Once a Thief (1991 film)

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For other uses, see Once a Thief (disambiguation).
Once a Thief
Onceathiefwooposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Woo
Produced by Terence Chang
Linda Kuk
Written by John Woo
Janet Chun
Clifton Ko
Starring Chow Yun-fat
Leslie Cheung
Cherie Chung
Kenneth Tsang
Music by Lam Man-yee
Cinematography Poon Hang-sang
William Yim
Edited by David Wu
Distributed by Golden Princess Film Production Limited
Release date(s)
  • 2 February 1991 (1991-02-02) (Hong Kong)
  • 14 January 1994 (1994-01-14) (US)
Running time 103 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
English
French

Once a Thief (Chinese: 縱橫四海; pinyin: Zong heng si hai; Literal Title: Criss-Cross Over Four Seas) is a 1991 Hong Kong crime film written and directed by John Woo, starring Chow Yun-fat, Leslie Cheung, Cherie Chung, Kenneth Tsang, and Chu Kong. The film was released in the Hong Kong on 2 February 1991.

Plot[edit]

The story is of three orphans and their two father figures. They are taken in by both a wealthy crime boss which leads to their close friendship, and a kind police officer. Nevertheless, the trio grows up learning high-tech methods of theft and specialize in stealing treasured paintings. After a heist in France goes awry, Red Bean Pudding is thought to be dead and James takes his place as Red Bean's lover. However, Pudding returns in a wheelchair, and the group begins planning their next heist for themselves, fall out of favor with Chow, and various complications and gun battles ensue.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

The film grossed $33,397,149 HKD in Hong Kong.[citation needed]

Columbia Tri-Star released it on DVD in the United States on 22 April 2003. It included no special features beyond trailers.[1] On 27 December 2004, Hong Kong Legends released a DVD in the United Kingdom.[2] Eight months later, on 5 September 2005, the "John Woo Collection", a 4 disc DVD set, was released. It includes the two action films Bullet in the Head and The Killer.

Reception[edit]

Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club wrote that Woo's style makes up for the film's implausibility and lack of logic.[3] Kevin Lee DVD Verdict wrote that the film has "a lack of focus and an uneven tone".[4] Chris Gould of DVDactive.com rated the film 5/10 and wrote that that there was too much slapstick.[2] J. Doyle Wallis of DVD Talk rated it 2.5/5 stars and called it "an odd and annoyingly silly entry during [John Woo's] most creative period."[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wallis, J. Doyle (2003-05-09). "Once a Thief". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  2. ^ a b Gould, Chris. "Chris Gould takes a look at the latest release from Hong Kong Legends, John Woo's action-comedy Once a Thief...". DVDactive.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  3. ^ Tobias, Scott (2003-05-06). "Once A Thief (DVD)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  4. ^ Lee, Kevin (2003-06-19). "Once A Thief". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 

External links[edit]