Eastern Condors

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Eastern Condors
Easterncondorsposter.jpg
Original film poster
Directed bySammo Hung
Written byBarry Wong
Produced byCorey Yuen
Wu Ma
Jeffrey Lau
Leonard Ho
StarringSammo Hung
Yuen Biao
Joyce Godenzi
Yuen Wah
Lam Ching-ying
Yuen Woo-ping
Corey Yuen
Billy Chow
CinematographyAu Gaam Hung
Arthur Wong
Edited byPeter Cheung
Music bySherman Chow
Production
companies
Bo Ho Films
Paragon Films
Distributed byGolden Harvest
Release date
  • 9 July 1987 (1987-07-09)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryHong Kong
LanguagesCantonese
English
Box officeHK$21,606,063[1]

Eastern Condors (Chinese: 東方禿鷹) is a 1987 Hong Kong action film directed by Sammo Hung, who also starred in the lead role. The film co-stars Yuen Biao, Joyce Godenzi, Yuen Wah, Lam Ching-ying, Yuen Woo-ping, Corey Yuen and Billy Chow. The film was released in Hong Kong on 9 July 1987.

Plot[edit]

Lieutenant Colonel Lam is a Hong Kong-American army officer given a top-secret mission by the US military. The mission entails entering Vietnam to destroy an old American bunker filled with missiles before the Viet Cong can get to them.

Due to the dangerous nature of the mission, a group of 12 Chinese American convicts are selected to accompany him, led by Tung Ming-sun. Survivors are promised a pardon, U.S. citizenship and $200,000 each. After a brief training session they are dropped into Vietnam. During the jump, Lam learns too late that the mission has been aborted. One of the convicts miscounts when to pull his parachute and dies during the landing.

Once in enemy territory, they are met by 3 Cambodian guerillas and take refuge in a small town. There they meet Rat Chieh (aka Chieh Man-yeh), and his mentally ill "Uncle", Yeung-Lung. Due to a request by Colonel Yeung who died in a plane explosion off-screen, the commandos extract Yeung-Lung and a reluctant Rat who is forced to tag along with the convicts.

Later, the squad is captured and incarcerated in a POW camp, where the prisoners are forced to play Russian roulette in a similar manner to the film The Deer Hunter. After escaping, Yeung-Lung is revealed to be have been faking being mentally-ill out of protection and reveals that one of the Cambodian guerrillas is a traitor. The Cambodians execute the traitor after she is revealed by Rat.

With the Vietnamese military in pursuit, they are able to reach the bunker, but the convicts suffer several casualties during the journey. In the bunker Lam orders the convicts to destroy the missiles but is wounded by the Cambodian guerilla leader who wants the missiles for themselves to destroy the Vietnamese and in the process accidentally shoots Yeung-Lung dead. After a brief standoff, the Vietnamese enter the bunker forcing Tung, Rat, Lam, the Cambodians and the remaining convicts to briefly team up and fight the Vietnamese general and his elite soldiers.

During the final battle, the group manages to kill many of the Vietnamese general's elite soldiers but Lam, the Cambodians and most of the convicts are killed in the process. The only survivors are Tung, Rat and Dai Hoi another convict helping them throughout the journey but was tempted to leave several times due to not being told the true nature of the mission. Rat attempts to fight the General but is knocked out in the process. Tung fights and manages to defeat the Giggling General and finishes him by shoving a grenade in the generals mouth.

Tung, Rat and Dai Hoi manage to destroy the missiles and escape the bunker through an underground tunnel where they are rescued by a helicopter presumably flown by the Americans out of Vietnam.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The ensemble of convict soldiers in the film is reminiscent of similar squads in American action war films like The Dirty Dozen. Hung believed his normal size and body shape, whilst suited to his comedic characters in his other films, would be inappropriate for a soldier. In order to get into shape for the lead role, Hung lost 30 pounds in 3 months by surviving on a diet of nothing but chicken and rice.[2] Although set in Vietnam, the most of the film was shot in the Philippines. The scenes set in the United States were actually filmed in Canada.

Theme song[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Accolades
Ceremony Category Recipient Outcome
8th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Joyce Godenzi Nominated
Best New Performer Ha Chi-chun Nominated
Best Action Choreography Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah,
Corey Yuen, Hsiao Ho
Nominated

Home media[edit]

On 2 April 2001, a Region 2 DVD was released by Hong Kong Legends in the United Kingdom.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eastern Condors (1987)". Hong Kong Movie Database. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  2. ^ Sammo Hung (April 2001). Eastern Condors, interview (DVD). Contender Entertainment Group.

External links[edit]