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Chan Is Missing (1982)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery | 4 June 1982 (USA)
Two cab drivers search San Francisco's Chinatown for the mysterious Chan, who disappeared with their $4000.

Director:

Wayne Wang

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Wood Moy ... Jo
Marc Hayashi Marc Hayashi ... Steve
Laureen Chew Laureen Chew ... Amy
Peter Wang Peter Wang ... Henry the Cook
Presco Tabios Presco Tabios ... Presco
Frankie Alarcon Frankie Alarcon ... Frankie
Judi Nihei Judi Nihei ... Lawer
Ellen Yeung Ellen Yeung ... Mrs. Chan Hung
George Woo George Woo ... George
Emily Woo Yamasaki Emily Woo Yamasaki ... Chan's Daughter Jenny (as Emily Yamasaki)
Virginia Cerenio Virginia Cerenio ... Jenny's Friend
Roy Chan Roy Chan ... Mr. Lee
Leong Pui Chee Leong Pui Chee ... Mr. Fong
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Storyline

Two cabbies search San Francisco's Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with their $4000. Their quest leads them on a humorous, if mundane, journey which illuminates the many problems experienced by Chinese-Americans trying to assimilate into contemporary American society. Written by Rick Ferncase <ferncase@chapman.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chan Sumiu See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1995. See more »

Quotes

Presco: You guys are looking for Mr. Chan-why don't you look in the puddle?
See more »

Connections

References Li bi gou (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock
(uncredited)
Written by James E. Myers (as Jimmy De Knight) and Max Freedman
Sung in Chinese during the opening scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great American film
6 July 2007 | by alamplsSee all my reviews

This is the best depiction of cultural contact I have seen on film. The title points to several layers of meaning, some of which are missed by many viewers. Most obviously, this is a film about real Asian Americans, not the ersatz and offensive characters of the Charlie Chan films. That Chan is missing but not missed. At the same time, the film is a spoof of Charlie Chan films, with Jo the bumbling detective and Steve the number one son, in an outrageously profane update. Finally, the character in the film, Chan Hung, is missing, and his disappearance is symbolic of a passing that is to be mourned much more than the deservedly-forgotten Charlie Chan movies. Chan Hung is the original immigrant, who struggled to survive in his new country but could never shake his love of his original one. His missing image floats through the film like a lost soul, and adds poignance that helps to counterpoint the ribald comedy. Jo is the bridge, feeling Chan's loss, but fully rooted in America: an "ABC"--American Born Chinese. Steve is the impatient third generation, angry that the plight of the immigrants may overshadow the struggles that U.S.-born Asian Americans continue to face. The conclusion of the mystery is as inevitable as it is sad, but the spirit of the characters who inhabit this film is truly inspirational. One of a handful of films that define an essential part of the American experience.


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