Bullet in the Head (1990)
"Dip huet gaai tau" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  17 August 1990 (Hong Kong)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,730 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 39 critic

When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever.


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Credited cast:
Waise Lee ...
Fennie Yuen ...
Yolinda Yam ...
Sally Yen
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul's father
Yue Ding
Chi-Ho Lau ...
Viet soldier
Shek Yin Lau ...
Chung Lin ...
Y.S. Leong
Siu Hung Ngan
Ben's mother
Hang Shuen So ...
Jane's mother
Wai Man Tam ...
(as Wei-min Tan)


In 1967, on the way to the wedding of a friend a young man is accosted by a local gang member. Later, the three friends administer justice, in the process of which the gang member is killed, so they leave Hong Kong to avoid the police and the gang. They run black market supplies to Saigon and get embroiled in the war, being arrested as Viet Cong, then later captured by the Viet Cong, and find that their friendship is tested to the limits as they try to escape. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

17 August 1990 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Bullet in the Head  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) (video)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The cost of the film was around US$3.5 million, the highest budget for a Hong Kong film at the time. See more »


When the action moves to Vietnam the movie posters ('Dien Bien Phu', etc.) shown are films that came out well after the Vietnam war was over. See more »


Ben: In Vietnam Fai was like a wild animal, you know why? A bullet in the head... why couldn't you shoot straight? Why make him suffer so much?
See more »


References The Big Boss (1971) See more »


I'm a Believer
Written by Neil Diamond
Performed by The Monkees
S.E. Asia Music
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User Reviews

The best written HK movie ever
12 April 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Crouching Tiger set the standard that HK and Taiwan were able to produce films that were at the same, perhaps even higher caliber than american films. I have always felt that their films were better even before this. One film that convinced me that HK films could reach out further than american films was this film, John Woo's Bullet in the Head. To sum this film up, its basically John Woo's take on Vietnam, but it really hits you harder than any Nam film ive ever seen. Woo pours alot of thought and emotion into the script and characters, making it more than his shootout/gangster outings. the film never pretends to have a positive connotation, and the ending is absolutely one of the best endings in HK cinema. An absolute masterpiece, see it, or you may never understand how a good action/drama should be done.

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