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Year of the Dragon (1985)

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A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.

Director:

Michael Cimino

Writers:

Robert Daley (novel), Oliver Stone (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Stanley White
John Lone ... Joey Tai
Ariane ... Tracy Tzu
Leonard Termo ... Angelo Rizzo
Raymond J. Barry ... Louis Bukowski (as Ray Barry)
Caroline Kava ... Connie White
Eddie Jones ... William McKenna
Joey Chin Joey Chin ... Ronnie Chang
Victor Wong ... Harry Yung
K. Dock Yip K. Dock Yip ... Milton Bin
Hon-Lam Pau ... Fred Hung (as Pao Han Lin)
Way Dong Woo Way Dong Woo ... Elder
Jimmy Sun Jimmy Sun ... Elder
Daniel Davin Daniel Davin ... Francis Kearney
Mark Hammer Mark Hammer ... Commissioner Sullivan
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Storyline

Chinatown, New York City. There has long been an unofficial agreement that the NYPD will leave the traditionally run Chinese triad alone to manage the crime issue in the neighborhood, the triad who is the face of organized crime of Chinatown. The triad also has an unofficial agreement with the Italian mafia, still seen as the major player in organized crime in the city, to be cooperative in a win-win situation in their illegal activities. However, the Chinese youth gangs are disregarding these unofficial agreements, being another violent player in the crime scene in Chinatown, they who take a stand by killing Jackie Wong, the head of the triad. To deal with the matter, the NYPD reassign Captain Stanley White from Brooklyn to Chinatown. Stanley, of Polish heritage, is not averse to slinging slurs toward his adversaries, most of those of a racial nature. This reassignment will not help the already deteriorating marriage he has to his long suffering wife, Connie. While Stanley is ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It isn't the Bronx or Brooklyn. It isn't even New York. It's Chinatown...and it's about to explode.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Manhattan Sur See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,093,079, 18 August 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Cimino and Oliver Stone first met when Stone approached Cimino to direct Midnight Express. Cimino had to pass, as he was just about to start production on his passion project, The Deer Hunter (1978). Years later, while in pre-production on Year of the Dragon, Cimino remembered how much he loved the script for Midnight Express, and asked Stone to collaborate on the script. See more »

Goofs

When Connie is in the bathroom before she is killed by intruders, there are 2 red spots on the lens, one on the right and one on the left. These are probably from a previous shot where fake blood got splattered on the camera lens and the operator failed to notice it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tracy Tzu: Captain McKenna, any leads in the murder of Jackie Wong?
William McKenna: Nothing at this time.
Tracy Tzu: Do you think this killing means there's some kind of war going on in the Chinatown Tongs?
William McKenna: No, I don't. This is basically a situation where the youth gangs are lashing out at the establishment. The community is cooperating. The situation's under control.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits roll over a squeezed image of the Chinese woman restaurant-singer crooning a Chinese easy-listening ditty. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Reviewers (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Uphill (Peace Of Mind)
By Frederick Knight
Irving Music, Inc., Two-Knight Music
Arrangement and Keyboards by Marcus Barone
Produced by Raul Rodriguez
Performed by C.O.D.
Courtesy of Emergency Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the more realistic films about Chinese Americans
17 August 2003 | by 2004RedSoxSee all my reviews

When "Year of the Dragon" was released in 1985, it was ripped to pieces by Chinese anti-defamation organizations as being a very racist film. The film was likewise given lot of bad reviews by critics, who probably wanted to be politically correct.

Being a Chinese American who was raised in Boston's Chinatown, I had expected bad things about this film. Even though "The Deer Hunter" is a great film, the depictions of Vietnamese and Chinese in that film are truly horrendous (no, Chinese DID NOT engage in Russian Roulette!!) I expected the same with "Year of the Dragon." I was totally shocked after I saw the film at how realistic the film was about Chinatown. I do understand many Chinese Americans do not want themselves portrayed as drug dealers, gang members, etc. However, I don't think there has been any film in Hollywood history who portrayed the dark side of Chinatown as accurately as this film. I know because I grew up in the area when there lot of Chinese street gangs and mafia activity.

The sad thing is after this film was released, depictions of Chinese Americans has gotten a LOT worse; they are depicted as chopsocky kung fu gangsters (now isn't that ironic!!) in Jet Li and Jackie Chan movies, or as baby killers, rapists, or domineering bigots in "The Joy Luck Club" (by the way, this film is truly truly AWFUL in it's portrayals of Chinese; the ignorant critics however gave this movie great reviews.) Strangely, Chinese anti-defamation leagues has been very silent during these years.

"Year of the Dragon" is Cimino's unappreciated gem. According to my view, it's his second best film. I understand this film has flaws but Cimino was brilliant in showing the side of Chinese Americans that few Americans know. Not all of us Chinese went to CalTech or MIT and became successful software engineers or research scientists.


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