Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997)

Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Once Upon a Time in China and America Photos

Movie Info

Martial arts master/doctor Wong Fei-hung (a familiar character in Hong Kong cinema) and his gang find adventure amidst the cowboys and Indians of the American West. The sixth in the enormously popular "Once Upon a Time in China" series of Hong Kong action films that was created by director Tsui Hark in 1991, this episode takes an entirely new direction for the series; it features plenty of broad comedy in the first half (though whether or not it was intentional is debatable), eye-popping stunts and excitement. In another unusual turn, it was also shot with scenes in English as well as the standard Cantonese. Wong's adventure's begins when he and his gang sail to San Francisco to oversee the latest branch of their Bo Chi Lam. They find a country where the Chinese are exploited and despised. Soon after arriving, the courageous Wong (Jet Li) loses his memory after the daring rescue of Aunt Yee (Rosamund Kwan), Wong's long-time love, who was just about to fall from a cliff. Separated from his group, the amnesiac Master Wong ends up with a tribe of Native Americans (all of whom are obviously white), who adopt him. Though they too know martial arts (as do the cowboys Wong encounters), but are no match for Wong, who proves his skill by single-handedly braving the spears, kicks and chops of an enemy tribe. Eventually, Wong reconnects with Aunt Yee and his gang; together they go on to have more adventures and battle a number of evil villains.
Action & Adventure , Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Win's Entertainment Ltd.


Jeff Wolfe
as Billy
Xin Xin Xiong
as Club Foot
Christa Belle Eucht
as Indian Princess
Joe Sayah
as Mexican bandit
Rosamund Kwan
as Aunt Yee
Jet Li
as Wong Fei Hung
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time in China and America

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

July 15, 2008

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 25, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

No excerpt available.

August 12, 2005

No excerpt available.

June 5, 2004

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 10, 2003
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time in China and America


Jet Li reprises his role as Dr. Wong Fei-Hung so our cast of characters can travel to San Francisco and take in the kung-fu dojo of friendly Chinese expats. Most of the film's conflict comes from white American racism and how some corrupt politicians exploit this to pull off a heist, but there's also a plodding amnesia subplot spread haphazardly through the middle of the film. Sammo Hung's fight choreography is up to its usual standard of excellence, but the wafer-thin plot, strained comedy, unremarkable villains, and uneven pace of Once Upon A Time In China And America easily makes this installment the weakest in the franchise.

Ryan Valentine
Ryan Valentine

Seeing Wong Fei-Hung went West & becoming an American Indian, you knew it's high time folding it up.


I'm happy to see Jet Li returned to his main character as Wong Fei Hung in this next adventure since part 3. The frequent fight scenes (choreographed by director Sammo Hung) are as exciting as ever. Jet's cool bullet-dodging in the climactic fight is fun, but only real highlight is the scene where Fei Hung's loyal comrade Seven attempts to cure his master's amnesia by fighting him in the styles of villains from the previous films.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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