IMDb > The Master (1989)

The Master (1989) More at IMDbPro »Lung hang tin haa (original title)

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The Master -- Trailer
The Master -- US Home Video Trailer from Buena Vista Home Entertainment


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Hark Tsui (story)
Kee-To Lam (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Master on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 May 1992 (Hong Kong) See more »
Loyalty. Honor. Vengence.
Uncle Tak, the old martial-arts master and medicine in normal life has severe problems with his former student Jonny... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
a brief but masterful introduction of the martial arts to the West. See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jet Li ... Jet

Wah Yuen ... Uncle Tak
Crystal Kwok ... May

Jerry Trimble ... Jonny
Anne Rickets ... Anna

Rueben Gonzáles ... Cito
Guy Fadollone ... Ruben
Derek Anunciation ... Mouse

Henry Penzi ... Mouse
Michael Burke ... Oscar
Camille Carrigan ... Jeannie
Wayne Post ... Jimmy
Pamela J. Anderson ... Coach
George Cheung ... Paul
Steven Ho ... Jonny's Student
Kevin Cole ... Jonny's Student

Chris Carnel ... Jonny's Student

David Wald ... Jonny's Student
Stefanos Miltsakakis ... Jonny's Student
Mark Williams ... Hawks member
Erwin Villegon ... Hawks member
Spencer Platerns ... Hawks member
Ray Wizard ... Hawks member
Alfred Bonilla ... Hawks member
John Kreng ... Hawks member
Wei Ho Tu
Bing Hong Lam
Yin Ming Chan
Ching Cheung
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Corey Yuen

Billy Blanks ... Black Thug (uncredited)

Rich Hopkins ... Johnny's Student (uncredited)
Dale Jacoby ... Jonny's Student (uncredited)
John Trujillo ... Johnny's student (uncredited)

A.J. Watson ... Johnny's Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Hark Tsui 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kee-To Lam  screenplay (as Kei To Lam)
Tai-Mok Lau  (as Tai-Muk Lau)
Jack Maeby  english adaptation
Hark Tsui  story

Produced by
Anthony Chow .... executive producer
Siu-Tin Lai .... executive producer
David Lo .... co-producer
Hark Tsui .... producer
Original Music by
Yee Tat Lam 
Cinematography by
Henry Chan 
Paul A. Edwards 
Film Editing by
Peter Cheung 
Ma Kam 
Production Design by
Lynn Christopher 
Art Direction by
Bret Alexander 
Gil Draper 
Makeup Department
David Gamboa .... makeup artist
Production Management
Kimberly Berman .... post-production supervisor (english version)
Chi Hung Chu .... production manager
Shannon McIntosh .... executive in charge of production (english version)
Mark Morris .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Worth Keeter .... assistant director
Tom Koel .... second assistant director
Randy Pope .... assistant director
Mike Snyder .... first assistant director
Art Department
Robyn Jacobs .... property master
Yin-Wai Wong .... props
Sound Department
Siu-Lung Ching .... sound effects editor
Hsue-yui Fung .... dubbing editor: mandarin
Anne Mather .... dubbing editor: english (as Annie Mather)
Yu Ting .... dubbing editor: cantonese
Yung-hsiang Cheng .... stunts
John Kreng .... stunts
Wei Ho Tu .... stunts
Chun Yeung Yuen .... stunt coordinator
Wah Yuen .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Brett Allen .... Steadicam operator
Hoi-Fai Chan .... still photographer
Ging-Nin Cheung .... gaffer
Mason Hersey .... first assistant camera
Todd McMullen .... director of photography: second unit
Charles M. Smallwood .... best boy grip
Jene Youtt .... gaffer
Eric Sundt .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Ethan Maniquis .... additional editor: english version
Tom Gleason .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Other crew
James Campana .... mechanic
Chi-Keung Chiu .... production coordinator
Anthony Chow .... presenter
Steve Gates .... continuity
Steve Gehrke .... script supervisor
Kei Hayashi .... continuity
Denise Iketani .... continuity
Siu-Tin Lai .... presenter
David Lo .... planner
Sam Mui .... continuity
Steve Phan .... production assistant
Eric Sundt .... continuity
Sue Woo .... continuity
Ping Wu .... voice: english version
Masaki Yokochi .... title designer: main and end titles
Raymond Yu .... continuity
Wah Yuen .... action director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Lung hang tin haa" - Hong Kong (original title)
"Hard Blood" - Japan (English title) (video title)
See more »
Rated R for violence and some language
Hong Kong:92 min | USA:88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

According to rumor, Jet Li and Jerry Trimble did not get along with each other during production. On the commentary for the Fortune Star DVD release, Bey Logan addresses this and claims that while Li and Trimble were not unfriendly, they viewed each other competitively based on their respective backgrounds in martial arts.See more »
Boom mic visible: When May and her boss are in the office, you can see the boom mic in the reflection of the window at the very top.See more »
May:[May has Jet arrested for trespassing in Uncle Tak's shop but gets him out on bail and tries to talk to him] Jet! I went through a lot of trouble to bail your out of there. Some thanks would be appreciated.
Jet:So why you lock me up then?
May:[dryly] Well look, you asked for it.
Jet:[calmly] No.
May:Look, it's my job to look after the shop, okay?
Jet:[Jet's not listening to May, he's trying to concentrate on what happened to Master Tak] I worried that... Master Tak got hurt in a fight.
May:[frustrated] You Chinese men and all your stupid fighting! It's what ruins our reputation here in America!
See more »
Movie Connections:


What are the differences between the US Version and Uncensored Version?
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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
a brief but masterful introduction of the martial arts to the West., 5 March 2006
Author: mjazz1 from United States

This film The Master is wonderful. Admittedly it may initially disappoint, but this should only happen on first viewing. It is a movie that requires attention to detail (as all masterpieces do) and knowledge of other martial arts movies and legends. Nonetheless, after first viewing (during which time the proverbial penny should drop and deeper understanding commence), there are amazing viewing rewards! In fact, if you should ever want to show off your knowledge to others of the deeper purpose of martial arts and/or Jet Li, well, this is definitely THE movie to have! First, though, to find the deeper story! So, to help the penny drop and to help find full appreciation of the consummate mastery of this Tsui Hark movie (especially its script), consider the possibility that the Master = Bruce Lee, the first internationally-recognized master of martial arts. On another level, to move closer to the story's higher purpose, consider the Master as the true spirit and/or reason for the practice of martial arts.

Second, consider the possibility that the movie is an extremely respectful criticism of the post-Bruce-Lee commercialism of martial arts (and the resultant use of martial arts in street violence).

Finally, consider the possibility that the martial arts people of the East saw a need to reinforce (via another master: Jet Li) the true spirit and/or reason of martial arts to the people of the West. This last point helps explain why the movie is set in modern-times and why it deliberately avoided the high-wire tricks; the movie is introducing to America the real martial arts mastery of Jet Li. In so doing, it is dealing with real social/cultural issues in a real way with a real and meaningful answer; for that answer watch the non-preaching and non-judgmental corrections to violence in this specific movie!

Now, to match the above viewing suggestions to the movie! The Master opens with the master as a doctor who is physically healing and attempting to mentally heal/warn/correct a macho streetfighter type. In fact, the movie actually links this doctor (via the Po Chi Lum herbal medicine shop) to Wong Fei-Hung. Wong Fei-Hung, you may recall, was the master from Once Upon A Time in China: an all-but-divine hero in Chinese martial arts history who was born in 1849 and who inherited a herbal medicine shop call Po Chi Lum, a shop where he also taught Kung Fu! The dimension and breadth of the movie should now start to tease sensibilities into a state of alertness! Jet Li, of course, had already starred as Wong Fei-Hung in earlier movies (and how!) but, because there is a higher purpose to this story than pure commerce-driven martial arts entertainment, Jet Li does not play the role he immortalized for cinema-goers. Instead, Jet Li plays one of this master's students! Why? Well, in brief, Jet Li is paying homage to the mastering spirits and legacy of martial arts. Why? Well, in brief, that's the lesson the West needs to re-learn; otherwise, the martial arts can be used for violence and destruction, not personal and community peace and safety.

At this point, consider the role that Jet Li plays in this movie: like his master, he is a healer (i.e. of the policemen's ulcers, which also suggests the authorities have not quite learned how to correct and stomach street violence! So, the movie has a social critique at work too! Truly, this story gathers to a giddying greatness the more it is meditated upon! It's great! Then, of course, Jet Li is a man of peace despite, and because of, his great martial arts skills. This is why he won't teach the Latino gang the martial arts (because they will use such skills violently for personal ends, not to help ensure personal and public peace; later in the story, Jet Li teaches them enough to protect themselves. This is a very fine edge of difference; but a critical difference! Jet Li is also a worldly innocent (as beautifully and humorously demonstrated by the one-sided romance).

Of course, all Jet Li's don't-call-me-master positive qualities are in sharp contrast to the call-me-master "bad" student's ego-driven mistakes (including the mistake of never having learned what the true purpose of martial arts actually is i.e. mastery over self and the resultant increasingly-perfected personal path to peace! So, as the bad student very capably shows, to challenge and/or kill a master = to lose directions to the true meaning of martial arts = to not be a master; regardless of physical prowess = to be killed by the self as a martial arts exponent). To become a true master (and, thus, find the invisible hands of non-terrestrial-power making you effortlessly invincible), this movie suggests, requires a full willingness to place martial arts in the service of humanity ....!

Actually, enough ... it is time to stop! It will take a book or two to explain this movie ... it is great! There are problems for viewers, certainly, because both before and after this specific movie, Jet Li starred in some of the most sublime action/martial arts movies in the history of world cinema; nevertheless, The Master is also an awesome achievement once the deeper story starts to become visible! Be patient with this movie, it will reward ... a masterpiece is patiently and respectfully waiting to speak to you! Be warned: when the glory of the story starts to gather momentum, your eyes will widen and smiles will arrive like a thousand chuckling sunrises! A masterpiece of reverence for life and community spirit has been scripted here and, as is clear from the fact that he doesn't play Wong Fei-Hung (the master), Jet Li clearly demonstrates his accord with the spiritual values offered by the infinitely disciplined, fully loving immortal heart of martial arts!

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