Red Cliff

Synopsis: In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minster Cao Cao convinced the fickle Emperor Han the only way to unite all of China was to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus began a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the Prime Minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu formed an unlikely alliance. Numerous battles of strength and wit ensued, both on land and on water, eventually culminating in the battle of Red Cliff. During the battle, two thousand ships were burned, and the course of Chinese history was changed forever.
Director(s): John Woo
Production: Magnolia Pictures
  13 wins & 43 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
148 min

Greetings, Your Majesty

Yesterday, I proposed a decree

for war against Liu Bei and Sun Quan

Has Your Majesty approved the decree?

The Prime Minister has just beaten back the Northern Wu Wan

Our troops and people need respite

The insurgents Sun and Liu

are ruling their own regimes down South

They plot against Your Majesty's Court

If they are not eliminated in time,

Your Majesty's Han Court, might well be theirs

Prime Minister,

please let me consider this further

How much further must Your Majesty consider?

I have waged wars across the land

Tens of thousands of soldiers have perished on the battlefields,

all for the sake of The Great Han Empire

Does Your Majesty still remember your exile?

Which, if any, among your Royal relatives rescued You?

I wonder, to this day,

if I had not eliminated the traitors,

how many more would claim the throne for themselves?

I hereby decree that

Prime Minister Cao Cao

be commissioned as the Commander of the Imperial Army

and go forth to pacify the South

Thank you, Your Majesty

Senator Kong Rong wishes to speak

Liu Bei is Your Majesty's uncle,

and Sun Quan is the third-generation heir to the Dukedom of Wu

They have no intent to rebel

Whereas you, Prime Minister,

are not only seizing all the powers of state,

but also intend to mobilize the entire army

There is no justifiable reason for your war!

Though you have solemnly vowed yourself

loyal to His Majesty's Court,

you will not be able to convince everyone!

The next one to put down a rebellion,

may not be you, Prime Minister,

but Liu Bei

and Sun Quan!

He is the first sacrifice

I thank the Prime Minister for this wine


Form up!

Watch it

My Lord


My Lord

You have returned

Our men made all possible efforts to hold our ground

until the last minute before abandoning the town

Luckily, most of the peasants have already fled

through the valley

My Lord!

The two ladies and the Young Master

are still trapped in the village

My ladies, please be careful

Don't cry

General Zhang

Chief Strategist, how does the situation look?

Cao Cao's pursuing forces are greater than anticipated

The cavalry vanguard will arrive at any moment

The Cao cavalry will use

a wedge formation to attack

We will reflect the light into their eyes to hold them off

Remember, the refugees need

at least an hour to retreat

We need a thousand more soldiers

for the second line of defense!

Leave it to me



My Lord

Zhu-ge Liang,

the peasants are moving slowly

It looks like they will need at least another four hours

We urgently need a thousand soldiers from here

Go aid General Zhang

That way Cao Cao cannot chase them

The peasants can be left to themselves

Cao Cao intends to make us surrender

He will not kill them

No! As you can see,

the elderly, the women, and the children all need our help

My Lord,

these peasants are dragging us down

To succeed, you have to set aside these trivial matters

These are Han people

They followed us only to escape from Cao Cao's regime

If we cannot offer protection to the civilians

then what is the meaning of this war?

I will find Guan Yu

Go and help my Lord


Quickly! Bring the horse for My Lady

That looks like Liu Bei's family

Go get the baby!

My Lady!

General Zhao,

he is my Lord's only flesh and blood

He must not fall into enemy hands!

Rest assured, My Lady

I will take you and the young Master to my Lord

Let's go! Get on the horse!

My Lady, quickly!

My Lady!


My Lady!

Step apart!

Flip the shields!


Let's go!


Chief Strategist,

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John Woo

John Woo SBS (Ng Yu-Sum; born 1 May 1946) is a Chinese-born Hong Kong film director, writer, and producer. He is considered a major influence on the action genre, known for his highly chaotic action sequences, Mexican standoffs, and frequent use of slow motion. Woo has directed several notable Hong Kong action films, among them, A Better Tomorrow (1986), The Killer (1989), Hard Boiled (1992), and Red Cliff (2008/2009). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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