8.1/10
60,838
189 user 95 critic

Chungking Express (1994)

Chung Hing sam lam (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 8 March 1996 (USA)
Trailer
2:40 | Trailer
Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Director:

Kar-Wai Wong

Writer:

Kar-Wai Wong
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Popularity
4,050 ( 80)
10 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Brigitte Lin ... Woman in Blonde Wig (as Ching-hsia Lin)
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Cop 663 (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Faye Wong ... Faye
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... He Zhiwu, Cop 223
Valerie Chow ... Air Hostess
Jinquan Chen Jinquan Chen ... Manager of 'Midnight Express'
Lee-Na Kwan Lee-Na Kwan ... Richard (as Guan Lina)
Zhiming Huang Zhiming Huang ... Man
Liang Zhen Liang Zhen ... The 2nd May
Songshen Zuo Songshen Zuo ... Man
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Storyline

Wong Kar-Wai's movie about two love-struck cops is filmed in impressionistic splashes of motion and color. The first half deals with Cop 223, who has broken up with his girlfriend of five years. He purchases a tin of pineapples with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month. By the end of that time, he feels that he will either be rejoined with his love or that it too will have expired forever. The second half shows Cop 663 dealing with his breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend. He talks to his apartment furnishings until he meets a new girl at a local lunch counter. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If my memory of her has an expiration date, let it be 10,000 years...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexuality and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

The woman in the blonde wig had no apparent opportunity to get the beeper number except from Cop 223 himself the night before, and he wouldn't have started to abandon his beeper as useless if he had just given someone new the number. See more »

Quotes

He Zhiwu, Cop 223: Any canned pineapple that expires on May 1?
Cashier: You know what day it is today?
He Zhiwu, Cop 223: April 30?
Cashier: Right. You think we sell outdated stock?
He Zhiwu, Cop 223: There's still two hours to go.
Cashier: Nobody would buy it. Get a fresh one.
He Zhiwu, Cop 223: People like you are hung up on freshness. You realize what goes into a can of pineapple? The fruit must be grown, harvested, sliced, and you just throw it away! How do you think the can feels about that?
Cashier: Buddy, I only work here. Who cares about how the cans feel? What about how I feel? Loading, more loading, ...
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Alternate Versions

The original Hong Kong release ran 98 minutes. 'Kar Wai Wong' made several changes to the international version, bringing the running time to 102 minutes:
  • The international version expands the scenes where The Blonde prepares for the smuggling trip and later searches for the smugglers.
  • Indian music plays during the smugglers' arrival at the airport in international prints; in the Hong Kong version, the title theme plays.
  • The international version includes the kidnapping of an Indian girl, which does not occur in the Hong Kong version.
  • The sequence with Zhiwu loitering outside his girlfriend's window appears earlier in international edit.
  • In the Hong Kong version, the Faye Wong cover of "Dreams" plays over the shot of 663 drinking coffee. The international version strips out the music (leaving only ambient noise), although "Dreams" still appears at the end of the film. The international cut is Wong's preferred version and has been used for most home video releases. The Hong Kong cut was released on VHS/laserdisc by World Video and on VHS/LD/DVD by Mei Ah.
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Connections

Referenced in Amélie (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Difference a Day Makes
Written by Stanley Adams and María Grever
Performed by Dinah Washington
See more »

User Reviews

 
The way men love!
8 October 2005 | by JomoRisingSee all my reviews

There is something very personal and intimate about this film that I missed the first time I saw it. Chunking was recommended to me by a friend of mine whose opinion I value, so I tried it again - and I believe I got it.

Looking back on many of the romantic films I have enjoyed, I noticed that the main characters are usually women. Even those with men don't delve with any sophistication into the male heartbreak. As a result, I am not sure I know how to properly grieve a failed relationship. LOL.

Here the heroes both suffer from failed relationships. In the first story we don't really see anything of his relationship, we just see that he held on a little too long. More important than the relationship or the reason it didn't work is the aftermath and the acute dysfunction with which he approaches the next. In his first 'May Relationship' he claims the failing was not knowing enough about her so he tries to 'get to know' more about his new 'blonde' love.

In the second story, the cop falls in love with a woman he doesn't even know. How about that for consistency of the way many of us dudes love? When we fall for women, we often fall for the idea of what they represent to us at the beginning rather than the reality of what she is. The shot that Wong Kar-Wai captured in the second cop's apartment in which the heroine hid on the wall in plain sight and the cop looked in the bathroom missing her completely was a fair characterization of the film. --- The male characters fell in love with the idea of a predefined woman and missed, in essence the women that were right under their noses.

Ultimately fascinating.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chungking Express See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,779, 10 March 1996

Gross USA:

$600,200

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$630,512
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jet Tone Production See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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