The Bund (TV series)
|Written by||Koo Siu-fung
|Directed by||Chiu Chun-keung
|Opening theme||Seung Hoi Tan (上海灘) performed by Frances Yip|
|Country of origin||Hong Kong|
|No. of episodes||25|
|Running time||45 minutes per episode|
|Original release||10 March – 11 April 1980|
|Followed by||The Bund II|
|Literal meaning||Shanghai Bund|
The Bund is a Hong Kong period drama television series first broadcast on TVB in 1980. It is praised as "The Godfather of the East" and spawned two sequels, two remakes, and a film adaptation. The theme song, which shares the same Chinese title as the series and was performed by Frances Yip, also became a memorable Cantopop hit.
The series is set in the 1920s in Republican China. Hui Man-keung is a Yenching University graduate who served three years in prison for participating in the May Fourth Movement student protests. He decides to make a fresh start in Shanghai, where he meets and befriends Ting Lik, a fruit vendor. He invites Ting to be his partner after seizing the executive position in a small-time gang. He also builds up a good relationship with Fung King-yiu, a wealthy tycoon and gang boss, after saving Fung's daughter, Ching-ching, from being held hostage. Fung wants Hui to work for him but Hui refuses. Ching-ching falls in love with Hui. After Ting kills a rival in a personal dispute over a woman, other gangs attack Hui and Ting and destroy their small-time gang. Hui and Ting then join Fung's company for protection. Later, after Hui discovers that Fung is collaborating with secret agents from the Japan-based Black Dragon Society to destroy the patriotic Ching-mou School, he enters a dilemma on whether to uphold his morals or turn against Fung. Hui eventually decides to help the Ching-mou School and he kills the Japanese spy Yamaguchi Kaoriko in a gunfight. Fung is furious when he learns of Hui's betrayal, and he sends his men across Shanghai to hunt down and kill Hui. Ting secretly helps Hui escape on account of their friendship.
Hui fakes his death to evade Fung's men and settles in Hong Kong, where he marries So Wong-tai, starts a new life with her family, and opens a small restaurant. Meanwhile, in Shanghai, Ching-ching is unable to accept the news of Hui's death so she visits Hong Kong when she hears rumours that Hui is still alive there. She meets Hui there but refuses to believe him when he tells her he is already married. Hui then brings her home to show her his family. Unknown to them, Fung's men had secretly followed them and they kill Hui's family. Hui was not at home at the time so he survives. He swears vengeance on Fung and returns to Shanghai to take his revenge.
Hui becomes an adviser to Nip Yan-wong, Fung's business rival. Through many successful manoeuvres, Hui devastates Fung financially and politically. He also tells Ching-ching they can never be together. During Hui's absence, Ting begins to court Ching-ching. After Ting is seriously injured on one occasion, Ching-ching agrees to marry him. Hui suffers an emotional breakdown due to the loss of his family, and after seeing that his ex-lover is about to marry his best friend. His depression ignites the anger in him and increases his thirst for revenge. Hui wants to kill Fung and asks Ting to pave an opportunity. Ting sets them up for a game of Russian roulette in which Fung loses and is killed by Hui.
Ching-ching is unable to forgive Hui for killing her father and she leaves China for France. Although Hui and Ting later cooperate and manage to dominate the Shanghai underworld, Hui is not interested in gang affairs as he is eager to find Ching-ching and patch up with her. Hui is gunned down outside a restaurant by unknown assailants on the night before he was to have left for France.
- Chow Yun-fat as Hui Man-keung (許文強)
- Ray Lui as Ting Lik (丁力)
- Angie Chiu as Fung Ching-ching (馮程程)
- Lau Dan as Fung King-yiu (馮敬堯)
- Kent Tong as Chan Hon-lam (陳翰林)
- King Doi-yum as So Wong-tai (蘇旺娣)
- Lam Kin-ming as Fong Yim-wun (方艷芸)
- Wong Sun as Nip Yan-wong (聶人王)
- Chong Man-ching as Wong Yuet-kei (汪月琪)
- Susanna Au-yeung as Yamaguchi Kaoriko (山口香子)
- Chan Lap-ban as Ting Lik's mother
- Kwan Kin as Lee Man-kei (李萬棋)
- Chu Kong as Bing (阿炳)
- Kiu Hung as Wong Chiu-lun (王照麟)
- Liu Kai-chi as Cheung-kwai (長貴)
- Lee Wai-mui as Choi Hiu-tung (蔡曉冬)
- Tsang Chor-lam as Uncle Cheung (祥叔)
- Leung Hon-fai as Kwong (阿廣)
- Kam Lui as Mr. Sam (岑先生)
- Yau Pui-ling as Mrs. Sam (岑太太)
- Tsui Kwong-lam as Mr. Kwok (郭先生)
- Lok Kung as Chan Lin-san (陳連山)
- Yip Ping as Chan Lin-san's wife
- Cho Chai as Tsat (七哥)
- Chung Chi-keung as Kam Tai-kwong (金大光)
- Ko Kong as Sing (亞成)
- Lau Nga-lai as Ga Yi-yan (賈依人)
- Ling Lai-man as Leung Kwong-yan (梁廣仁)
- Ng Leung as Chiu Sam (趙三)
- Leung Siu-tik as Ngau (亞牛)
- Lam Wai-to as Lo Chau-bak (魯秋伯)
- Ho Wun as Wah Mai-ban (華買辦)
- Tam Chuen-hing as Uncle Kau (九叔)
- Leung Seung-wun as Big Kwong (大隻廣)
- Ye Fung as Oshima (大島)
- Chan Chi-hung as Katsujiro (勝次郎)
- Man Kit-wun as Mei (亞媚) / drama society member
- Lam Man-wai as Lau Ming (劉明)
- Lee Kwok-lun as Cheung Tat-sang (張達生)
- Bak Man-biu as Chiu King-wun (趙景緩)
- Chan Wing-fai as Hon (阿罕)
- Fung Kwok as Yi Sai (伊勢)
- Kwan Wah-lit as Ching-muk (青木)
- Ng Yan-chi as Wong Hon-wan (王漢魂)
- Lee To-yu as Romeo (羅密歐)
- Lee Pang-fai as Inspector Fong (方探長)
- Lee Ka-lai as Pak Fu-yung (白芙蓉)
- Leung Kit-fong as Aunt Hing (慶嫂)
- Chun Wong as Kam (阿金)
- Heung Hoi as Boss
- Law Kwok-wai as Dai Tin Yee (大天二)
- Cheng Tze-dun as Ching-ching's uncle
- Siu Kin-hang as Au-yeung Hon (歐陽漢)
- Chan Kwan-wo as Bo Lit Fu (波列夫)
- Wu Tso-yee as Nina (妮娜)
- Lee Ching-san as Luk Sai-kwong (陸世光)
- Chiu Si-chai as Choi Lo-sam (蔡老三)
- Lung Tin-sang as gambler
- Ng Bok-kwan as martial artist
- Leung Hung-wah as Bing's henchman
- Lo Tai-wai as assassin
- Kwong Chor-fai as inspector in blue
- Wong Oi-ming as teacher
- Cheung Mou-lin as bar girl
- Ko Chun-man as henchman
- Tsang Wai-ming as henchman
- Chan Po-ying as dancer
- Chan Yuk-lun as dancer / drama society member
- Chan Man-yee as dancer / secretary
- Leung Kit-wah as dancer / prostitute
- Lo Chun-shun as dancer / Cheung (阿昌)
- Hui Yat-wah as dancer
- Liu Chun-hung as dancer
- Yu Tong-yung as dancer / drama society member / reporter
- Lai Bik-kwong as Yeung Sing (楊勝) / drama society member
- Chow Sau-lan as singer
- Yip Ka-wah as courtesan
- Shek Siu-lun as translator
- Fong Chow as administrator
- Ma Hing-sang as doctor
- Lee Yeung-do as spy
- Fan Cho-fu as spy
- Wu Chi-lung as Lau Ming's junior / Hui Man-keung's henchman / Ching-mou student
- Lo Kwok-wai as Lau Ming's junior / Hui Man-keung's henchman / Ching-mou student
- Bak Lan as Worker Fung (馮工人) / Cheung Ma (張 媽)
- Chan On-ying as drama society member
- Lam Fung-dan as drama society member
- Hui Kin-sun as priest
- Yeung Chung-yan as reporter
- Chan Bo-ho as reporter
- Felix Lok as reporter
- Lam Yuk-lun as reporter
- Fat Long as Fung King-yiu's henchman
- Wong Si-yan as Fung King-yiu's henchman
- Wong Kam as Fong Yim-wun's servant
- Ho Kwong-lun as Ting Lik's henchman
- Ng Yat-fan as priest
- Cheung Wood-yau as Inspector Yeung (楊處長)
- Tsui Wai-sun as Ting Lik's henchman
- Luk Suk as Inspector Fong (方局長)
- Law Ka-kuen as lady
- Chan Ka-bik as lady
- Hon Yin-nei as lady
- On Tso-la as prostitute
- Tsang Yuk-haa as prostitute
- Mou Chun-tze as woman
- Ching Si-chun as drama society member
- Lok Wai as drama society member
- Natalis Chan as patrol officer
- Kwok Fung as news auditor
The theme song Seung Hoi Tan (上海灘) is a well-known Cantopop song. The song was originally performed in Cantonese by Frances Yip. It was one of the early collaborations composed by Joseph Koo with the lyrics by Wong Jim. The song would also become one of the top 10 songs awarded in the 1980 RTHK Gold songs awards.
Two scenes have subsequently been replicated and parodied in many films and television series in Hong Kong. The wedding of Ting Lik and Fung Ching-ching was one. The death of Hui Man-keung was another. In particular, Chow Yun-fat was propelled into the limelight and became a household name in Hong Kong. The scene where Hui is assassinated outside a restaurant is culturally considered one of the all-time greatest scenes in Hong Kong television.
Sequels, remakes and adaptations
The series was a phenomenal success throughout Asia and the episodes were subsequently re-edited into two features in 1983. Chow Yun-fat's popularity also increased due to his performance in the series.
Chow Yun-fat's character had died at the end of The Bund so he did not return for the sequel, The Bund II, except for a brief flashback cameo appearance. Ray Lui continued portraying his character in The Bund II and The Bund III.
In 1996, The Bund was remade into the Hong Kong television series Once Upon a Time in Shanghai, starring Sunny Chan, Gordon Lam and Nadia Chan as the original characters, and Adam Cheng and Carol Cheng as new characters.
The plot of the 1996 Hong Kong film Shanghai Grand, directed by Poon Man-kit and produced by Tsui Hark, is similar to that of The Bund. Leslie Cheung and Andy Lau starred as Hui Man-keung and Ting Lik respectively.
The Bund was remade again in 2007 into a mainland Chinese television series, Shanghai Bund, directed by Gao Xixi. Huang Xiaoming, Betty Sun, Li Xuejian and Huang Haibo starred as the original characters.
In 2016, it was announced that The Bund would be adapted into a mainland Chinese film under the title The Game Changer, which would be directed by Gao Xixi (who also directed the 2007 remake), and starring Huang Zitao and Peter Ho.
On 6 February 2009, TVB released the original series and its two sequels on DVD format. The original series, substantially edited, was previously released on VCD in 2000.
- IMDB. "IMDB." Soundtracks for shanghai grand. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- 1980s RTHK Gold songs award
- HKfilm. "HKfilm." Shanghai Grand. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- 10kbullets. "10kbullets." Chow Yun-Fat Written by: Michael Den Boer. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- "高希希将执导新电影 黄子韬何润东主演". ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 2016-03-16.