7.3/10
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God of Gamblers (1989)

Do san (original title)
A master gambler loses his memory, and is befriended by a street hustler who discovers his supernatural gambling abilities.

Director:

Jing Wong

Writer:

Jing Wong
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1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chow Yun-Fat ... Ko Chun / 'The God of Gamblers' (as Chow Yun Fat)
Andy Lau ... Michael Chan / Little Knife / Dagger
Joey Wang ... Jane
Charles Heung ... Lung Wu / 'Dragon'
Fong Lung ... Ko Yee (as Lung Fong)
Man Cheung ... Janet
Hon-Lam Pau ... Chan Kam-Shing
Tse Lin Yang ... Nam (as Chak Lam Yeung)
Fui-On Shing ... Kau
Man-Tat Ng ... Brother Shing
Dennis Chan ... Doctor Wong
Ching-Ho Law ... Skinny
Lap Ban Chan ... Knife's grandmother
Michiko Nishiwaki ... Ko Chun's female Yakuza opponent
Yu Shangkuan ... Jane's Mother
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Storyline

Do San (the God of gamblers) is a legendary gambler helped by his supernatural abilities. He undertakes to help a friend pay a debt by beating his friend's advisory at the card table. Despite being assigned a bodyguard Do San has a freak accident which leaves him with partial memory loss and at a mental stage of a child. The small time hustler Knife, his side-kick and his girl friend, being responsible for the accident takes care of the retarded Do San. After some time they discover that he has not lost all of his powers and takes him on a round at the local gambling halls. After being chased by both Knife's loan-shark and enemies closer to the home of Do San, a final showdown at the card tables may take place. Written by Staale A. Olsen <sao@idt.unit.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gambling | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The card marking technique used in the finale is an advanced form of illuminous marking, using certain chemicals not visible to the naked eye. To see the markings, you need a certain pair of glasses or contact lens. However, as you can see in the final showdown, marking cards doesn't always work. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Ko appears to play baccarat in a casino in San Francisco whilst other gambling machines are visible. Casino gambling is illegal in most parts of the United States including California. This caption, mentioning San Francisco at the start, is excluded in English language print. See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 41 secs to remove shots of a butterfly knife being twirled and to shorten a scene where a man threatens to slash a woman's face with a knife. The DVD released in 2003 in the UK is uncut, as all previous cuts were waived by the BBFC in December, 2002. See more »


Soundtracks

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
(Instrumental)
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User Reviews

 
Chow Yun Fat's versatility captivates.
20 July 2002 | by laadolfSee all my reviews

Under appreciated as an actor in the west, Chow Yun Fat shows his incredible versatility as a performer in this Hong Kong comedy/drama.

Chow stars as Ko Chun a gifted gambler with an almost supernatural gift for gaming, hence his exalted title. Ko Chun is suave and sophisticated, master of his gaming, monetarily successful and confident in his abilities. This makes him enemies among not only opponents, but as it turns out, his allies.

Having narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, Ko Chun unwittingly walks into a trap set by Knife, a young gambler wannabe who hankers after a big score. Knife meant to teach someone else a lesson by sabotaging a trail near his home,instead, Ko Chun is the victim. Finding the head injured gambler, Knife and his family take him in and nurse him back to health, not realizing who has literally tumbled into their lives.

Ko Chun awakens from his trauma with no memory and regressed to a childlike demeanor. He's an appealing manchild with an insatiable hunger for a particular brand of chocolate (one carry-over from his former life), and as Knife and Co. find out, a talent for gambling. Knife and his crew make good use of their new friend's abilities--becoming upwardly mobile thanks to "Chocolate"--the nickname they bestow upon him, knowing no other.

Chow Yun Fat has never been more endearing and charming as the brain injured "Chocolate". Chow makes believable and incredibly touching this dramatic transformation from genius to idiot savant. Viewers may find themselves wishing to protect Chocolate from a world he no longer understands and which is by turns baffling and inhospitable. Knife and his crew come to love and protect their friend, mortgaging all they have to provide him with a surgery that might restore his sensibilities.

Their Chocolate-aided success brings unwanted attention, which leads to pursuit, kidnapping, ransom and gunplay. Further trauma to poor Chocolate follows which leads to a showdown that highlights the God of Gamblers uncanny ability to win, even when opponents cheat and "friends" betray. While Chow Yun Fat's impressive talent and charisma are at the heart and soul of this film, the supporting players are excellent, especially Andy Lau and Joey Wong.

A must see and a must own for any Chow Yun Fat fan! In DVD versions of this film the subtitle problems noted in other reviews can be overcome by using the zoom feature on the remote. By slightly shrinking the image and adjusting it upward on the screen, the English subtitles will be perfectly visible and readable 99% of the time. Note:The DVD version of the film is edited, with several original scenes cut that track the ascendency of Knife and Co., and one pretty major plot point that would clarify the denouement at the film's end. VCD versions which are unedited can be sometimes found, but the subtitle problem reasserts itself--VCDs cannot be adjusted to compensate for the problem. But for anyone who has seen the DVD and has the general plot and dialogue down, the search for the unedited VCD version is worthwhile.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | English | Japanese

Release Date:

14 December 1989 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

God of Gamblers See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,751,175
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (dubbed)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo (DVD version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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