Stanley Tong

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Stanley Tong
Stanley tong kwai lai.jpg
Born (1960-04-07) April 7, 1960 (age 55)
Hong Kong

Stanley Tong (Chinese: 唐季禮; pinyin: Táng Jìlǐ) is a Hong Kong film director, producer, action choreographer, screenwriter, entrepreneur and philanthropist.


Tong started his film career in 1979 by working behind the scenes. Since then, he had worked for different film companies and TV channels. In 1990, Tong directed his first self-funding film Stone Age Warriors(魔域飞龙). The film received high praises from some famous film critics, which attracted the attention of Hong Kong Golden Harvest Entertainment Company. Tong was then invited to join the company as a film director.

Tong is very well known for his action movies. Working closely with Jackie Chan, who is now an international movie star and a Chinese culture icon, Stanley directed some very popular movies in 1990s. Police Story 3: Super Cop (警察故事3:超级警察)in 1992 broke the box office records in many Asian countries and received nomination for Best Film of the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards (the Taiwan version of the Academy Awards). Tong’s following action movies such as Rumble in the Bronx(红番区), Police Story 4: First Strike(警察故事4:简单任务), etc., also created significant box office records. First Strike set a record of HK$57,518,795 among the Chinese language films released in Hong Kong in 1996. Since then, the record had not been broken until 2001.The release of Rumble in the Bronx in the United States became the beginning of Jackie Chan’s fame in Hollywood and later at the rest of the world.

According to IMDb [1], he customarily attempts stunts himself before asking actors to risk themselves. For example, Jackie Chan's leap from a parking garage roof to a fire escape in Rumble in the Bronx and the finale of Stone Age Warriors.

During his stay in Hollywood, Tong also created some popular TV series such as Mr. Magoo (脱线先生)(1997) and Martial Law (TV series) (过江龙)(1998), both receiving best drama ratings in the nation.

In 2000, Tong returned to Shanghai, in hopes to inspire the future generation of filmmakers in China. After his long presence away from home, Tong directed his first film in his homeland, China Strike Force (film) (雷霆战警)(2000). In 2005, Tong worked as the writer and director for film The Myth (film) (神话)(2005). In the same year, Tong wrote and directed Asia's first animation film, Dragon Blood (film) (2005) .

In recent years, Tong produced a number of TV dramas including The Myth (film) (2010), Just Love you (film) (偏偏爱上你)(2012), The Patriot Yue Fei (film) (精忠岳飞)(2013) and film Chinese Zodiac (film) (十二生肖)(2012) .

Apart from filmmaking, Tong has been active with charity work both in USA and China. He also works as guest lecturers all over the country to help cultivate the nation's future filmmakers.

Early life[edit]

Born on April 7, 1960 in Hong Kong, Tong has the same birthday as his close friend Jackie Chan. Finishing his primary education in Hong Kong, Tong took his secondary education partly in Hong Kong and partly in Canada. When graduating from his secondary school in Canada, Tong made his application for major in Medicine at Miles Macdonell College. Unfortunately, his application was refused due to the College’s restriction in admitting foreign applicants. Instead, he was offered by the same college to study Civil Engineering. Tong had no interest in the subject at all that he decided to reject the offer. At the same time, Tong’s brother-in-law, who was then a film director in Hong Kong, asked him to consider a career in the film industry. Since Tong had a personal interest in drama for a long time, Tong made his mind to return to Hong Kong where he started his film career in 1979.

Film career[edit]

Debut in Hong Kong[edit]

Tong had no formal training in film-making but learned the skills largely through his practical work. In 1990, Tong self-funded and directed Stone Age Warriors(魔域飞龙), in which he tried many new techniques. The film was the first one that was shot in New Guinea. After its release, the film immediately received good reviews from the audience. Many film critics also made positive comments about the film. Tong’s successful debut in Hong Kong caused the attention of Hong Kong Golden Harvest Entertainment Company, which led to his following success in the Asian markets.

Success in Asia[edit]

After joining Hong Kong Golden Harvest Entertainment Company, Tong was given an opportunity to direct Police Story 3: Super Cop (警察故事3:超级警察) played by Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Maggie Cheung. By introducing high-tech shooting methods and advanced post-production techniques, Super Cop gave the audience a brand new experience when they watch the film. The film created huge box office success in Asia and was nominated Best Film and Best Stunt Choreography by the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards (the Taiwan version of the Academy Awards). Jackie Chan received the Best Actor award for his extraordinary performance in the film.

Hollywood Breakthrough[edit]

In 1994, Tong directed Rumble in the Bronx(红番区), an action comedy film starring Jackie Chan and Anita Mui. The film was released in the United States in 1996 that had a successful theater run, and brought Chan into the American mainstream. The film is set in the Bronx area of New York City but was filmed in and around Vancouver. In Hong Kong, Rumble in the Bronx broke the box office record earning HK$56,911,136 making it the biggest film in Hong Kong at that time and one of Chan's biggest ever. It was also Chan's North American breakthrough. Opening on 1,736 North American screens, it was number one at the box office in its opening weekend, grossing US$9,858,380 ($5,678 per screen). It finished its North American run with US $32,392,047.

Rumble in the Bronx Hong Kong theatrical poster

New Experiments[edit]

In 2000, Tong directed China Strike Force(雷霆战警), starring Aaron Kwok, Norika Fujiwara, Coolio and Mark Dacascos. The film’s international cast consists of movie stars from China, Japan and America. Tong himself played in an action scene, when he raced a white sports car. Tong then promoted the film all over the world and proved again that a Chinese movie could create good box office records in foreign countries. In 2005, Tong continued his experiment in an international production of the film The Myth (film) (神话). Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, Indian actress Mallika Sherawat and Korean actress Kim Hee-sun co-starred in the film. The film is about the discovery by an archaeologist of the mausoleum built by China's first emperor Qin Shihuang in 221 BC. The film’s premiere ceremony was honored to be held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Chan and Seon sang the film’s theme song which becomes as popular as the film itself later.



China International Media Group Ltd.[edit]

Founded by Stanley Tong in 2001, the company’s main business include: film & TV production & distribution, and film talents training. Many of Tong’s films are partly funded by the company. To cultivate film talents, the company has invested in a training program focusing on stunt performers’ training. Both local and foreign lecturers who are well known in the industry have been invited to give lessons for the program. Students with outstanding performance will have opportunities to play in films invested by Tong’s company.[citation needed]

Other work[edit]

In 2012, Tong was invited by The 15th Shanghai International Film Festival SIFFORUM as a guest speaker. At the forum titled"Far East Dream Factory - Future for Chinese Film Industry Upgrading", Tong shared his views with other panelists in the industry. In 2011, Tong took the role of Honored Consultant for the Film and TV Association of China Public Security Ministry. The Association is established to produce films and TV series featuring crime stories.[citation needed]

In 2008, Tong appeared as a guest judge on the China Beijing TV Station reality television series The Disciple, which aired in Mainland China and was produced by, and features Jackie Chan. The aim of the program is to find a new star, skilled in acting and martial arts, to become Chan's "successor", the champion being awarded the lead role in a film. It concluded on June 7, 2008, with the series winner being announced in Beijing.[5]


Stanley Tong has organized many charitable activities and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the charity work. Some of them include:

  • “Charity Hero“ medal for organizing Hong Kong Yan Chai Hospital fundraising activities
  • The President of the fundraising activity for the elderly homes in San Francisco, USA
  • The Fundraising Ambassador of the “Eastern China Flood Fundraising Committee”, Los Angeles branch
  • The Fundraising President of Hong Kong Disabled Youth Association and Hong Kong Blind People Association
  • Organized fundraising activity for the victims of China’s Si’chuan earthquake


External links[edit]