7.7/10
8,846
61 user 46 critic

Die xue jie tou (1990)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 17 August 1990 (Hong Kong)
When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever.

Director:

Reviews
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A reforming ex-gangster tries to reconcile with his estranged policeman brother, but the ties to his former gang are difficult to break.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Lung Ti, Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow
Hard Boiled (1992)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Teresa Mo
The Killer (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh
Just Heroes (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A respected and well liked gang-boss is betrayed and killed. One of his three adopted sons are to take his place. One of them is the traitor.

Directors: John Woo, Wu Ma
Stars: David Chiang, Danny Lee, Kuan Tai Chen
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
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
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The Thai government hires a group of Chinese mercenaries to capture a powerful drug lord from the Golden Triangle. The mercenaries manage to capture the drug lord, but soon find themselves ... See full summary »

Director: John Woo
Stars: Eddy Ko, Ching-Ying Lam, Philippe Loffredo
Once a Thief (TV Movie 1996)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A couple working for the triad boss Tang decides to leave/flee the triad and Hong Kong. They meet again in Vancouver 1.5 years later fighting crime. She now has a fiance. The Tang triad comes to Vancouver to do weapons "business".

Director: John Woo
Stars: Sandrine Holt, Ivan Sergei, Nicholas Lea
Hard Target (1993)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler
Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A man travels from China to Vietnam, on the brink of war with America, to retrieve his uncle and cousin but find complications when he falls in love with a female gangster with a dangerous ex.

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Anita Mui
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ben / Siu Bun (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
... Frank / Fai Jai
... Paul / Sau Ming
... Luke / Lok
Yolinda Yam ... Sally Yan Sau Ching
Chung Lin ... Mr. Y.S. Leong
... Jane / Siu Jan
Kan-Wing Tsang ... Jane's father
Hang Shuen So ... Jane's mother
... Policeman
... Ben's mother
... Paul's father
San Yan Siao ... Mr. Shing
Tin Hung Yick ... Ringo (as Tin Hung Yee)
Yun Pei ... Frank's mother
Edit

Storyline

In 1967, on the way to the wedding of a friend a young man is accosted by a local gang member. Later, the three friends administer justice, in the process of which the gang member is killed, so they leave Hong Kong to avoid the police and the gang. They run black market supplies to Saigon and get embroiled in the war, being arrested as Viet Cong, then later captured by the Viet Cong, and find that their friendship is tested to the limits as they try to escape. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

17 August 1990 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Bullet in the Head  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Woo thought all the performances in the film were good, except for Waise Lee, who Woo felt put in only an "average" performance. See more »

Goofs

When the action moves to Vietnam the movie posters ('Dien Bien Phu', etc.) shown are films that came out well after the Vietnam war was over. See more »

Quotes

Ben: [pointing a gun at Paul] You shot Frank, now I'll shoot you! But since you're my friend, I'll fire a lethal shot!
See more »

Connections

References I Call First (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm a Believer
Written by Neil Diamond
Performed by The Monkees
S.E. Asia Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The greatest HK movie ever made
17 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

BULLET IN THE HEAD (Die Xie Jie Tou)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Mono

Fleeing from a murder rap during the political turmoil of 1960's Hong Kong, three devoted friends (Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Jacky Cheung and Waise Lee) seek their fortunes in war-torn Vietnam and are ripped apart by greed and betrayal.

John Woo's ambitious movie - an operatic valentine to his youth in HK and his love of David Lean epics, and a response to the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 - went over-schedule and flopped at the local box-office when released in 1990, but has since been recognized as one of the finest productions in HK film history. Newcomers Leung, Cheung and Lee are terrific as the three friends whose lives are devastated by the violence they encounter in a foreign land, and they're matched throughout by Simon Yam as the Eurasian hit-man who rescues them from the worst of their experiences. For all its explosions and gun play, however, BULLET IN THE HEAD is a very human drama, played out against the vast backdrop of the Vietnam conflict, and invested with a palpable sense of love and compassion for its leading characters. Cinematography and editing are world-class, and Woo's dark-hearted script (co-written by Patrick Leung and Janet Chin) incorporates the themes of loyalty and brotherhood which have shaped and defined all of his films since A BETTER TOMORROW (1986). Cheung's final scene is absolutely heartbreaking; classic score by James Wong and Romeo Diaz.

(Cantonese dialogue)


26 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Horror and Thriller Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular horror and thriller movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed