Once a Thief (1991 film)
|Once a Thief|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Woo|
|Produced by||Terence Chang
|Written by||John Woo
|Music by||Lam Manyee|
|Edited by||David Wu|
Golden Princess Film Production
|Distributed by||Golden Princess Amusement|
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 caper film written and directed by John Woo, starring Chow Yun-fat, Leslie Cheung, Cherie Chung, Kenneth Tsang, and Paul Chu. The film was released in the Hong Kong on 2 February 1991.
The story is about 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.
- Chow Yun-fat as Red Bean Pudding
- Leslie Cheung as James
- Cherie Chung as Red Bean
- Kenneth Tsang as Chow
- Paul Chu as Godfather
- Bowie Wu as Stanley Wu
- John Tang Yat-gwan as Young Red Bean Pudding
- Tong Ka-fai as Young James
- Leila Tong as Young Red Bean
- Declan Wong as Magician Henchman
- David Wu as Auctioneer
Columbia Tri-Star released it on DVD in the United States on 22 April 2003. It included no special features beyond trailers. On 27 December 2004, Hong Kong Legends released a DVD in the United Kingdom. Eight months later, on 5 September 2005, the John Woo Collection, a four-disc DVD set, was released. It includes the two action films Bullet in the Head and The Killer.
Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club wrote that Woo's style makes up for the film's implausibility and lack of logic. Kevin Lee DVD Verdict wrote that the film has "a lack of focus and an uneven tone". Chris Gould of DVDactive.com rated the film 5/10 and wrote that there was too much slapstick. 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."
- Once a Thief (1996), a Canadian TV film remake starring with Nicholas Lea and Ivan Sergei that was later spun off into a television series of the same name which ran from 1997 to 1998. Both films were directed by John Woo.
- Wallis, J. Doyle (2003-05-09). "Once a Thief". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- 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.
- Tobias, Scott (2003-05-06). "Once A Thief (DVD)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- Lee, Kevin (2003-06-19). "Once A Thief". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2014-08-04.