who jumped from a mountain cliff to make his wish come true - and was saved from death because his heart was faithful and pure: ("We have a legend. Anyone who dares to jump from the mountain, God will grant his wish. Long ago, a young man's parents were ill, so he jumped. He didn't die. He wasn't even hurt. He floated away, far away, never to return. He knew his wish had come true. If you believe, it will happen. The elders say, 'A faithful heart makes wishes come true.'"); Lo awaited Jen at Mt. Wudang
  • the climactic, artistic duel (with multiple weapons) between Jen (wielding the Green Destiny) and Shu Lien in an empty dueling arena - brilliantly shot with overhead cameras
  • the scene of Jen's rejection of her master teacher Jade Fox because she had outgrown her instruction, with Jade's response: "Believe me, I've a lesson or two left to teach you!"
  • Jade Fox's last words after being executed by Li Mu Bai: "You know what poison is? An 8 year-old girl full of deceit. That's poison! only only enemy...'; however, Li Mu Bai realized he had been hit in the neck by a Fox's dart (with Purple Yin poison and "no antidote"), and suffered a tearjerking death
  • during Li Mu Bai's death, he delivered his final, long overdue declaration of undying, concealed love for Yu Shu Lien with his last breaths: ("I've already wasted my whole life. I want to tell you with my remaining strength that I love you. I always have. (They kissed) I'll drift next to you every day as a ghost just to be with you. Even if I was banished to the darkest place, my love will keep me from being a lonely spirit")
  • the transcendent ending in which Jen, after spending one night with Lo, jumped off Wudang Mountain, and floated softly downward to disappear into the mist

Jen Yu vs. Yu Shu Lien

Li Mu Bai, in a Secret Love Affair With Yu Shu Lien

Jen vs. Shu Lien

The Poisoned Dart Death of Mu Bai, With a Final Kiss From Yu Shu Lien

Jen's Jump From Mt. Wudang (believing in Lo's legend)


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