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Shanghai Grand (San seung hoi taan) (1996)

  Directed by: Man Kit Poon
Starring: Leslie Cheung
Links: Shanghai Grand on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"A sentimental gangster story" - a review by timchuma

A 1930's gangster film set in Shanghai with lots of baddies, the usual gangster stuff and a completely stupid bit with a killed python and femme fatale.

Leng Tik (Leslie Cheung) is one of the two main characters in the film who starts out as a nightsoil collector and rises through the ranks of the gang after saving the daughter of a gang leader. I liked the Rhett Butler (you know, Clark Gable's character from Gone with the Wind (1939)) style moustache that he sports throughout the later stages of the movie. Another standout scene with Leslie is when he is forced to play a game of Mah-jong where he loses a finger if his tile is less than the boss.

Man-Hui Keung is a Taiwanese soldier who escapes from a cargo ship after all his friends are trapped in a big cage. Tik finds him beneath a statue on the foreshore in Shanghai and they become best friends after he rescues his mother from a fire set by a gang boss.

One of the good things about this film was the 'chapters' devoted to Leslie's character, Ching Ching, and the final showdown, as they are very well handled.

Also a standout were the costumes and locations as they really suited the period.

I would recommend this film to people who want a romance but it would also be good for boyfriends as they wouldn't get bored as there is plenty of action.

timchuma gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 10 Feb 2005

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