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Yes, Madam

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Yes, Madam
Yes-madam-poster.jpg
Film poster for Yes, Madam!
Directed by Corey Yuen
Produced by Sammo Hung
Written by Barry Wong
Starring
Music by Romeo Diaz
Cinematography Bill Wong Chung-piu[1]
Production
company
D & B Films[1]
Release date
  • 30 November 1985 (1985-11-30)
Running time
93 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
Box office HK$ 10,019,862[1]

Yes, Madam (Chinese: 皇家師姐, released in the United Kingdom as Police Assassins) is a 1985 Hong Kong action film directed by Corey Yuen, and produced by Sammo Hung, who also co-stars in the film. The film stars Michelle Yeoh as Senior Inspector Ng who teams up with Inspector Carrie Morris (Cynthia Rothrock) to get a hold of microfilm which has been taken unknowingly by low level thieves Asprin (Hoi Mang) and Strepsil (John Shum).

The film was the 26th highest grossing film of the year in Hong Kong and gave Hoi Mang an award for Best Supporting actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards. It has been described as the first film of the "girls with guns" subgenre.[2] Yes, Madam received several sequels in the In the Line of Duty film series.

Plot

In Hong Kong, Inspector Ng (Michelle Yeoh) manages to stop the theft of an armored car by a group of criminals. In another part of the city, a deal is being made between a Westerner and an assassin. After the deal goes sour, the assassin kills the Westerner while the duo of Asprin (Hoi Mang) and Strepsil enter to pickpocket the Westerner and steal his passport. Unknown to all of them, the Westerner had secret microfilm that contained details of a group of criminals involved in illegal activities, most notably the crooked businessman Mr. Tin. Inspector Ng arrives later and is heartbroken to discover that the dead man was Richard Nornen, with whom she was romantically involved.

After authorities find out that Nornen had been working undercover and that the microfilm is missing, the Scottish investigator Carrie Morris (Cynthia Rothrock) is brought in to assist Ng in recovering it. The microfilm is in the possession of some petty thieves, whilst the police are looking for it to prove the guilt of Mr. Tin and his accomplices, who naturally want it destroyed. Meanwhile, Asprin and Strepsil return the passport to Panadol. Panadol sells the passport to a criminal who attempts to leave the country with it, but is thwarted by Morris, who halts him at the airport. Ng allows the criminal to leave but not on the plane, allowing both Morris and Ng to track down the source of the phony passport to Panadol. With Panadol in custody, he inadvertently mentions Asprin and Strepsil as accomplices.

Mr. Tin has the most to lose from the microfilm and sends three thugs to Asprin and Strepsil in order to get it from them. Strepsil admits defeat to them and gives over the microfilm. Ng and Morris then attempt to arrest Mr. Tin for possession of the item, but find that the microfilm in his possession is another one of Panadol's fakes and are unable to arrest him. Tin's thugs then manage to find Panadol but beat him so severely that he dies, while Asperin and Strepsil were going to sell the real microfilm for thousands of dollars. When Strepsil finds that Mr. Tin has the microfilm, Asperin and Strepsil, with the two police officers Morris and Ng closely following, arrive at Tin's house for a final showdown. During the battle, the microfilm is destroyed and Ng and Morris are about to be arrested for trespassing. Strepsil, who had just learned of Panadol's death, becomes enraged and grabs a police officer's gun and shoots Tin, who was about to go free because of the destruction of the evidence.

Cast

Production

Cynthia Rothrock in 2010
Cynthia Rothrock in 2010
Michelle Yeoh in 2007
Michelle Yeoh in 2007
Yes, Madam was the debut film for Cynthia Rothrock and the first starring role in a feature film for Michelle Yeoh.

While working a martial arts demonstration team, the magazine Inside Kung Fu contacted Cynthia Rothrock's team stating that D & B Film was looking for a new male lead to play a Bruce Lee-esque character in a film.[3] Despite looking for a male lead the team has a few women on their team and decided to bring them to demonstrate their skills as well. The studio producers were so impressed with Rothrock's martial arts skills that they offered her the role in the film on the spot and changed the lead from a male to female.[3] When arriving to shoot the film, Rothrock was surprised of her role as she assumed she was going to be in a traditional period martial arts film.[4]

Yes, Madam was the first starring role in a feature film for Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh had previously won the 1982 Miss World Malaysia contest in 1983. After winning the contest she met D&B executive producer Dickson Poon who cast her in a small role in a television commercial with entertainer Jackie Chan in 1984.[5][6][7][8] Her role in the commercial caught the attention of a film production company D&B Films.[5] Yeoh had previously played small roles in Sammo Hung's film Owl vs. Dumbo (1985) and Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985).[8][9] For Yes, Madam!, Yeoh took to stunt work opposed to allowing a double for every stunt. To train for her role, Yeoh worked out in a gym for eight hours a day.[10] Michelle Yeoh stated that both herself and Rothrock did not want the film to be "too hard core", stating that "We wanted the family to come in and watch it"[11]

Yes, Madam!'s score was composed by Romeo Diaz.[1] Diaz would work with director Yuen again on his other films including Fong Sai Yuk (1993).[12] The score also featured parts of the soundtrack from John Carpenter's film Halloween (1978).[13]

Release

Yes, Madam was released in Hong Kong on 20 November 1985.[1] The film grossed HK$10,019,862 at the box office being the 21st highest grossing film of the year in Hong Kong.[14] The popularity of both Yes, Madam and Royal Warriors lead to a small wave of Hong Kong film companies to make their own films featuring fighting females such as the In the Line of Duty and the Black Cat film series.[4][15]

Home media

Yes, Madam! was released and re-released under various titles. In the United States, it was first released under the title Supercops.[16] Along with another Michelle Yeoh film Royal Warriors, Yes, Madam was released under the title Ultra Force 1 and Ultra Force 2 respectively in the European market.[17] Elsewhere the film were re-titled In the Line of Duty and In the Line of Duty 2.[4] The In the Line of Duty films received several sequels.[18][19]

Yes, Madam! was released under its original title on DVD on 17 November 1998.[20] In 2002, the film was released on DVD under the title Police Assassins in the United Kingdom.[21] In Hong Kong, Yes Madam was released on Blu-ray on 7 June 2011 by CMS Media Limited. The Blu-ray features both Cantonese and Mandarin language options and English subtitles.[22]

Reception

At the 5th Hong Kong Film Awards, Hoi Mang received the award for Best Supporting Actor. Michelle Yeoh was nominated for Best New Performer and Corey Yuen and Hoi Mang were nominated for Best Action Choreography.[23]

From retrospective reviews, the BBC gave the film a three star rating, describing the film as "tongue-in-cheek nonsense but fun nonetheless" and praising the fight scenes involving Yeoh and Rothrock.[21] Peter Goddard (The Toronto Star) stated that despite the lead of Rothrock and Yeoh, the film was still focusing on the male actors.[11] The review commented on Corey Yuen's action choreography, describing it as "slick" and "cartoony" but with no "particularly memorable" scenes.[11] In his book The Hong Kong Filmography, 1977-1998, John Charles gave the film a seven out of ten, opining that "like all D&B genre pictures that followed, the storyline is routine but the action certainly isn't."[24] Both Goddard and Charles highlighted a scene where Michelle Yeoh jumps backwards over a rail and through a plate glass.[11][24]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e "Yes, Madam". Hong Kong Film Archive. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Funnell, Lisa (21 May 2014). Warrior Women: Gender, Race, and the Transnational Chinese Action Star. SUNY Press. p. 172. ISBN 9781438452500. 
  3. ^ a b Schubart, 2007. p.145
  4. ^ a b c Schubart, 2007. p.127
  5. ^ a b Crow, Jonathan. "Michelle Yeoh". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Meyers, 2011. p.177
  7. ^ Meyers, 2011. p.178
  8. ^ a b Stair, 2001. p.30
  9. ^ Pang, 2005. p.145
  10. ^ Stair, 2001. p.23
  11. ^ a b c d Goddard, Peter (April 25, 1997). "Slam-bam Yes, Madame! Yes, Madame AA Starring Michelle Khan and Cynthia Rothrock, directed by Corey Yuen Kwai. At the Riviera Cinema tomorrow 7.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.". Toronto Star. p. C14. 
  12. ^ "Fong Sai-Yuk (1993) - Cast and Crew". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  13. ^ O'Brien, 2003. p.26
  14. ^ Morton, 2009. p.146
  15. ^ Pang, 2005. p.146
  16. ^ Lott, p.152. 2004
  17. ^ Schubart, 2007. p.126
  18. ^ Meyers, 2011. p.185
  19. ^ Meyers, 2011. p.186
  20. ^ "Yes, Madam!". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Haflidason, Almar. "Police Assassins DVD (1985)". BBC. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Yes Madam! Blu-ray - Huang jia shi jie". blu-ray.com. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  23. ^ 第5屆香港電影金像獎得獎名單. Hong Kong Film Awards (in Chinese). Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Charles, 2000. p.347

References

See also

External links