Rich and Famous (1987) film thoughts… Ever since I saw The Killer in 1989, I have been enamored with modern Hong Kong films. From the late 1980’s to the early 90’s, there were so many great films coming out, you couldn’t believe it would end… (it soon would). I have seen and own many films from this time period and I consider myself well read on the subject. That was until I found this film sitting on the shelf at a used DVD shop. “What the hell is this?” The very famous Chow Yun Fat is on the cover in his now iconic pose….did I miss something? I looked it up in the book Asian Cult Cinema (Thomas Weisser, 1997) and it was given a so-so review. So of course, I had to fast track this in front of the 100’s of unwatched films in my collection to see for myself…

Yung & Kwok are two young brothers trying to make it in Hong Kong circa the 1960’s. Unfortunately, Yung is a bit of a trouble maker and Kwok is always bailing him out of bad situations. One event goes far south and they turn to Triad leader Lee Ah-Chai (played with precision by Chow Yun Fat) for help. It seems they are all from the same geographical area of China, so of course, Chai takes them on. Yung lets things go to his head and goes towards a quick downwards spiral. Everything leads to a huge battle at the end of the film but who remains standing (strong?).

If you seen The Killer and A Better Tomorrow, you will see many similar themes running through this film. That might seem samey to the HK film veteran, but that is exactly why we love these films. It’s extremely violent, loads of betrayal and backstabbing…and of course, heroic bloodshed by the bucketful. There are some nasty kills & I still can’t never wrap my head around how people can remain standing after taking so much punishment (That is HK films for you). The story is actually very complex and not boring from the couple of reviews I have read. The funny thing is not only did I not know about this one, there is a direct sequel called Tragic Hero (1987) which I now have to seek out. So Rich and Famous is a definite hit with The Fiend here. (It may be hard to find…but I do see it’s up on You Tube)

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2 thoughts on “Rich and Famous (1987) film thoughts…

  1. Good review, David. And good to see you made up your own mind about the film. Thomas Weisser’s HK books are good for looking up titles but over the years I’ve learnt not to trust his opinion. He’s known for reviewing films he never watched. Hell, he’s known for reviewing films that don’t even exist. I own the film and its sequel on VHS and DVD.

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