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Chicken and Duck Talk (1988)
"Gai tung ngap gong" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 388 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Old Hui runs a restaurant specializing in roast duck. His secret duck recipe is very tasty, but customers and staff alike have to put up with the filthy shop and Hui's cost-cutting way of ... See full summary »

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Title: Chicken and Duck Talk (1988)

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Director: Michael Hui
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Hui ...
Ah Hui
Ricky Hui ...
Cuttlefish
Sylvia Chang ...
Mrs. Hui
Lowell Lo ...
Chimp Chan
Wing-Cho Yip ...
Pang
Lawrence Ng ...
Danny Poon
Kai-Nam Ho ...
Alan
Yan Pak ...
Hui's Mother-in-Law
Ying-Ying Hui ...
Maria
Feng Ku ...
Richard
Koon-Lan Law ...
Mrs. Chan
Yung-kuang Lai ...
Health Inspector
Siu-Ling Lee ...
Health Inspector's Girlfriend
Leung Ng ...
Hui's Son
Gloria Yip ...
Judy
Edit

Storyline

Old Hui runs a restaurant specializing in roast duck. His secret duck recipe is very tasty, but customers and staff alike have to put up with the filthy shop and Hui's cost-cutting way of doing business. When ''Danny Fried Chicken'' (an American-style fast-food restuarant) opens up across the street, Hui receives a rude shock and is forced to lift his game to compete. He might even have to supply clean chopsticks. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fast food | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 July 1988 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Chicken and Fast Food  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ah Hui: Sir, is the food alright?
husband customer: Yes, the food is more delicious & the place is more clean.
wife customer: Hey
[trying to discourage husband from lighting up a cigarette]
husband customer: Do you mind if I smoke?
Ah Hui: Hmmph, do you mind if I fart?
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User Reviews

 
A comedy that is easy to overlook deep philosophical issues
14 October 2007 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

The "Chicken and Duck Talk" was one of the classic films produced by Hong Kong's film industry in its heydays from 1980 to 1995. The story itself is simple enough: an old mom-and-pop restaurant suddenly faces a new flashy competition in the form of a fast food store, and Michael Hui as the owner of the restaurant struggled but succeeded in winning the battle for business after reimaging his business. On a purely entertainment level, Michael Hui with his side-slap comedy skills, entertain audiences with various hyperbolic acts, which should keep the audience entertained on a bored night. This is a perfectly legitimate perspective to view the film but it misses the deeper theme.

Underneath the comedic acts, Hui managed to convey the concept of no matter how good traditional ideas/things are, if you can't market them by making them look pleasing and attractive to bells-and-whistles obsessed shallow modern/postmodern generations, you stand no chance against competitors that are all-show-but-no-depth. If you managed to get this point, congratulations, you are watching the film at a deeper level than 98% of Hong Kong's population, who by and large have failed to appreciate the themes beyond the general concept of good guys overcoming baddies.

And yet another deeper theme that has only gradually started to be appreciated in the early 21st century is the theme of traditional mom-and-pop businesses full of sentimental attachments versus the efficient but heartless modern enterprises. It may not be a wholly accurate depiction by Hui after all - there are plenty of cold heartless tyrants amongst mom-and-pop shops in Hong Kong and also plenty of good multinational companies, but it does give us pause to consider whether we have sacrificed our interpersonal relationships for the sake of modern developments, and whether this must follow the waves of globalization. This theme is still far too radical and anathema for a vast majority of Hong Kong people even 20 years on, who worship at the altars of "economic development above all" and the "out with the old, in with the new" mentality, and as far as I know the film pundits who have raised this point are either from the West or Taiwan.

All this is not surprising if you are aware Hui holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong before he entered the entertainment industry. He knows how to document the good and ills of a society and offer commentaries via visual media. Will the film's deeper themes be appreciated in Hong Kong one day? Hopefully so, if Hong Kong wants to regain its soul.


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