Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama
A restauranteur teams up with a police officer and his ex-con brother to avenge the death of a friend's daughter.
John Woo's first cut was about 160 minutes long. He and producer Hark Tsui had disagreements over the focus of the film. Tsui felt that it should focus more on the Lung, while Woo's original version focused more on characters Ken and Kit. Hark also insisted that the film should be shortened to a commercially viable length, which in Hong Kong is considered under 120 minutes, so theatre owners could show the film at least eight times a day.
Woo refused to cut it down and when he and Hark couldn't agree about the focus of the film and how it should be re-edited, Hark went and started secretly re-editing it himself, since he had equal control with the editing along with three other editors (Woo being the fifth). At the same time when Hark would cut some parts out, Woo would secretly put the missing parts back in. With only a week remaining before the film was to be released in theaters, and with pressure from the studio and distributors to trim the film down, Woo and Hark agreed to send the movie to "Cinema City Editing Unit", which meant that they sent each reel of the film to one of Cinema City's editors, who would then go to work on his particular reel. There was no overall supervision whatsoever by either Woo or Hark. Each of these editors just cut things out as they saw fit, then returned the reels. What they came up with is now the official released version of the film.
When Woo saw this final version, which was 105 minutes long, in the theater for the first time he was so shocked to see how badly it was re-edited that he disowned the film; to this day the only part he said he considers to be his work is the final shootout sequence. Woo's director's cut was only shown once to film executives in Hong Kong, before all the re-editing problems began. The Hong Kong trailer--5-1/2 minutes long--is the only source to get glimpses of some deleted scenes; blood-covered Kit being brutally beaten up, Kit seeing his wife while still having injuries from the beating on his face, Ken and Lung playing with the bird.
We're dying; can we leave now?
Nobody ever told Lung that his daughter is dead. Yet even Ken acts like it's a given without being told by anybody from Hong Kong.
All 5.1 and 7.1 sound mixes found on various DVD- and Blu-ray editions feature added and re-dubbed sound effects, and vary greatly from the original monaural soundtrack.
Mandarin, Cantonese, English
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