7.4/10
1,940
11 user 17 critic

Gam yuk fung wan (1987)

Trailer
4:59 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Ringo Lam

Writer:

Yin Nam
Reviews
8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ching escapes from prison to see his young son, who he has been put in an orphanage. And that puts him in great danger.

Director: Ringo Lam
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Sung Young Chen, Elvis Tsui
City on Fire (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An undercover cop infiltrates a gang of thieves who plan to rob a jewelry store.

Director: Ringo Lam
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Yueh Sun, Danny Lee
Full Contact (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two disreputable friends get tied in with a group of criminals who turn out to be excessively violent and deceptive.

Director: Ringo Lam
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Simon Yam, Ann Bridgewater
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young schoolgirl gets involved in the triads of Hong Kong after a classmate is killed in a fight.

Director: Ringo Lam
Stars: Fennie Yuen, Roy Cheung, Damian Lau
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Police Inspector Pao is trying to catch Mak Kwan, a gang member who is first arrested, but then escapes from the prison. By chance, Pao realizes that the target of Kwan's gang is the H.K. ... See full summary »

Director: Ringo Lam
Stars: Ching Wan Lau, Francis Ng, Amanda Lee
Dou san (1989)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A master gambler loses his memory, and is befriended by a street hustler who discovers his supernatural gambling abilities.

Director: Jing Wong
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Andy Lau, Joey Wang
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A retired old west killer sets up a hotel for vagrants and wayward souls called Peace Hotel. When a woman with a gang on her tail attempts to hide there the owner of the hotel must revert to his old ways to protect his hotel.

Director: Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Cecilia Yip, Ho Chin
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A restauranteur teams up with a police officer and his ex-con brother to avenge the death of a friend's daughter.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow, Lung Ti
Tiger on Beat (1988)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A seasoned cop and his rookie partner are a pair of mismatched partners in this Hong Kong action-comedy in the style of 'Lethal Weapon'. The wacky twosome are up in arms as they try to solve the murder of a heroin trafficker.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Nina Li Chi, Conan Lee
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A romantic and action packed story of three best friends, a group of high end art thieves, who come into trouble when a love-triangle forms between them.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow, Cherie Chung
Dou san 2 (1994)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ko Chun vows to keep his identity hidden while looking for the gangsters who murdered his pregnant wife, in Wong Jing's sequel to his action/comedy classic.

Director: Jing Wong
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Chien-Lien Wu
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A father's ex-girlfriend resurfaces after a 10-year absence wanting to take her son away from him. With his world shattered, he must decide between what is best for his son and his own future happiness.

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Sylvia Chang, Kun-Hsuan Huang
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yun-Fat Chow ... 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 ... Chiu Chow Man
Frankie Chi-Hung Ng ... Blind Snake
Kwong Leung Wong ... Bill
Man-Gwan Wong ... Mimi
Joseph Chi 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
Edit

Storyline

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | English

Release Date:

13 November 1987 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Prison Turbulence See more »

Filming Locations:

Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema City See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo | Dolby Digital (5.1 surround)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

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

Connections

Followed by Prison on Fire II (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Light of Friendship
Performed by Maria Codero
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Intense, convincing and gritty - all the things that can be expected from Ringo Lam
17 November 2002 | by Bogey ManSee all my reviews

Hong Kong film maker Ringo Lam has done many extraordinary films during his career. They include the extremely bleak and violent "School on Fire" (1988), "City on Fire" (1987), the incredible "Full Contact" (1992) and "Prison on Fire 1 and 2" from 1987 and 1991. "Prison on Fire" stars the then raising star Chow Yun-Fat as Ching, a positive and friendly inmate in a prison in which Lo Ka Yiu, played by Tony Leung Ka Fai is sentenced. They are both judged for a manslaughter and now they'll have to survive the violence and triad corruption inside the stone. What follows is a very intense 100 minutes and a film that won't be remembered among the least effective works of the great Lam.

The film is pretty close to "School on Fire" even though it is not as fierce and pessimistic as that film which was made one year later. "Prison" is pretty powerful and believable depiction of the state of prisons in Hong Kong and how much power the triad members have there. Where "School" depicts the horrible violence among school children and triads, "Prison" depicts violence and terror among convicts and triads, and how it all may end as horribly as in "School". But this time Ringo leaves a hope for a better tomorrow (as Chow's character even mentions at one point) and so the film is much more optimistic than the harrowing "School". Still the finale in the prison is very violent and shocking so the ride through the prison won't be an easy or pleasant one at all, and why would Ringo do such a pointless and light film that wouldn't have its message and anything to say in the first place? That is exactly why his films are much more than just action and gun battles.

The cast is very good in "Prison" and it includes Roy Cheung as the violent warden "Scarface" and Roy can also be found as a triad leader in "School" and a cop in "City on Fire." The characters, especially Chow's and Tony's, seem to develop little too fast as their dramatic decisions and actions are not as carefully explained and introduced as possible. I mean the scenes like "the suicide attempt" and the angry and almost comical face expression Chow gives to "Scarface" at one point; they show that these men really can act (and they can) but these kind of actions should be little more restrained and explained, but still Chow's character is here much better than in "City on Fire" which suffers a lot from the weak character of Chow's.

The ending in "Prison" is near the rage and mayhem of "School" and I felt really bad during the finale, so once again Ringo has shown his unique talent and power of his cinema. Chow turns into the kind of wild animal that is hiding inside every one of us, and that just should be kept there forever no matter what the situation is. That kind of finale is very powerful and leaves the audience pretty stunned and often in pure disgust, as in the case of "School". Overall the violence in "Prison" is very strong and hurts almost as much the viewer as it does the characters and that is the only way to depict this horrible thing honestly and in a way that something important can be achieved and told by the film. I'm afraid the present day Hollywood wouldn't dare to do films like this, but fortunately there are alternatives and people who want to make films not just because of money.

"Prison" is composed by Lowell Lo, who has also made the soundtrack for films like "Naked Killer" (Clarence Fok, 1992), "The Killer" (John Woo, 1989) and Ringo's "School on Fire" but the usage of music is never as near as strong in "Prison" as it is in "School" and that is also among the elements that make "School" such a strong experience. "Prison" has also some very atmospheric photography inside the prison and there are some nice neon lights and almost mysterious lights coming through the windows at some points. There's also some very bright photography in the interiors and that creates almost a dream like feel to the film, and also depicts the state of mind of the inmates and how things vary from pure danger and alarm to peace and quiet inside the prison.

"Prison" is among the reasons why Hong Kong cinema is so powerful and unique and it is also among the reasons that make Ringo among the most talented directors in the field. His real masterpiece was still to come (Full Contact) but still "Prison" is among the most noteworthy achievements of his. 8/10


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed