Classic Hong Kong Movies You Have To See
It’s a rainy, gloomy Sunday and you just can’t muster up the strength to get out of bed. Your enthusiastic go-getter type friends will probably urge you to get outside and seize the day, no matter how grey it is. But come on, it’s Hong Kong! We’re notorious for blowing off engagements even when it’s just a light drizzle outside! But, we’re 100 percent on your side if you just wanna to snuggle under your blanket fort with a mug of hot chocolate and binge watch movies. In fact, we’ve got a list of four classic Hong Kong movies to recommend. You can’t call yourself a local if you haven’t watched at least one of these!
1. A Better Tomorrow (英雄本色)
Released in: 1986
Directed by: John Woo
Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Ti Lung, Leslie Cheung
The forerunner of the Golden Era of moviemaking in Hong Kong and the predecessor of the gangster movie genre, A Better Tomorrow is considered one of the finest specimen of Hong Kong cinema by critics and movie buffs. With a box office of HK$34,651,324 at its release, the movie broke records at the time. It also established Chow Yun-Fat as the reigning leading man of the industry for his spectacular performance as Mark Gor.
The story revolves around a reformed criminal played by Ti Lung, who is convinced by his partner Mark Gor (Chow Yun-Fat) to take revenge on their former accomplice. Leslie Cheung plays Ti Lung’s younger brother in the movie, a police officer who battles between morality and familial loyalty.
2. All’s Well, Ends Well (家有囍事)
Released in: 1992
Directed by: Clifton Ko
Starring: Leslie Cheung, Stephen Chow, Raymond Wong, Maggie Cheung, Sandra Ng
What’s a list about Hong Kong movies without an appearance of Stephen Chow? A classic Chinese New Year comedy, All’s Well, Ends Well is interspersed with Chow’s trademark nonsensical humor. Many of the movie lines have since been ingrained in pop culture, and you can expect resonance whenever you quote scenes from the movie.
There’s no straightforward plot to the movie, but it follows the romantic misadventures of three brothers. The scenarios and humor can be a bit convoluted, but in keeping with the genre, everything wraps up in a grand comedic finale. It’s definitely a must-see for days when you just need some brainless entertainment!
3.Chungking Express (重慶森林)
Released in: 1994
Directed by: Wong Kar-Wai
Starring: Tong Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Faye Wong, Brigitte Lin
For the artier types, Chungking Express can be rightly considered as Director Wong Kar-Wai’s love letter to Hong Kong. Featuring many famous locations around the city, including the Central to Mid-Levels escalators, the Kai Tak Airport, and of course, the Chung King Mansions, many of the scenes are lovingly shot and shows an intimate view of Hong Kong.
The movie is comprised of two separate stories that are loosely related to each other. In the first one, Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro) attempts to mend his broken heart but becomes involved with a mysterious woman from the drug underworld. In the second story, Cop 663 (Tony Leung) is also dealing with a breakup and meets a flight attendant (Faye Wong) who tries to cheer him up.
4.Police Story (警察故事)
Directed by: Jackie Chan
Starring: Jackie Chan, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung
A huge success upon its release, Jackie Chan describes Police Story as the best action film he’s produced in his autobiography. It includes the elements of the quintessential Hong Kong action movie: close-quarter Kung Fu combat sequences, dramatic stunts, elaborate gun fights and a strong sense of morality.
Jackie Chan plays a police inspector who becomes framed for murder. He tries to clear his name by downloading some incriminating data from a crime lord’s system, and the movie ends in a theatrical showdown between Chan and the crime lord’s gang.
A lot of these movies are available on DVDs at any video chain store, such as HMV or Hong Kong Records . If you are looking for a cheaper option, you can also try digging around the video stores inside computer malls in Wanchai or Mongkok . Alternatively, you might try searching online – you can rent or buy most of these movies on iTunes.
Karen Chan is a local English copywriter who churns out social posts and taglines for a living. Inspired by her fellow copywriter, she has discovered the joy of working out, and is currently on a quest to live as healthily as her sweet tooth allows. In her spare time, she also loves trying new cafés and restaurants around the city.