The Bride With White Hair

1993, Drama, 1h 32m

10 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Zhuo (Leslie Cheung), a master swordsman, is in charge of an army chosen to protect China from an evil cult. During a battle with the enemy, Zhuo falls in love with Lian (Brigitte Lin), a young woman who was raised by wolves and then adopted by the Siamese twins who lead the cult. The two seek a life of peace and quiet, but when Zhuo's colleagues are mysteriously slaughtered, survivors believe Lian is the culprit. Zhuo finds himself forced to turn against his beloved.

Cast & Crew

Brigitte Lin
Lian Nichang
Leslie Cheung
Zhuo Yi-Hang
Francis Ng
Male Ji Wushuang
Elaine Lui
Female Ji Wushuang
Ronnie Yu
Director
David Wu Dai-Wai
Writer
Liang Yusheng
Writer
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Critic Reviews for The Bride With White Hair

All Critics (10) | Fresh (10)

Audience Reviews for The Bride With White Hair

  • Mar 31, 2019
    I can clearly see where the inspiration for my beloved Xena came from, but this cheesy Hong Kong martial arts film is just passable entertainment that relies too much on the use of step-printed slow motion and is filled with repetition and expository dialogue instead of enough fighting.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2009
    A Classic Chinese Tale Of Swords And Sorcery Of Honor And Of Love and all that. Not bad.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2009
    Swords, sorcery, romance, high wire jumping, flashy lights, coloured smoke. I prefer the old 70's Kung Fu classics. This was a little too 1980's MTV for me.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2009
    The Bride With White Hair is a curious beast. Much of the first half of the film feels like you've seen it a hundred times before (a troubled sifu/student relationship, divided loyalties, warring clans and the rise of what would become a united China) and the style often looks like a relatively low-budget film trying to look more expensive than it is rather than the genuinely expensive film it was, with director Ronny Yu shooting much of the film in near darkness with deep blacks, heavy blue filters and smokey backlighting, stylistic devices that aren't to everyone's visual taste. The action scenes are often played out via jerky step-printing (where the film is shot at around 12 frames per second or less but each frame is printed twice or more to create a sense of motion at normal speed that's either heightened or degraded depending on your point of view). While the film was shot on massive sets (genuine exteriors are few and far between), they're neither lit or shot to stress their scale or often to be particularly visually interesting, with much of the early action of the film very deliberately styled after a shadow-puppet play, all profiles and silhouettes. And yet gradually it casts its spell over you and begins to grip as the story becomes more ambitious and intriguing. On the surface it's a Romeo and Juliet story between Leslie Cheung's heir apparent to a clan dedicated to good but filled with doubt no-one else shares about the severity with which it is enforced and Brigitte Lin's "wolf-girl" (meaning she was raised by wolves rather than turns into one) who has been trained as a supernatural killing machine by an evil pagan cult and who sports a particularly lethal whip that Indiana Jones would kill for - sharper than a meat cleaver and very handy for slicing-and-dicing any number of opponents. Their inevitably doomed romance occupies a moral middle ground that, naturally, neither side will tolerate, with their respective rejected mentors eager to reclaim their undivided loyalty. In many ways the film is a rejection of all the intransigent moral codes of the fantasy swordplay genre, where even the "good" clan and their allies are so blinded by their own self-importance that they have no qualms about killing innocent peasants just to be on the safe side in case they're lying ("Better to kill a hundred innocents than let one guilty escape"). And just to add to the complexity, the film offers a truly unique villain ? a pair of male/female Siamese twins, the sister often goading her brother over his inability to understand the woman he loves. The finale is certainly unusually ambitious, and can be seen either as a fantasy battle or as a physical realisation of the hero's nervous breakdown: either way, it offers a welcome level of emotional weight to what could easily have been clichéd fare. It's a film that has a lot working against it, but it lingers in the memory long after it's over. A shame Tartan's UK DVD is such poor quality (and, aside from some good film notes, extras-free as well: a pity since the troubled shoot ? which apparently saw a few Triad bombing attacks on the studios to add to their woes ? could bear further examination).
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer

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