A Better Tomorrow (1986)
"Ying hung boon sik" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  2 August 1986 (Hong Kong)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 15,062 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 57 critic

A reforming ex-gangster tries to reconcile with his estranged policeman brother, but the ties to his former gang are difficult to break.



(as Chan Hing Kai) , (as Leung Suk Wah) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lung Ti ...
Sung Tse-Ho (as Ti Lung)
Mark (as Chow Yun Fat)
Emily Chu ...
Waise Lee ...
Shing (as Lee Chi Hung)
Feng Tien ...
Father Sung
Yanzi Shi ...
Mr. Yiu
Fui-On Shing ...
Hsieh Wang ...
Mr. Wang (as Hap Wong)
Chi Fai Chan ...
'Little' Wang
Ming Leung ...
Uncle Chan
Hing-Yin Kam ...
Mr. Mok
Pierre Tremblay ...
Interpol Officer


This story is the tale of two brothers: one a successful counterfeiter and the younger a fledgling graduate of the HK police academy. The plot revolves around the split when the younger brother learns the other is a criminal and the efforts of the criminal brother to reform. Along the way are plenty of heists, double-crosses, and shoot outs. Written by Victor R. Volkman <sysop@hal9k.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Brothers by blood. Enemies by chance. Killers by nature. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

2 August 1986 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

A Better Tomorrow  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Woo chose gangsters as the heroes because he felt there were no other viable "men of action" in the Hong Kong popular consciousness. See more »


The cello playing at the "audition" (c.11 minutes) is inaccurately mimed. See more »


Mark Gor: If you don't stop pointing that gun, you'll have to use it.
See more »


Referenced in Wolf's Rain: Otokotachi no aika (2003) See more »


Brian Eno
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User Reviews

the start of a trend
20 August 2000 | by (Winnipeg, Canada) – See all my reviews

In the 1980s, Chinese and Taiwanese films stormed into European and American art-house theatres, while for less fastidious audiences, Hong Kong provided cult action films, first Kung Fu pictures then gangster flicks. John Woo became the Crown Colony's hottest director through his kinetic crime flicks that filtered the lyrical violence of Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah, and Walter Hill through an Asian sensibility and re-exported it to the States where Quentin Tarantino became a major admirer. Woo's trademarks are the stand-off, where two or more gunmen hold each other at bay, and the ferocious gunfight in which dozens of people are killed and restaurants blown apart as the hero pirouettes and somersaults while blasting away with two automatic pistols to throbbing, synthesized Western music. "A Better Tomorrow" is a characteristic fable of male friendship, stoicism, courage, and men living by a personal code, in which women are marginalized. It made an overnight star of Chow Yun Fat, who appeared in most of Woo's pictures. The handsome, reserved, athletic Chow is the epitome of Hong Kong movie cool, a moral man in an amoral world, his character is much the same whatever side of the law he is on. The movie also introduced Leslie Cheung, who was to become an iconic figure in mainland Chinese cinema.

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

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