Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Series Preface

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pp. vii-ix

The New Hong Kong cinema came into existence under very special circumstances, during a period of social and political crisis resulting produced the cinematic achievements of the early Soviet cinema, and, we can now say, the recent Hong Kong cinema. If this cinema grew increasingly intriguing in the 1980s, after the announcement ...

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-5

In 1985, John Woo was a journeyman director working hard in romantic comedies and other modest projects, a respected but relatively unremarkable figure still largely on the sidelines of a burgeoning revolution in Hong Kong cinema. Only slightly better known, Chow Yun-fat was known in the movie industry as an occasional romantic lead whose most successful work had been the...

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2. The Film

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pp. 7-35

A Better Tomorrow portrays the tragedies of three men, all on different sides of the law. At the beginning of the film Sung Ji-ho (Ti Lung) is a successful criminal involved in counterfeiting; Mark Lee, "Mark Gor," or "Brother Mark" (Chow Yun-fat), is Ho's suave and loyal partner; and Kit (Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing), Ho's younger brother, is an aspiring police cadet who is unaware of Ho's criminal activities. Mark's honorific "Gor," the Cantonese word for ...

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3. Hong Kong Reception,1986

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pp. 37-63

A Better Tomorrow caused a sensation immediately upon its opening in August 1986. Chow Yun-fat recounts that "at the premiere of the movie you can feel it in the atmosphere that the crowd was very excited by the movie. There was shouting and clapping of hands, which is not something that usually happens in

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4. Global Reception,ca. 1997

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pp. 65-94

After 1986, John Woo and Chow Yun-fat were box office phenomena in Hong Kong, but abroad they had no more prominence than they had enjoyed at home, before the juggernaut of fame set in motion by A Better Tomorrow. The reasons for this neglect were structural: in the mid-1980s Hong Kong film, despite its innovation and local popularity, still remained largely below the...

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5. Afterword: A Better Tomorrow, Today?

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pp. 95-109

Nearly two decades after the first release of A Better Tomorrow., John Woo and Chow Yun-fat find themselves atop the world movie industry, living legends who are globally renowned. Chow, like Bruce Lee before him, has transcended the Hong Kong market to become a male icon to youth throughout America and, unlike Lee, has done so outside an ethnically-specific category such as martial arts. Global superstardom has brought Chow a variety of usual and...

Appendix

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pp. 111-124

Notes

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pp. 125-137

Filmography

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pp. 139-143