IMDb > Painted Faces (1988)

Painted Faces (1988) More at IMDbPro »Qi xiao fu (original title)

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Release Date:
10 November 1988 (Hong Kong) See more »
The story of Beijing Opera School, its teacher Master Yu and his students. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
11 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Very well done. Some truth, some fiction. Excellent Sammo Hung. See more (2 total) »


Chi-Jing Chan

Jackie Chan ... Himself
Pui-Yin Chan
Wen-lung Chang ... Cheng Lung, 'Chan' as teenager

Pei-Pei Cheng ... Ching
Wai-Ming Cheung
Chan-Nin Chow
Wai-Ming Chu
Yam-Fai Chu
Chin-jen Chung ... Samo, 'Big brother' as teenager
Chan-Ban Fung
Pak-Kwong Ho
Ricky Ho
Ming-kuei Hsiao ... Cheng Lung as child
Ku Hui ... Yuan Biao as child

Sammo Kam-Bo Hung ... Master Yu
Ching-Ying Lam ... Wah
Chung-Yeung Lam
Siu-Wai Lau
Lung-Fei Lee
Tien-Hsing Li ... Cheng Lung's mother
John Sham ... Stagehand
Yiu-Kei Siu
Kim-Wai Wong ... Yuan Biao as teenager
Kin-Man Wong
Kwong-Wah Wong
Wu Ma ... Film Director
Shih-hsien Yang ... Samo as child
David Yeung
Hiu-Fan Yu
Hiu-Tung Yu

Biao Yuen ... Himself (epilogue - attending a party for the real Master Yu)
Corey Yuen ... Himself (epilogue - attending a party for the real Master Yu)

Directed by
Alex Law 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mabel Cheung  (as Yuen-Ting Cheung)
Alex Law  writer

Produced by
Mona Fong .... producer
Leonard Ho .... producer
Original Music by
Lowell Lo 
Cinematography by
David Chung 
Film Editing by
Chi-Leung Kwong 
Chun Yu 
Production Design by
Yank Wong 
Makeup Department
Kwong-Mau Chan .... hair stylist
Ivy Law .... makeup artist
Min-Hua Pan .... makeup artist
Yen-Lien Peng .... hair stylist
Pauline Tso .... makeup artist (as On-Fung Tso)
Production Management
Siu-King Wong .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ngok-Chung Chan .... assistant director (as Yue-Chung Chen)

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Qi xiao fu" - Hong Kong (original title)
See more »
112 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in Jackie Chan: My Story (1998) (V)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Very well done. Some truth, some fiction. Excellent Sammo Hung., 13 January 2013
Author: Sassy Cat from United States

Sammo Hung delivers an excellent dramatic performance as Master Yu. This movie is well done and at times very sad. It borrows a lot from Jackie Chan's autobiography on his years at the China Drama (Opera) Academy with Sammo and Yuen Biao.

This film follows the lives of the Opera Academy students and Master Yu who led them during the 1960's. It focuses more on their performance life than the harsh realities of life at the school. It also focuses more on the Master himself than his students, as if it's more about his side of the experience.

Jackie Chan has said that the depiction of Master Yu was sympathetic and that life at the school was a lot harder than the way it was depicted in this film. His book certainly tells of a lot of harsh treatment and punishments they all received on a regular basis, including learning how to do their acrobatics out of fear of getting whipped by the master's, or Big Brother's cane. But this film is clearly not about that, and seems to be intended as "fact-based" tale rather than an exposé, so there's a mix of reality and fiction. The funny thing is that all of their real names are used - sort of. Early in the film a new student arrives, Chan Kong-sang - Jackie Chan's real name. Sammo is also referred to as Sammo and Yuen Biao as Biao. Sammo didn't actually take that name until he had left the school and was working in film. And even though the kids teased Jackie and called him "Big Nose" he did have a name, Yuen Lo, that Master Yu called him and he was known as. The nickname is kind of used to the extreme in this movie as opposed to his proper name. So it strikes me as quite mixed up - it's sort of a fictionalized story borrowing on some of the realities, using their actual names but not entirely accurately. Weird.

Some factual tidbits include the performance where the pants got in the way, the bus incident (though Jackie says they all had to sneak off and jump off the bus while it was moving!), and Jackie's mother bringing hot water to the school to bathe him.

The ending is quite touching, and again fictionalized as it doesn't match Jackie's description. He says that the students gradually left on their own, Sammo first, then him, then Yuen Biao when the school closed.

I'm pointing all of these differences out in order to clarify to anyone who might be curious where the lines of fiction and reality lie, not to criticize the film. In fact the film itself is well done and compelling. And as mentioned, a very strong performance from Sammo. Many beautiful shots and some fun performances by the opera students as well.

Also to note, Jackie Chan is listed as one of the actors on IMDb, but he does not actually appear in the film.

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