6.8/10
5,075
29 user 23 critic

Zong heng si hai (1991)

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.

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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Red Bean Puddin - Joe (as Chow Yun Fat)
... James - Jim
... Red Bean - Cheri
Kong Chu ... Chu - Dad
... Chow - Father
David Wu ... Auctioneer
... Mr. Cheung (as Wu Fung)
Pierre-Yves Burton ... Mr. Le Bond (as Pierre Yves Burton)
Declan Wong ... Magician Henchman (as Declan Michael Wong)
Patrick Hon ... Hitman
Yat Kwun Tang ... Young Red Bean Pudding - Young Joe
Ka Fai Tong ... Young James - Young Jim
... Young Red Bean - Young Cherie (as Lina Kong)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kin-Shing Choi ... Guard
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Storyline

Once a Thief is an action/comedy/romance movie involving the plight of three master thieves (in the mode of Pink Panther). All three were raised by the same father and in fact were most certainly street orphans. The story begins with a successful art heist followed by a pledge to make this the last crime ever for the trio. The plot revolves around the theft of a mysterious "cursed" painting and how its obsession affects the family. Written by <sysop@hal9k.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

art | thief | painting | gun fu | kung fu | See All (41) »

Taglines:

They only stop to reload.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

2 February 1991 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Once a Thief  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross USA:

HKD 33,397,149, 31 December 1991
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Music from Wang Chung's "To Live And Die In LA" soundtrack is used multiple times throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

When Joe and Cherie are driving behind the truck, that is transporting the paintings (including their marked one), you can clearly see the rope holding the car of Joe and Cherie close to the truck during the stunt scene. See more »

Quotes

Red Bean: I want to live somewhere peaceful, that isn't at war.
Red Bean Pudding: Iraq? There's no war in Iraq. Or go to heaven, they have clean air!
See more »

Connections

References To Catch a Thief (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Clever and funny yet not as fast-paced, exciting as most other Woo films
12 September 1998 | by See all my reviews

John Woo's "Once a Thief" is a pretty entertaining movie which is original and clever like most other Woo films. It's mostly a suspense thief picture with lots of comedy mixed in with a romantic love-triangle and a little bit of Chow Yun-Fat/John Woo gunplay action of course. There is never any blood -let in this rather light film. I think John Woo wanted to tone down the violence and put more suspense/comedy in his well-known balance scale. It's pretty obvious when the usually trigger-happy Chow Yun Fat spares the life of a threatening gangster and kicks him out of a window instead. That might be along the "Die Hard" Hollywood terms, but for loyal Chow and Woo fans, it's very surprising. The storyline is one of Woo's most simple and innocent, but it set the film up for a couple of robberies which will grip you until the end. Leslie Cheung is dead serious and good as always, Chow Yun Fat is in his "Better Tomorrow II" mood: his lighter, more comedic mode which is somewhat more likeable. This mode is usually used for Woo's lighter, less serious films which don't need much acting. Chow's "Killer" serious mood is what made him famous for, but he doesn't suit that mood as well as this movie's character does.


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