An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of ethnic Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen. The film was based on the fourth novel in a pentalogy, known in China as the Crane Iron Pentalogy, by wuxia novelist Wang Dulu. The martial arts and action sequences were choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping.
Made on a US$17 million budget, with dialogue in Mandarin, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became a surprise international success, grossing $213.5 million. It grossed US$128 million in the United States, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history. It has won over 40 awards. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (Taiwan) and three other Academy Awards, and was nominated for six other Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film also won four BAFTAs and two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Foreign Film. Along with its awards success, Crouching Tiger continues to be hailed as one of the greatest and most influential foreign language films in the United States, especially coming out of China. It has been praised for its martial arts sequences, story, and cinematography.