Chungking Express (1994)
"Chung Hing sam lam" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  8 March 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 37,677 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 154 user | 108 critic | 17 from

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.



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Director: Kar Wai Wong


Complete credited cast:
Woman in blonde wig (as Ching-hsia Lin)
Air Hostess
Chen Jinquan ...
Lee-Na Kwan ...
Richard (as Guan Lina)
Zhiming Huang ...
Liang Zhen ...
The 2nd May
Songshen Zuo ...


Wong Kar-Wai's movie about two love-struck cops is filmed in impressionistic splashes of motion and color. The first half deals with Cop 223, who has broken up with his girlfriend of five years. He purchases a tin of pineapples with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month. By the end of that time, he feels that he will either be rejoined with his love or that it too will have expired forever. The second half shows Cop 663 dealing with his breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend. He talks to his apartment furnishings until he meets a new girl at a local lunch counter. Written by Tad Dibbern <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If my memory of her has an expiration date, let it be 10,000 years...


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexuality and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chungking Express  »

Box Office


SGD 167,000 (Singapore)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (international)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Quentin Tarantino signed a deal with Miramax specially to start his own releasing company so that he could get Chungking Express (1994) out to a wider public. See more »


The woman in the blonde wig had no apparent opportunity to get the beeper number except from Cop 223 himself the night before, and he wouldn't have started to abandon his beeper as useless if he had just given someone new the number. See more »


Cop663: Since she left, everything in the flat is sad. Everything needed lulling to sleep.
[to a bar of soap]
Cop663: You've lost a lot of weight, you know. You used to be so chubby. Have more confidence in yourself.
[to a threadbare wet dishcloth]
Cop663: You have to stop crying, you know. Where's your strength and absorbency? You're so shabby these days.
See more »


Referenced in Chinese Eye (2004) See more »


Things In Life
Written and performed by Dennis Brown
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User Reviews

Achingly beautiful film-making
19 March 2004 | by (Liverpool, England) – See all my reviews

Masterful Hong Kong film-maker Wong Kar Wai understands that love is about the unspoken moments between people, the hidden gestures betraying loneliness. Chungking Express is a unique expression of such notions of love. The film doesn't pretend that love is all-embracing and constant, in the way so many predictable films would suggest. Love, for the protagonists of this film, comes and goes between subtle glances - always elusive. Indeed if a level of contentment can be reached at all for these characters - it is a fleeting moment, a memory of a song, the way that somebody smells. There are so many essential moments in this film - when Dinah Washington's 'What a difference a day makes' plays over two lovers cavorting, the moments when characters talk to inanimate objects to overcome their loss of love, the brief glances between the second policeman and the waitress across the counter of the fast-food restaurant. It has been dismissed as an exercise in style over substance by many, mainly due to the hypnotic way in which the film is shot and the lack of a real story as such. I don't feel the need to defend it from these accusations because the beauty of the film is there on the screen and nothing I have said or could say could really do it justice. It breaks my heart every time.

31 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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