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The Corruptor (1999)

0:30 | Trailer
With the aid from a New York City policeman, a top immigrant cop tries to stop drug-trafficking and corruption by immigrant Chinese Triads, but things get complicated when the Triads try to bribe the policeman.


James Foley


Robert Pucci
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Yun-Fat Chow ... Nick Chen (as Chow Yun-Fat)
Mark Wahlberg ... Danny Wallace
Ric Young ... Henry Lee
Paul Ben-Victor ... Schabacker
Jon Kit Lee ... Jack
Andrew Pang ... Willy Ung
Elizabeth Lindsey Elizabeth Lindsey ... Louise Deng
Brian Cox ... Sean Wallace
Byron Mann ... Bobby Vu
Kim Chan ... Benny Wong
Bill MacDonald Bill MacDonald ... Vince Kirkpatrick
Susie Trinh Susie Trinh ... Amy San
Ho Chow ... Black Eyes
Olivia Yap ... Tai
Lynda Chiu Lynda Chiu ... Kim


Nick Chen is one of New York City's most martial police officers and the first Chinese-born immigrant on the force. Chen's job is to keep the peace in Chinatown from a turf war that has broken out between the Triads and the ruthless, and dangerous Fukienese Dragons. Chen teams up with Danny Wallace, who is terribly unaware of this situation. When the Tongs boldly attempt to bribe Wallace, Chen is forced to keep his faithfulness. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You can't play by the rules when there aren't any. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film was originally cast with the Mark Walberg part played by Ethan Hawke, but production was ended to accomodate Chow Yun-Fat's production schedule. See more »


Before shooting out the tires on the red vehicle, the 2 officers unload dozens of pistol and shotgun rounds towards the approaching vehicle. NYPD does not authorize firing at a moving vehicle when the vehicle alone is being used as a weapon. Also, with pursuing Patrol Cars behind the red vehicle, they were essentially firing at other officers. See more »


Danny Wallace: The ends justify the means, Pops.
Sean Wallace: The ends is bullshit. The means is what you live with.
See more »

Alternate Versions

German VHS release was cut by ca. 6 minutes to secure a "Not under 16" rating. See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Losing a Whole Year (Remix - Strings Up)
Written by Stephan Jenkins, Kevin Cadogan & Arion Salazar
Performed by Third Eye Blind
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

User Reviews

The under-belly of New York's China Town is gritty, difficult to watch and, at times, pure poetry in motion.
30 August 2001 | by countryway_48864See all my reviews

I am not a fan of films that are as explicit or as violent as The Corruptor is, as a general rule, but I bought The Corruptor because of Chow Yun-Fat's splendid performance as Nick Chen. I really like Nick Chen, despite, or perhaps because of his flaws. Beneath his cynical attitude toward the inevitability of corruption in ANY police department and in particular the Asian Crime Unit of New York, is an honest man.

The way he tries to protect the prostitute he loves is touching and beautiful, especially the scene where he feeds her while she is in bed. Nick's motivations and his own entanglement in the shadow-world of human exploitation is always colored by a desire to correct the wrong and make things right. He takes pride in his being a policeman like his father was before him, and wants to be thought of as a "good cop", which he really is.

The famous "plum" scene is a gem. Yun-Fat and his partner, Walberg (who is MUCH better in this role than I expected him to be), are strolling through the open market district of China Town and Yun-Fat stops to purchase a plum and offers one to Walberg. Walberg rejects the plum in favor of a peach. The way Yun-Fat talks about Frank Sinatra and his reference to his "godfather" who "made me look good, and I LIKE it!" is sad and joyful at the same time. Beautiful scene.

Others have covered the action in this film, so I won't go over the same ground. The London-based Chinese actor who plays the role of the king-pin of the operation is outstanding. He brings to the screen true deceit without apology.

For me, the BEST part of the DVD is the director's commentary. He explains the scenes and how they were accomplished. There is also a documentary on How the film was made with Chow Yun-Fat and Mark Walberg talking about their roles. This is fascinating.

Because I like Nick Chen so much, the end of the film is tough for me to watch but it contains some of the best scenes in the film, for example: Nick in the men's room doing a Chinese breathing exercise to prepare himself for what he must do next.

Not for the faint-of-heart or those who cannot look at evil without flinching. If you can force yourself to look, The Corruptor is well worth the effort.

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English | Cantonese

Release Date:

12 March 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Corruptor See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,765,300, 14 March 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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