From Riches to Rags
Dir / Scr: John Woo
Co-starring: Johnny Koo, Chen Chi-chi, Lam Ching-ying
1980 / Colour / D Beta / Cantonese /
Chi & Eng Subtitles / 102min
Ricky Hui, having established himself as a legitimate comedian on the strength of his performance in brother Michael's films, starred in several Golden Harvest films in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many of them directed by John Woo, known then for evoking laughter before he went on to win international fame orchestrating bullets. From Riches to Rags is one of the best from that period. The story about the downside of being rich is an exercise of the 20th century Chinese ambivalence towards money – the same Chinese title is in fact used in two earlier but different films, one from 1938, the other 1953 – taking on a very 1980s flavor through the vivid imagination of Woo (who doubles as writer) and the comic animations of Hui.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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