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Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Eighties Postmortem - Full list + Stats

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: IF you’re just happening across this Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Eighties feature for the first time, we strongly suggest you head all the way back to this post to start the countdown from the very beginning. It’s more fun to read the entire thing from Number 100 down to Number 1, plus you get to see all the nifty movie posters. Please do it now. For justice.

Nic Tse
“Go back to the beginning. I’m not going to tell you twice.”

Okay, onwards and upwards:

As promised, we’re back with the full list of voted-upon films for the Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Eighties. Now you can see what films barely missed the cut and which gotpity votes. There are also some, like DEMON OF THE LUTE, that got fervent support. Sadly, said support came from only one person.

A note: earlier we said that Chow Yun-Fat was the King of the Eighties with more films on the Top 100 list than anyone else, and his multiple grinning photo appearances seemed to confirm that. However, if we were to truly count all cameos and production contributions of a person in the Top 100, someone else came out with the King of the Eighties crown.

The real King of the Eighties is the venerable large one, Sammo Hung.

Sammo!
“Even though I’m large, I’m quite stealthy!”

Better luck next time, Chow.

Oh no, Chow Yun-Fat
“No! I was robbed!”

So, here’s a full list of all the voted upon films. Read over to your heart’s content.First, the Top 100 (or 101) films that you should be familiar with if you’ve been following along over the past month.

TOP 100 Hong Kong Films of the Eighties
1. A Better Tomorrow (1986), 857 points, 14 first place votes
2. The Killer (1989), 794 points, 22 first place votes
3. Police Story (1985), 740 points, 9 first place votes
4. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987), 616 points, 14 first place votes
5. Peking Opera Blues (1986), 613.5 points, 21 first place votes
6. Project A (1983), 431 points, 1 first place vote
7. God of Gamblers (1989), 405 points, 7 first place votes
8. An Autumn’s Tale (1987), 326 points, 5 first place votes
9. City on Fire (1987), 306.5 points, 2 first place votes
10. As Tears Go By (1988), 293.5 points, 2 first place votes
11. Mr. Vampire (1985), 281.5 points, 1 first place vote
12. Rouge (1988), 272.5 points, 2 first place votes
13. A Better Tomorrow II (1987), 259 points, 2 first place votes
14. Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983), 249.5 points, 1 first place vote
15. Prison on Fire (1987), 227 points, 1 first place vote
16. Wheels on Meals (1984), 225 points, 1 first place vote
17. Police Story 2 (1988), 219.5 points
18. The Prodigal Son (1981), 210 points, 3 first place votes
19. Long Arm of the Law (1984), 204.5 points
20. Dragons Forever (1988), 198 points, 1 first place vote
21. Eastern Condors (1987), 166 points, 1 first place vote
22. Miracles (1989), 160 points
23. The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984), 150.5 points
24. Pedicab Driver (1989), 149.5 points, 2 first place votes
25. Boat People (1982), 148 points, 2 first place votes
26. All About Ah-Long (1989), 142 points
27. Chicken and Duck Talk (1988), 135 points, 1 first place vote
28. Project A Part II (1987), 129 points, 2 first place votes
29. Shanghai Blues (1984), 128.5 points, 1 first place vote
30. Armour of God (1987), 107 points
31. On the Run (1988), 97 points, 2 first place votes
32. My Young Auntie (1981), 92.5 points
33. Spooky Encounters (1980), 91 points
34. The Young Master (1981), 90 points
35. Dangerous Encounter - 1st Kind (1980), 87 points
36. School on Fire (1988), 81 points, 1 first place vote
37. Duel to the Death (1983), 79 points, 1 first place vote
38. The Millionarie’s Express (1986), 66.5 points, 1 first place vote
39. Tiger Cage (1988), 64.5 points, 1 first place vote
40. Tiger on the Beat (1988), 63.5 points
41. Winners and Sinners (1983), 63 points
42. Nomad (1982), 62 points, 1 first place vote
43. Hong Kong 1941 (1984), 61.5 points
44. Wild Search (1989), 58.5 points
45. In the Line of Duty 4 (1989), 57.5 points
46. Aces Go Places (1982), 56 points, 1 first place vote
47. Ah Ying (1983), 55.5 points, 1 first place vote
48. Return to the 36th Chamber (1980), 53.5 points
49 (TIE). Dreadnaught (1981), 51.5 points
49 (TIE). Shaolin Temple (1982), 51.5 points
51. My Lucky Stars (1985), 51 points
52 (TIE). The Diary of a Big Man (1988), 49.5 points
52 (TIE). Mismatched Couples (1985), 49.5 points
54. Security Unlimited (1981), 49 points, 1 first place vote
55. Happy Ghost (1984), 46 points
56 (TIE). A Better Tomorrow III (1989), 45.5 points
56 (TIE). Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986), 45.5 points
58. My Heart is that Eternal Rose (1989), 45 points
59. Legendary Weapons of China (1982), 43.5 points
60. Final Victory (1987), 42.5 points, 1 first place vote
61. The Big Heat (1988), 42 points
62. People’s Hero (1987), 42 points
63. The Iceman Cometh (1989), 39.5 points
64. Legend of a Fighter (1982), 36 points, 1 first place vote
65. Righting Wrongs (1986), 36 points
66. Yes. Madam! (1985), 34 points
67. A Fishy Story (1989), 31 points
68. Dragon Lord (1982), 28.5 points
69. The Sword (1980), 28.5 points
70. Love in a Fallen City (1984), 28 points, 1 first place vote
71. Love Massacre (1981), 27.5 points
72 (TIE). Heart of Dragon (1984), 27 points
72 (TIE). Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (1986), 27 points
74. The Lunatics (1986), 26 points
75 (TIE). Kids from Shaolin (1984), 26 points
75 (TIE). Man on the Brink (1981), 26 points
77. The Truth (1988), 23.5 points
78. The Seventh Curse (1986), 22 points
79. Heroes Shed No Tears (1986), 22 points
80. The Miracle Fighters (1982), 22 points
81. The Victim (1980), 21 points
82. Painted Faces (1988), 19 points
83. The Imp (1981), 19 points
84. We’re Going to Eat You (1980), 18.5 points
85. Working Class (1984), 18.5 points
86 (TIE). Angel (1987), 18.5 points
86 (TIE). It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World (1987), 18.5 points
88. Ninja in the Dragon’s Den (1982), 17.5 points, 1 first place vote
89. Martial Club (1981), 17.5 points
90 (TIE). Bastard Swordsman (1983), 17 points
90 (TIE). Her Vengeance (1988), 17 points
92. The Boxer’s Omen (1983), 17 points
93. The Romancing Star (1987), 16.5 points
94. Opium and the Kung Fu Master (1984), 15.5 points
95. The Crazy Companies 2 (1988), 15.5 points
96. Human Lanterns (1982), 15 points
97. Magnificent Warriors (1987), 15 points
98 (TIE). Holy Flame of the Martial World (1983), 14 points
98 (TIE). Inspector Wears Skirts (1988), 14 points
100 (TIE). Killer Constable (1980), 14 points
100 (TIE). Royal Warriors (1986), 14 points

And here’s the rest of the films. There were a bunch of ties but I didn’t check the tie-breakers because at this stage in the game, I don’t think it matters that much that POSTMAN FIGHTS BACK really beat SEEDING OF A GHOST. No matter what, neither film ended up in the top 100. Sadly, some of the following films end up ranked where they are because of the alphabet. It’s almost shameful.

Numbers 102-226 (films receiving first-place votes noted in bold)
102. All the Wrong Spies (1983), 13.5 points
103. The Eighth Happiness (1988), 13.5 points
104. The Lady is the Boss (1983), 13.5 points
105. Flaming Brothers (1987), 13.5 points
106. The Spooky Bunch (1980), 13.5 points
107. Law with Two Phases (1984), 13 points
108. Shaolin Drunkard (1983), 12.5 points, 1 first place vote
109. Five Element Ninjas (1982), 12 points
110. The Bund (1983), 12 points
111. Fractured Follies (1988), 11.5 points
112. Let’s Make Laugh (1983), 11.5 points
113. The Story of Woo Viet (1981), 11.5 points
114. Why Me? (1986), 11.5 points
115. Homecoming (1984), 11 points
116. Mr. Vampire III (1987), 11 points
117. Passion (1986), 11 points
118. Aces Go Places II (1983), 10.5 points, 1 first place vote
119. 100 Ways to Murder Your Wife (1986), 10.5 points
120. The Beasts (1980), 10.5 points
121. Drunken Tai-Chi (1984), 10.5 points
122. Mr. Coconut (1989), 10.5 points
123. The Peacock King (1989), 10.5 points
124. Demon of the Lute (1983), 10 points, 1 first place vote
125. Hocus Pocus (1984), 10 points
126. In the Line of Duty 3 (1988), 10 points
127. Dragon Fight (1989), 9.5 points
128. Father and Son (1981), 9.5 points
129. Runaway Blues (1989), 9.5 points
130. Tower of Death (1981), 9.5 points
131. Just Like Weather (1986), 9.5 points
132. Seeding of a Ghost (1983), 9.5 points
133. Postman Fights Back (1982), 9 points
134. He Lives By Night (1982), 9 points
135. Last Romance (1986), 9 points
136. Buddhist Fist (1980), 9 points
137. Once Upon a Rainbow (1982), 9 points
138. Clan of the White Lotus (1980), 8.5 points
139. Family Light Affair (1984), 8.5 points
140. Web of Deception (1989), 8.5 points
141. Nobody’s Hero (1989), 8 points
142. Shaolin Prince (1983), 7.5 points
143. Hong Kong, Hong Kong (1983), 7.5 points
144. I Love Maria (1988), 7.5 points
145. Profiles in Pleasure (1988), 7.5 points
146. Dead and the Deadly (1982), 7.5 points
147. Immortal Story (1986), 7.5 points
148. Killing Angels (1989), 7 points
149. Laughing Times (1981), 7 points
150. Lucky Seven (1986), 7 points
151. Silent Love (1986), 7 points
152. Masked Avengers (1981), 6.5 points
153. Dragon Family (1988), 6.5 points
154. Men Behind the Sun (1988), 6.5 points
155. Secret Service of the Imperial Court (1984), 6.5 points
156. The Crazy Companies (1988), 6.5 points
157. Last Affair (1983), 6.5 points
158. Mr. Vampire II (1986), 6.5 points
159. Portrait in Crystal (1983), 6.5 points
160. The Club (1983), 6 points
161. Aces Go Places III (1984), 6 points
162. Rich and Famous (1987), 6 points
163. Casino Raiders (1989), 6 points
164. Devoted to You (1986), 6 points
165. The Lady Assassin (1983), 6 points
166. Long Arm of the Law 2 (1987), 6 points
167. Rendezvous with Death (1980), 6 points
168. Shaolin and Wu Tang (1983), 6 points
169. Teppanyaki (1984), 6 points
170. Heart to Hearts (1988), 5.5 points
171. Lost Souls (1980), 5.5 points
172. Shaolin Intruders (1983), 5.5 points
173. Where’s Officer Tuba? (1986), 5.5 points
174. The Duel Of the Century (1981), 5.5 points
175. Just Heroes (1989), 5.5 points
176. My Family (1986), 5.5 points
177. No Retreat, No Surrender (1989), 5.5 points
178. Scared Stiff (1986), 5.5 points
179. True Colours (1986), 5.5 points
180. Women (1985), 5.5 points
181. Gunmen (1988), 5 points
182. Papa, Can You Hear Me Sing? (1983), 5 points
183. The Romance of Book & Sword/Princess Fragrance (1987), 5 points
184. Dream Lovers (1986), 4.5 points
185. The Legend of Wisely (1987), 4.5 points
186. Coolie Killer (1982), 4.5 points
187. Pom Pom Strikes Back (1986), 4.5 points
188. Shaolin vs. Lama (1983), 4.5 points
189. Wonder Women (1988), 4.5 points
190. Behind the Yellow Line (1984), 4 points
191. A Family Affair (1984), 4 points
192. From Riches to Rags (1980), 4 points
193. An Amorous Woman of Tang Dynasty (1984), 3.5 points
194. Mirage (1987), 3.5 points
195. Burning Ambition (1989), 3 points
196. Happy Ghost II (1985), 3 points
197. Love Unto Waste (1986), 3 points
198. Return of the Sentimental Swordsman (1981), 3 points
199. Criminal Hunter (1988), 2.5 points
200. I Am Sorry (1989), 2.5 points
201. Long Arm of the Law III (1989), 2.5 points
202. Mr. Vampire Saga 4 (1988), 2.5 points
203. Possessed II (1984), 2.5 points
204. Bloody Parrot (1981), 2 points
205. The Flag of Iron (1980), 2 points
206. Return of the Bastard Swordsman (1984), 2 points
207. The Return of Pom Pom (1984), 2 points
208. Carry on Pickpocket (1982), 1.5 points
209. Emperor Chien Lung and the Beauty (1980), 1.5 points
210. A Fist Full of Talons (1983), 1.5 points
211. Fury (1988), 1.5 points
212. The Illegal Immigrant (1985), 1 point
213. Inspector Chocolate (1986), 1 point
214. Killer Angels (1989), 1 point
215. My Name Ain’t Suzie (1985), 1 point
216. Paper Marriage (1988), 1 point
217. Rosa (1986), 1 point
218. Three Against the World (1988), 1 point
219. Treasure Hunters (1981), 1 point
220. The Blonde Fury (1987), 0.5 points
221. Carry On Hotel (1988), 0.5 points
222. Double Trouble (1984), 0.5 points
223. Final Justice (1988), 0.5 points
224. House of Traps (1982), 0.5 points
225. How to Pick Up Girls (1988), 0.5 points
226. Tiger Killer (1982), 0.5 points

FYI, every film that got 0.5 points received a 20th place vote from a single voter. Now you know how those films fared. Poor CARRY ON HOTEL! It’s actually pretty good. And yeah, that’s Stephen Chow’s FINAL JUSTICE with a single 20th place vote.

Some fun stats.

- Total voters: 135 voters
- Total points awarded: 12,737.5 points
- Total number of films voted on: 228 films
- Total number of films voted on in our Nineties Poll: 259 films; Aughts Poll: 176
- 93.7% of all points were given to the films in the Top 100 (11929 total).
- 18.8% of all points were given to the top 3 films, A BETTER TOMORROW, THE KILLER and POLICE STORY.
- 0.4% of all points were given to MISMATCHED COUPLES.
- Highest ranked Shaw Brothers Film: EIGHT DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER at #23.
- Highest ranked disqualified film: THE MAGNIFICENT BUTCHER, with 16 points and 6 votes, but released in 1979. Would have clocked in at #94.
- Film with the most amount of first place votes: THE KILLER, with 22 first place votes.
- 82.2% of all participants voted for A BETTER TOMORROW. 111 total votes.
- 6.7% of all participants voted for MISMATCHED COUPLES. 9 total votes.
- Film with the most amount of votes that missed the Top 100: 100 WAYS TO MURDER YOUR WIFE, with 5 votes.
- Films that made the Top 100 with only 1 votes: nothing.
- Films that made the Top 100 with the only 2 votes: MAGNIFICENT WARRIORS, CRAZY COMPANIES 2 and BOXER’S OMEN.
- Lowest scoring film with a first place vote: DEMON OF THE LUTE, with 10 points and 1 vote.

Films and points by year:
1980 - 374 points, 16 films
1981 - 638.5 points, 18 films
1982 - 533.5 points, 19 films
1983 - 1081.5 points, 27 films
1984 - 1021 points, 25 films
1985 - 1166.5 points, 10 films
1986 - 1851 points, 29 films
1987 - 2348 points, 23 films
1988 - 1699.5 points, 35 films
1989 - 2024 points, 26 films

Year-by-year list of Top Ranked films in LoveHKFilm Reader Votes.
1980: SPOOKY ENCOUNTERS
1981: THE PRODIGAL SON
1982: BOAT PEOPLE
1983: PROJECT A
1984: WHEELS ON MEALS
1985: POLICE STORY
1986: A BETTER TOMORROW
1987: A CHINESE GHOST STORY
1988: AS TEARS GO BY
1989: THE KILLER
1990: BULLET IN THE HEAD
1991: ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA II
1992: HARD BOILED
1993: FONG SAI-YUK
1994: CHUNGKING EXPRESS
1995: FALLEN ANGELS
1996: GOD OF COOKERY
1997: HAPPY TOGETHER
1998: THE LONGEST NITE
1999: THE MISSION
2000: IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
2001: SHAOLIN SOCCER
2002: INFERNAL AFFAIRS
2003: INFERNAL AFFAIRS II
2004: KUNG FU HUSTLE
2005: ELECTION
2006: EXILED
2007: MAD DETECTIVE
2008: RED CLIFF
2009: OVERHEARD*
*vote was conducted in late December 2009, so OVERHEARD gets a big fat asterisk as most voters had not seen other acclaimed films of 2009, including stuff like BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW and ACCIDENT. Also, maybe RED CLIFF II counts, but we folded it into RED CLIFF 1.

Number of films in the Top 100 starring, directed by, produced by, or having something to do with:
Sammo Hung 18
Chow Yun-Fat 17
Jackie Chan 16
Yuen Biao 15
Shaw Brothers 13
Tsui Hark 12
Lau Kar-Leung 8
Maggie Cheung 8
Yuen Woo-Ping 7
Corey Yuen 6
Eric Tsang 6
Gordon Liu 6
Joey Wong 6
Kara Hui 6
Andy Lau 5
Kenny Bee 5
Leslie Cheung 5
Patrick Tam 5
Brigitte Lin 4
Cherie Chung 4
Ching Siu-Tung 4
John Woo 4
Ringo Lam 4
Sally Yeh 4
Wong Jing 4
Sylvia Chang 4
Anita Mui 3
Cecilia Yip 3
Derek Yee 3
Donnie Yen 3
Jet Li 3
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai 3
Ann Hui 2
Johnnie To 2
Michael Hui 2
Michael Wong 2
Wong Kar-Wai 1

And we’ll call it and finally end this thing. It’s been fun, we hope. Thanks to Lee Wong and Calvin McMillin, former LoveHKFilm reviewers who wrote many of the reviews linked to in these blog posts. Also, thanks to everyone who voted and especially those who sent in their comments on the films as it saved us some valuable copywriting time.

I’d also like to thank the Internet, academic and industry people who sent in their votes, including Grady Hendrix, Lorna Tee, Mike Leeder, Shelly Kracier, Aurelien Dirler, Tim Youngs, Lisa Roosen-Runge, Crystal Anderson plus those ever-popular blog and site runners like Martin of A Hero Never Dies, Kenneth Brorsson of So Good Reviews, Adam Laidig of The China Dragon, Phil Gillon of Eastern Film Fans, Tim Chmielewski of Tim’s Hong Kong Movie Reviews, Andrew Chan of HK Neo Reviews, Michael Wells of Everybody Likes Movies, Glenn Griffith of A Pessimist is Never Disappointed. Special thanks to Paul Fox of Kong-Cast, Kevin Ma of The Golden Rock, Sanney Leung of The House Where Words Gather and Yin Szeto, Les Wong, Shelley Cheung and Amy Yeung.

I’m sure that I’ve forgotten or not realized that some people out there voted, and I apologize if that’s the case. For example: the blogger at One More Bullet graciously helped to promote this vote and countdown, but since I don’t know the name of the blogger, I couldn’t figure out if they had voted or not. The Internet has its mysteries.

A version of this list may appear later on web retailer YesAsia.com because they employ me and put up with my sometimes unhappy reviews of stuff they’re trying to sell. If by chance you don’t want your words appearing on YesAsia.com, just let me know and I’ll make sure it’s not used in any of the content that’s brought over.

And, that’s it for this guy! Sometime later (hopefully way later) we’ll do the TOP 100 HONG KONG FILMS EVER, but for now it’s time to get back to the movie reviewing thing that this site is supposed to be about. Not that anyone’s noticed, but it’s been nearly a month since we published our thoughts on any Hong Kong movies not having to do with the Eighties. Soon we’ll be reviewing regular movies again at LoveHKFilm.com and slathering the Internet with the negative vibes we’re so known for.

Toy Story
“More negative reviews? Why, God, why?”

See you in a bit.

9 Responses to “Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Eighties Postmortem - Full list + Stats”

  1. A. Says:

    Full of mysteries! I voted under the name of A. stupidly. You know that guy who voted for all the obvious films? That was me!

  2. LIsa in Toronto Says:

    The Year-by-year list of Top Ranked films in LoveHKFilm Reader Votes would be a good starting point for a HK film 101 course. Start there and then get some ideas of what to try next (but make one of them Love in a Fallen City!).
    Ah God of Cookery!

  3. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi A, thanks for IDing yourself. I figured you did vote, so I made a reference to your blog in the post anyway. Thanks so much for voting and for helping to promote the countdown!

  4. Garvin Says:

    Hey Kozo, will you be doing your own personal top 20?

  5. snowblood Says:

    very interesting year-by-year list, really gives a nice overview of the different “golden eras”, e.g:
    80-81 Sammo
    83-85 Jackie
    89-90 John Woo

  6. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Garvin, I thought about doing that but I probably won’t. The whole point of the Reader Vote is to make it community thing, so my personal list seems needless. Also, there are a TON of eighties films I haven’t seen (My Shaw Brothers intake has been woefully inadequate) so my list could be potentially embarrassing.

    My #1 movie was PEKING OPERA BLUES though, and I’m happy to see it rank where it did.

  7. Richard Says:

    The best of every year table is very representative! Gives a nice overview.

    Kozo, its kind of off-topic here, but still: you have to watch Nightfall and review it soon. It’s by far the best I have seen to come out from HK in recent years - far stronger than Punished (2011) even. After 1 week I am still so enthusiastic about it. Was totally positively surprised!!

    Interested what you think of it. I am sure it will turn up in many future best of lists. ;)

  8. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Richard, I did see NIGHTFALL and the review is on the site. Sadly, I was not that impressed. Story is quite good, but the execution leaves much to be desired. All IMHO, of course.

    Did like PUNISHED and think that it also has a great story and lesser execution.

  9. Ultimo Ross Says:

    Thanx for the list Kozo Im sure it took a lot of effort to put it together and its appreciated.

    Although the ranking of films is always very variable depending on taste these things are a great source of recommendations to film fans. Ive used many lovehkfilm features like this over the years to check our titles I wouldve otherwise never seen.

    Thanx again and heres hoping for more worthwhile projects in the future!

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