- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 31 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: July 6, 2004
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Platinum Disc
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Los Angeles Times - 01/14/1994
"...John Woo adds comedy to his usual potent blend of sentiment and action to create on of his most light-hearted entertainments, a terrific mix of slapstick and sophistication..."
Uncut - 01/01/2005
"[Z]any....A heist movie with Woo regulars..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Set against the pulsating neon backdrop of Hong Kong and the pristine snow-capped mountains of Vancouver, British Columbia, John Woo's Once a Thief
is a stylish tale of intrigue, romance and explosive nonstop action.
Two fugitives, Li Ann Tsei (Sandrine Holt) and Mac Ramsey (Ivan Sergei) are fleeing from their "family," a powerful Hong Kong mob. Mac, a charismatic street hustler, and Li Ann, an alluring, strong willed street urchin, were rescued from a life of destitution by "The Godfather" (Robert Ito). Along with his natural son Michael (Michael Wong), The Godfather raised his adopted children to become brilliant criminals, executing dangerous yet glamorous missions that help sustain the power of the family.
A bitter rivalry between Michael and Mac has developed over the years as they vie for the attentions of both Li Ann and their father. Li Ann and Mac are secretly a couple in love. When it is revealed that their father has arranged for Michael and Li Ann to marry, Mac and Li Ann decide they must escape from the relentless control of The Godfather. Confronted with complex issues of loyalty and honor, the lovers devise a plan to leave Hong Kong.
Suspecting their disloyalty, The Godfather thwarts the escape plan, igniting a lethal chain reaction pitting brother against brother. In the midst of gunfire and explosions, the lovers are separated. Both are separately recruited by the hard-nosed, results-oriented "Director" (Jennifer Dale) of a clandestine international crime-fighting unit based in Vancouver. They are teamed with Victor Mansfield (Nicholas Lea), a maverick ex-cop, and assigned to investigate death threats against a crooked business man.
While investigating his illicit business transactions, it is discovered that the Tang family has masterminded the plot, with Michael now headquartered in Vancouver. Once again, Mac and Li Ann must face their estranged adoptive brother and the tension mounts with double-crosses, murder and revenge. The film climaxes in a spectacular showdown of brilliant special effects and exploding passion and violence.
John Woo's comic caper classic, reconceived, recast and reshot to palliate mainstream Western audiences prior to an airing on the Fox network (in an edited version). Two repentant Triad renegades flee to America hoping for a way out of the life, but when the syndicate catches up with them, their only hope is to blast their way to freedom.
Woo's comic caper classic, reconceived, recast and reshot to palliate mainstream Western audiences prior to an airing on the Fox network (in an edited version). Two repentant Triad renegades flee to America hoping for a way out of the life, but when the syndicate catches up with them, their only hope is to blast their way to freedom.
Organized Crime |
Theatrical Release |
- Broadcast originally on the Fox Network September 29, 1996.
- Shot on location in Vancouver, B.C. by Alliance Communications Corp. and WCG Entertainment.