A Better Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow (英雄本色; pinyin: ying1 xiong2 ben3 ce4; Penkyamp: Ying-huang boon-sik; literal meaning: "The True Colour of Heroes") is a 1986 Hong Kong action movie which had a profound influence on the movie-making industry on an international scale.

Directed by John Woo (吳宇森), it stars Chow Yun-Fat (周潤發), Ti Lung and Leslie Cheung. Although the movie was made with a tight budget and was relatively unknown until it went on screen due to virtually no advertising, it broke Hong Kong's box office record and went on to become a blockbuster in Asian countries.

A Better Tomorrow depicts mob violence in a romantically surreal fashion. Not only did the movie make Woo and Chow international stars, it started a whole new genre of films which followed its unique style of romanticized violence. One of its most famous followers is Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino, whose portrayal of the mob (e.g. Pulp Fiction) bears the distinctive John Woo trademark.

Although 16 years have past from the time A Better Tomorrow was made to the time of this writing, one can still find traces of its influence in Hong Kong action movies, even though Woo and Chow have long gone on to Hollywood for further advancement in their careers.

See also: Cinema of China, Hong Kong in films


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