6.8/10
5,350
31 user 24 critic

Once a Thief (1991)

Zong heng si hai (original title)
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
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

French | Cantonese | English | Hakka

Release Date:

2 February 1991 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Once a Thief See more »

Filming Locations:

Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Woo chose to do this film because he wanted to do something more light-hearted after The Killer (1989) and Bullet in the Head (1990) (which flopped in Hong Kong on their initial releases). The strategy seems to have paid off; the movie was successful in Hong Kong and allowed Woo to get funding for his next movie, Hard Boiled (1992). 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 »

Alternate Versions

All German versions, including the TV-Version, are cut. See more »

Connections

References To Catch a Thief (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Light, frothy caper flick
19 July 2008 | by dave13-1See all my reviews

Chow Yun Fat, Leslie Cheung and Cherie Chung make an attractive trio of art thieves who are double-crossed by gangsters after pulling off a job. Naturally they plot revenge. The story emphasis here is on elaborate and suspenseful heists being played out, and on charming banter amongst the main trio of characters, with the violent gun action largely reserved for the finale. The tone is lighter than most of Woo's film of this period, and the characters are more enjoyable. The glossy look reminds the viewer of the elaborate heist movies in vogue in the middle 60s, such as The Pink Panther or Topkapi and this one is similarly enjoyable time-passer.


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