Inside a Chinese prison two inmates form a friendship and face the difficulty of life on the inside.


Ringo Lam


Yin Nam
8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chow Yun-Fat ... 41671 / Chung Tin Ching (as Chow Yun Fat)
Tony Ka Fai Leung ... Lo Ka Yiu / 51910
Ka-Kui Ho ... Micky
Roy Cheung ... Officer 'Scarface' Hung
Victor Hon Victor Hon ... Chiu Chow Man
Frankie Chi-Hung Ng ... Blind Snake
Kwong Leung Wong ... Bill
Man-Gwan Wong ... Mimi
Joseph Chi ... Billy (as Joe Chu)
Fui-On Shing ... Madly
Ming Leung ... Yiu's Father
Shui-Jan Fung Shui-Jan Fung ... Ching's Mother
Yuen-Tat Chan Yuen-Tat Chan ... Kau Suk
Shu-Kei Law Shu-Kei Law ... Prison Warden
Yin Nam Yin Nam ... Prisoner's Head


An explosive crime-drama that caused a sensation upon its release. Audiences gasped for breath from the bloodshed and violence, yet were deeply moved by the fraternal bond between the two leading characters. Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung are riveting as the inmates who get involved with the intracacies of the prision system. Written by Towne 3, San Jose, Ca

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Became a big box office hit in Hong Kong See more »


41671: Be tolerant - you gain peace and calm. Be humble - you reach new horizon.
See more »


Spoofed in The Prisoner (1990) See more »


Light of Friendship
Performed by Maria Codero
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User Reviews

Intense and violent
30 July 1999 | by donleavySee all my reviews

Tony Leung stars as Yiu, who has been jailed for manslaughter. Chow Yun Fat stars as Ching, another prisoner also jailed for manslaughter. Ching is a good-natured prisoner who tries to make the best of his situation, and helps naive Yiu out.

It's a familiar story of the savagery of prison life, as Yiu & Ching must deal with intra-prison triads and a sadistic warden.

The pressure of these elements pushes them to the edge, and by the end of the movie, Ching & Yiu completely lose it. This is a very violent and uncomfortable movie to watch. The storyline doesn't make any profound social observations. But Chow Yun Fat's acting is very intense: he really turns into a bug-eyed wild animal. And Tony Leung is good as a man who would easily fall apart in such an environment if not for Ching's support.

The movie also has other Ringo Lam regulars like Tommy Wong & Roy Cheung (playing Billy & Officer Hung, respectively.)

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Hong Kong


Cantonese | English

Release Date:

13 November 1987 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Prison on Fire See more »

Filming Locations:

Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema City See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo | Dolby Digital (5.1 surround)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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