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Year of the Dragon (1985)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  16 August 1985 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 8,902 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 32 critic

A racist Vietnam vet becomes a New York cop and cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Year of the Dragon (1985)

Year of the Dragon (1985) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ariane ...
Leonard Termo ...
...
Louis Bukowski (as Ray Barry)
...
...
Joey Chin ...
...
K. Dock Yip ...
Hon-Lam Pau ...
Fred Hung (as Pao Han Lin)
Way Dong Woo ...
Elder
Jimmy Sun ...
Elder
Daniel Davin ...
Mark Hammer ...
Commissioner Sullivan
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Storyline

Using unprecedented degrees of violence, young Joey Tai becomes the head of Chinese mafia in New York and undisputed leader of the Chinese community. Stanley White, the most decorated cop in New York, who hates Asian people since his service in Vietnam, is put in charge of Chinatown. Both men are prone to breaking long-established rules and both men are unlikely to make compromises with each other, which leads to unavoidable and bloody conflict. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It isn't the Bronx or Brooklyn. It isn't even New York. It's Chinatown...and it's about to explode.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Manhattan Sur  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$18,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Michael Cimino and co-screenwriter Oliver Stone envisioned either Nick Nolte or Jeff Bridges in the lead role. After seeing Rourke in The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984) and working with him on Heaven's Gate (1980), Cimino decided on him. See more »

Goofs

The times on all of the clocks in the back-up T.V. studio change freqeuently between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tracy Tzu: Captain McKenna, any leads in the murder of Jackie Wong?
William McKenna: Nothing at this time.
Tracy Tzu: Do you think this killing means there's some kind of war going on in the Chinatown Tongs?
William McKenna: No, I don't. This is basically a situation where the youth gangs are lashing out at the establishment. The community is cooperating. The situation's under control.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits roll over a squeezed image of the Chinese woman restaurant-singer crooning a Chinese easy-listening ditty. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Uphill (Peace Of Mind)
By Frederick Knight
Irving Music, Inc., Two-Knight Music
Arrangement and Keyboards by Marcus Barone
Produced by Raul Rodriguez
Performed by C.O.D.
Courtesy of Emergency Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Balaclava
27 July 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Cimino shows that he is a crass and hysteric filmmaker here. His sensibilities place him somewhere between Cecil B. DeMille and Francis Coppola. He's got to film big, so even a cop flick about violence in Chinatown has to be a saga. There's no weight to it, it just has to be a sprawling story that's only vaguely about social issues of importance. He's got to have both the scope and relevance, preferably something to brood over. He's got to have lots of people and lots of scenery in the frame. There's a pretty ludicrous scene set in backwoods Thailand that only seems to exist so that a Triad boss can majestically gallop in view of a swarm of soldiers (and later brandish a severed head).

There's nothing worse than a filmmaker who can only leverage ambition and control in his art (Coppola once in a while had good intuitions). So at its most profound, cinematic beauty is at perfume ad level here, say a woman in silhouette sliding into a majestic night-view of New York. What's the term, 'elephant art'? I say it doesn't breathe.

Worst of all, since he is very much a storyteller, these days a novelist living in Paris, his dramatic sense is a lot of puff and noise on a typewriter. It has no life. It's screen writing 101 like in one of those books that tell you about the 'hero's journey' and where to put the 'inciting incident': the couple is growing bitter and distant, and it's right on the first scene that they have to curse, yell, and throw things as they explain all that's wrong between them: he's never at home, he doesn't care, she wants a baby.

And he's got the ideal writing partner for this. Oliver Stone: so angry barbs at the media, school-lessons in American and Chinese history, and Vietnam is behind all of it. It's all abrasive on this end, as is Stone.

Mickey Roorke, usually game for roles that call for lots of smirking and boyish thrashing-about, is the violent, crazy, anguished new sheriff in 'Town. He browbeats and ridicules the Chinese journalist girl and of course she goes to bed with him the moment he has finished doing so, because what's more charming than a 'flawed protagonist'.

The film is bookended by public funeral processions and that could have been something, connoting obsession, artificial images, false narratives. Watch John Lone in M. Butterfly for that. Watch Fukasaku for chaotic action.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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