John Woo (Chinese name: Wu Yusen 吳宇森 in pinyin: Wu2 Yu3sen1, in Gwohngdongwa pengyam: Ng4 Yue5-sam1) (b. May 1, 1946) is a Chinese film director known especially for the ballet-like violence in his movies.

Born in China, Woo became a famous director in Hong Kong. He started making films in the United States in the 1990s, most of them action fims. Face/Off was his first film made in Hollywood that critics and other movie-goers equally appreciated, while Mission: Impossible II was also an action flick, and a blockbuster.

When asked about the doves that keep appearing in his films, Woo said:

"I love doves. I am a Christian. Doves represent the purity of love, beauty. They're spiritual. Also the dove is a messenger between people and God. When I was in high school and I used to draw posters for the church, I would draw a picture of a dove. When I shot The Killer, these two men, the killer and the cop, they work in different ways, but their souls are pure, because they do the right thing. In the church scene, I wanted to bring them together. I wanted to use a metaphor of the heart. I came up with doves - they're white. When the men die, I cut to the dove flying-it's the soul, rescued and safe, and also pure of heart. So the dove became one of my habits: I used it in Hard-boiled, Face/Off, and in Mission: Impossible II, at the end of the movie."


  • Paycheck (2003)
  • Windtalkers (2001)
  • Mission: Impossible II (2000)
  • Hong Kong Face-Off (1998)
  • Blackjack (1998) (TV)
  • Face/Off (1997)
  • Once a Thief: Brother Against Brother (1996) (TV)
  • Broken Arrow (1996)
  • Hard Target (1993)
  • Lashou shentan (1992) English title: Hard-boiled
  • Zong sheng si hai (1990) Once a Thief
  • Die xue jie tou (1990) Bullet in the Head
  • Die xue shuang xiong (1989) The Killer
  • Yi dan qun ying (1987) Tragic Heroes
  • Yinghung bunsik II (1987) A Better Tomorrow II
  • Ying huang boon sik (1986) A Better Tomorrow
  • Ying xiong wei lei (1986) Heroes Shed No Tears
  • Liang zhi lao hu (1985) Run Tiger Run
  • Xiao jiang (1984) The time you need a friend
  • Ba cai Lin Ya Zhen (1982) Plain Jane to the Rescue
  • Hua ji shi dai (1981) Laughing Times
  • Mo deng tian shi (1981) To Hell with the Devil
  • Ha luo, ye gui ren (1978) Hello, Late Homecomers
  • Hao xia (1978) Last Hurrah for Chivalry
  • Da sha xing yu xiao mei tou (1977) Follow the Star
  • Fa qian han (1977) Money Crazy
  • Qian zuo guai (1977) From Riches to Rags
  • Din?hua (1975) (as Yusen Wu) Princess Chang Ping
  • Shao Lin men (1975) Hand of Death
  • Tie han rou qing (1975) Ninja Kids
  • Nu zi tai quan qun ying hui (1974) Belles of Taekwondo

See also: Cinema of China