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Eight Taels of Gold (1989) (Blu-ray) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region All

Sylvia Chang (Actor) | Sammo Hung (Actor) | Mabel Cheung (Director, Writer) | Alex Law (Writer)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Acclaimed New Wave director Mabel Cheung won the Best Director award in 1985 with her debut film, Illegal Immigrant, providing a realistically gritty and depressive vision of life in New York's Chinatown. In what would come to be called her "migration trilogy", Cheung continued to explore themes of Chinese diaspora, dislocation, and migration in her next two films, 1987's An Autumn Tale starring Chow Yun Fat and 1989's Eight Taels of Gold.

Both a critical and box office hit at the time of release, Eight Taels of Gold takes the migration cycle full circle with the story of a bittersweet homecoming. In an inspired casting decision, action star Sammo Hung takes on the leading role of a U.S. immigrant who returns to China after over a decade away from his homeland. His performance earned him a Best Actor nomination at the 1990 Hong Kong Film Awards, along with nods for Best Director, Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress for Sylvia Chang (Tempting Heart).

Cheng (Sammo Hung) has been living in America for over ten years, but life has not been easy for him. He illegally immigrated to the United States during the Cultural Revolution period and struggled to make a living for many years, finally settling as a taxi driver in New York. After he gets his green card, Cheng decides it's time to go back to China to see the family he left 16 years ago. Proud and stubborn, Cheng believes that a real man should at least have eight taels of gold to his name. He borrows money to buy the full eight and return home in glory, only to find that his family has moved elsewhere. A stranger in his own country, Cheng is forced to make the trip to the next city with his childhood rival (Sylvia Chang), now a lovely and brassy woman. On their bumbling way, the two form a bond amidst the bickering, but they both already have marriage matches waiting for them.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Eight Taels of Gold (1989) (Blu-ray) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version) 八兩金 (1989) (Blu-ray) (數碼修復) (香港版) 八两金 (1989) (Blu-ray) (数码修复) (香港版) 八兩金 (1989) (Blu-ray) (數碼修復) (香港版) Eight Taels of Gold (1989) (Blu-ray) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Sylvia Chang (Actor) | Sammo Hung (Actor) 張艾嘉 (Actor) | 洪金寶 (Actor) 张艾嘉 (Actor) | 洪金宝 (Actor) 張艾嘉(シルビア・チャン) (Actor) | 洪金寶(サモ・ハン・キンポー) (Actor) Sylvia Chang (Actor) | Sammo Hung (Actor)
Director: Mabel Cheung 張婉婷 张婉婷 張婉婷 (メイベル・チャン) Mabel Cheung
Writer: Mabel Cheung | Alex Law 張婉婷 | 羅啟銳 张婉婷 | 罗启锐 張婉婷 (メイベル・チャン) | 羅啓鋭 (アレックス・ロー) Mabel Cheung | Alex Law
Blu-ray Region Code: All Region What is it?
Release Date: 2019-08-16
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray, 25 GB - Single Layer
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Video Codecs: AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)
Rating: II
Duration: 105 (mins)
Publisher: CN Entertainment Ltd.
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1076466839

Product Information

Sammo Hung illegally immigrated to the United States as a taxi driver more than ten years with a hard living. Eventually, he got a Green Card and planned to return to his homeland. He borrowed eight tales of gold from friends because he believed that it was an image of a real man. It was not an easy journey, he found that his family had moved when he arrived. Since he was out of China ten years, his did not familiar with the road, so was forced to find his family with Sylvia Cheung and her naughty brother. They experienced funs, dangers and all kinds of weird things in China. Finally Sammo gathered with his family. His family arranged him with a dating for marriage, but he concerned Sylvia only....
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Eight Taels of Gold (1989) (Blu-ray) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)"

May 8, 2008

This professional review refers to Eight Taels Of Gold (1989) (DVD) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)
Mabel Cheung's Eight Taels of Gold followed hot on the heels of her efforts on the screenplay for another Sammo Hung vehicle, Painted Faces, for which the Fatman won a Hong Kong Film award for his acting. Lauded for his action choreography, his kung-fu movies and even his directing, this film was another opportunity for Sammo to prove his acting chops in a straight drama. Those expecting pratfalls and dynamic fight sequences will be disappointed in Cheung's movie, but should you be able to adjust your expectations you will find a fine sanguine drama that is well worth your time.

The film starts with Slim, Hung's character, driving his taxi on the crazy streets of New York. We then join him as he returns to China for the first time in thirteen years with his eight taels of gold designed to impress his waiting family whilst hiding his lack of success as an immigrant. Once back at his parent's place, he finds them gone and returned to their home village, Toi Shan, because his sister is pregnant with her second child in defiance of the "one child per family" policy. He arranges to travel back home with a childhood friend (Sylvia Chang) whom he christened "Odds-and-Ends", and who is returning to the village to marry another emigré from America. Once home, Slim is greeted as the prodigal son and his mum starts matchmaking unaware that he has fallen for another.

It's not a surprise that Hung's acting extends to subtle dramas like this one as he has quite often provided the emotional core and dramatic centres of many of his action comedies. Painful sincerity and awkwardness are child's play to him, and in a fully dramatic piece such as this one, he keeps his performance measured and intimate which means that he anchors the pathos of the film. His character ran away from home during the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, but he did not find the land of promise in the USA, and now returning to a family he has neglected brings this home forcefully to him.

Slim's growing affection for his childhood friend begins to articulate itself in a growing desire to combat her plan of leaving China by pouring cold water on the American dream, and owning up to his own failure there. He learns that his father has covered up his poor communication over the years by writing letters to his mother on Slim's behalf and that the dreadful words he left ringing in his sister's ears were forgiven soon after he left. Rediscovering his home again, and falling for Odds-and-Ends, leads him to consider that time has left him behind.

Subtly critical of the five year plans, the dictatorial policies and the nonsense of political control in the remote villages of China, this film is not a flag waving piece but more an appreciation of the real people who make up Slim's family and his fellow villagers. In Slim's case, America has left him with very little money and the status of an illegal immigrant, and he has come to learn that this is no better than the land he returns to. The geo-political world is very much part of his family's lives, but they endure and survive despite the vicissitudes of those in charge. Ultimately, Slim realises that his efforts to get ahead have ironically caused him to miss out on his hearts desire.

Eight Taels of Gold is filled with superb cinematography that captures the beauty of this homeland whilst creating some spectacular compositions to reflect the characters. One particularly miraculous shot captures Odds and Ends sad and alone with the night light glistening off the lake beside her and casting reflective shadows around her. There is a slight humour throughout but this is an earnest drama that captures great sadness courtesy of Sammo's fine turn and the fine cast around him. In the end, Cheung's film is touching and a humane appreciation, made with great skill and real warmth.

by John White - DVD Times

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "Eight Taels of Gold (1989) (Blu-ray) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


August 4, 2021

This customer review refers to Eight Taels of Gold (1989) (DVD) (Digitally Remastered) (2019 Reprint) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

A tale well told Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Director Mabel Cheung explored the struggles of emigrating from China to America and of finding one's place there in 1985's 'Illegal Immigrant' and 1987's 'The Autumn's Tale'. In 1989, in 'Eight Taels of Gold', Ms. Cheung turned to the next phase of the immigrant's experience: the celebrated return visit to one's hometown in China.

Sammo Hung plays Slim, who journeyed from a small rural village near Shantou to New York City, where he carved out a life for himself as an aggressive taxi driver. Now he returns to his village to present himself as a big success to his family and friends and to seek a bride to bring back to America. Upon his return, he encounters Jenny (Sylvia Chang), an old acquaintance who is awaiting the return from America of her fiance to marry her and to take her with him to America.

Slim and Jenny quickly rekindle their old friendship and find that they have much in common and many ways in which they can assist each other. Their friendship begins to develop into a closer bond. When her fiance finally arrives to marry her, Jenny must face the issue: Will she honor her commitment to her betrothed or will she pursue her new feelings for Slim?

Mabel Cheung tells the story well, and Sammo Hung and Sylvia Chang give heartfelt performances. Viewing the film from today's perspective also is a reminder of just how dramatically both China specifically, but also the world in general, have changed since 1989! 'Eight Taels of Gold' is warmly recommended.
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