Comparison between the French version and the uncut international Version (both contained on the French DVD by Metropolitan).
- 7 cuts
- Difference: 491.7 sec. (= 8:12 min.)
Anyone who's interested in the Hong Kong cinema of the 80's probably should know Millionaires' Express. More or less like a certain Mr. Stallone has just done it with US action stars, Sammo Hung in 1986 gathered almost all the known faces of the Hong Kong cinema of that time (including "guest workers" like Richard Norton, Cynthia Rothrock, Hwang Jang Lee or Yukari Ôshima) for this wild action comedy film. The story about a train full of millionaires, for which several groups with bad intentions are fighting, offers the viewer a lot of funny absurdities in the first two thirds and at the end an exemplary choreographed fight. Apart from the encounter of Sammo and Cynthia, Yuen Biao should also be mentioned because he delivers some of his best artistic scenes.
Overview of the Versions
An overview of the different versions follows.
1. Hong Kong
Runtime: 96:34 min. (NTSC)
Generally, ONE alternative version was produced for the non-Asian market, see "a)". In Europe they obviously thought they could come up with something better, so the movie received some further cuts.
At this point already separately pointed out: exactly this international version is contained on the new Hong Kong DVD by JoySales, so it can't be said generally that one gets the HK version when purchasing an Asian release.
a) The Uncut International Version
Runtime: ca. 97 min. (PAL) / ca. 101 min. (NTSC)
Runtime: ca. 82 min. (PAL)
Runtime: ca. 89 min. (PAL)
12:24 / 12:24-14:18
After the meeting of Yun Shiyu's (James Tien) group of gangsters, Fong-Tin Ching (Sammo Hung) and Siu-Hon (Olivia Cheng) are shown in the garden. He tells of a village 350 miles westwards where life would be better. (These first seconds are also missing in the HK version.) He wants the girls to follow him there. Siu-Hon kisses him and they fall down on the floor, but Fong-Tin stays rather cold towards her. A watching man is already justification enough for him to end this whole thing. Siu-Hon then says that she doesn't want to be in his debt forever and that he saved her and her colleagues after all. Fong-Tin jokes a little bit and then makes clear to her that they don't owe him anything and that he's only interested in their well-being.
31:16 / 33:10-34:25
After Tsao Cheuk Kin (Yuen Biao) spoke to his men, there's missing a longer scene with Fong-Tin again. He enters a room and thinks about his past. He's shown as a child playing with fire, his mother warns him. Then, Siu-Hon enters and talks to him briefly and shows her affection for him while Fong-Tin keeps her at arm's length.
34:41 / 37:50-39:46
Chi (Rosamund Kwan) heeds the advice of Fong-Tin and tries to distract Tsao. So she follows Tsao and extensively tells him something about a romantic dream. He listens, but then cuts her off coldly and leaves. Chi runs after him whereupon he kisses her wildly and says that he'll watch her closer from now on. She wants another kiss, which he didn't expect - so because she closes her eyes, he quickly sends to of his men to fulfill her wish.
(This scene is also missing in the HK version.)
38:00 / 43:05-44:17
The scene with the "horse" and its "rider" Jook Bo (Eric Tsang) is completely missing in the French version.
The security chief sits on the shoulders of one of his men and spurs him like a horse, apparently as a kind of test, just in case. They run after another man with a carriage and try to jump on it but they just fall down. The security chief moans but the other one lists all the terrible things that would have happened with a real horse. At last, he spits on Jook's arm and after some grimacing he runs after him in a sped up shot.
65:06 / 71:23-72:35
After Fong-Tin was thrown into jail, the also imprisoned gang of Jook Bo is shown.
Loi Fook passes the bars and Jook convinces him to hand over the gun because he, as former security chief who was always only equipped with a knife, is interested in it. Of course, he immediately tries to get into the cell, but he can't get it through the bars. Loi takes the gun again and Jook puts the blame on one of his fellow prisoners (Yuen Wah). In the end, they both sit there crying for their mothers.
Loi goes out to Tsao and says that there should be more guards for all those cunning thieves. But the staff is small and Loi finally mentions that he wants to search for some more evidences against Fong-Tin.
70:54 / 78:24-78:41
Fong-Tin's pensive moment was shortened a little bit, the French version continues in the middle of a shot and shortly before the end.
At the beginning he can be heard coming to the conclusion that he can't keep Siu-Hon waiting forever. Moreover, he says that he can't wish for more than a dedicated wife.
75:51 / 83:38-84:03
Fong-Tin's solution for the water problem is missing.
He gets up and urinates on Loi Fook's gun. He looks astonished and shortly after, the gun is working again, if only briefly. So he asks for water again and with the answer to that, the French version sets in again.