The Iceman Cometh (1989 film)

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The Iceman Cometh
The Iceman Cometh FilmPoster.jpeg
DVD cover
Directed byClarence Fok
Yuen Biao (action)
Produced byRaymond Chow
Johnny Mak
Stephen Siu
Written byJohnny Mak
Stephen Siu
StarringYuen Biao
Maggie Cheung
Yuen Wah
Tai Po
Elvis Tsui
Corey Yuen
Stanley Fung
CinematographyHang-Sang Poon
Edited byHung Poon
Golden Harvest
Johnny Mak Productions
Distributed byHong Kong Legends United Kingdom
Tai Seng Video MarketingUnited States
Release date
  • 18 August 1989 (1989-08-18)
Running time
114 minutes
CountryHong Kong

The Iceman Cometh (simplified Chinese: 急冻奇侠; traditional Chinese: 急凍奇俠) is a 1989 Hong Kong martial arts fantasy film directed by Clarence Fok, starring Yuen Biao, Maggie Cheung and Yuen Wah. The film was released in the Hong Kong on 18 August 1989.

Yuen Biao and Yuen Wah (alongside their opera school brother Yuen Tak) also served as action choreographers on the film. Similar to Highlander the film combines elements of sci-fi and historical fantasy with a contemporary setting and action. The film was nominated for three Hong Kong Film Awards in 1990.[1] The film is related to the Eugene O'Neill play.

A remake, titled simply Iceman, was released in April 2014.


In 16th Century China, Ming guard Fong Sau-ching (Yuen Biao) relentlessly tracks the ruthless villain Feng San (Yuen Wah). After Feng San steals the priceless and magical Black Jade Buddha, a titanic martial arts encounter atop a cliff ensues and is only ended when the two men tumble into a glacier where they are instantly frozen. Mistakenly thawed out four hundred years later, Fong Sau-ching must continue his pursuit of his quarry although to survive in 1980s Kowloon with the confounding discovery of electricity, TV and toilets, he's going to need a little help from femme fatale Polly (Maggie Cheung)!



The film's opening fight scene was filmed on location in Korea. This part of the shoot was troubled by snowstorms. This was extreme weather some members of the crew suffered from frostbite while filming.[2] The climatic fight scene took a month to shoot.[3]


The film was a modest hit grossing HK$14 million at the Hong Kong box office.[4] The film appears in Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1,000 favourite films list.[5] He praises Maggie Cheung's comedic performance in particular.[6]


The film was nominated for the following awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards:

  • Best Action Choreography
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Film Editing

Home media[edit]

DVD was released in All Regions in the United States on 27 April 1999, it was distributed by Tai Seng Video Marketing. On 25 July 2005, DVD was released by Hong Kong Legends in the United Kingdom in Region 2.


  1. ^ "The Iceman Cometh's Award Page at IMDB". Retrieved 2009-08-08.
  2. ^ Yuen Biao. (2005) (DVD). Interview. Hong Kong Legends.
  3. ^ Yuen Wah. (2005) (DVD). Interview. Hong Kong Legends.
  4. ^ Bey Logan. (2005) (DVD). Audio Commentary. Hong Kong Legends.
  5. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons (Johns Hopkins University Press 2004) p.422
  6. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons (Johns Hopkins University Press 2004) p.167

External links[edit]