Peking Opera Blues (1986)
Peking Opera Blues (刀马旦) is a 1986 Hong Kong film directed by Tsui Hark. The movie combines comedy, Hong Kong action, and serious drama with scenes involving Peking Opera. Director Tsui Hark described the film as a satire on the "Chinese ignorance of democracy." The film was nominated for six awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards including Best Actress.
The film is set in 1913 Beijing, during Yuan Shikai's presidency of the Republic of China. It depicts the adventures of a team of unlikely heroines: Tsao Wan (Brigitte Lin), a patriotic rebel who dresses as a man; Sheung Hung (Cherie Chung), a woman in search of a missing box of jewels; and Pat Neil (Sally Yeh), the daughter of a Peking Opera impresario.
The Chinese title translates as Knife Horse Actresses, a term used in Peking Opera to refer to male actors playing female warriors (See Dan article for details). It is sometimes erroneously translated as Knife Horse Dawn, due to the fact that both words are represented by the same Chinese character.
The film grossed $17,559,357 HKD in Hong Kong.
In his Wrap Up video to the Region 1 DVD of Wong Kar-Wai's Chungking Express, Quentin Tarantino refers to Peking Opera Blues as "one of the greatest films ever made" and "a blast––it's a lot of fun."