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Chinatown Kid

original title: Tang ren jie xiao zi


  • German Blu-ray (Original version) / US VHS
  • Restoration on Arrow Video Blu-ray
Release: Jan 03, 2022 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the original version on the German Blu-ray by Black Hill Pictures (identical to the US VHS) and the original version on the British Blu-ray by Arrow Video.

- One cut
- Cut duration: 6.6 sec

A few additional master errors, each lasting less than 0.5 sec, were not listed in the report.

Available in the UK and US (there from 28 December 2021) from aficionado label Arrow Video, a box set titled "Shawscope Vol. 1" is a must-have for any fan of Asian action cinema. Included are 12 films from the legendary Shaw Brothers studio, plus plenty of newly produced bonus material and a 60-page book. Version-wise, the original version of Chinatown Kid, restored for the first time, is a standout. Also, 6 other films (so, including Chinatown Kid, there are 7 titles) are available for the first time in new restorations from Arrow Video. The other 5 films are the same as Celestial's versions already released on other Blu-rays worldwide.

Chinatown Kid is included on disc 6 in the set. Until now, the original version was only available on old VHS releases and the master tape for the American VHS was then the inspiration for the version on the German Blu-ray. In 2018, it was the first opportunity ever to acquire the original version on a digital medium. However, with Arrow Video's new 2K restoration, true HD is finally available and as expected, this is now the best option for the film. The runtime difference here, however, is at first glance in favor of the German Blu-ray:

  • Original version on the German Blu-ray: 115:04 min (Black Hill Blu-ray at 23.976 fps).
  • 2021 restoration from Arrow Video: 114:35 min (Arrow Video Blu-ray at 23.976 fps).

However, the German Blu-ray has a lengthy note at the beginning of the movie file indicating the poor picture quality. Without it, the version then runs even a bit shorter. Apart from that, there are no "framecuts" here, as the US VHS / bonus version of the German Blu-ray just didn't come from Celestial.

As already noted in the comparison of the Italian VHS (and also listed in the comparison of the Celestial version), there was a small dialogue cut in the US VHS right in the middle of the film. This part was not reconstructed on the German Blu-ray, so it is strictly speaking also to be classified as cut. Only the Arrow release contains the complete version again. Admittedly, however, one could still live well with this mini-cut. However, the much improved picture quality with true HD outweighs as an argument for the new Arrow version.

Runtimes are ordered as follows: Black Hill Blu-ray / Arrow Video Blu-ray

The German Blu-ray starts with a note about the poor condition of the picture material.

+ 34 sec

53:58 / 53:25-53:32

The US VHS (and thus the German Blu-ray) is missing two shots of further brief dialogue between Tan and the owner's daughter. She introduces herself as Yvonne and he raises his hand in a friendly manner - but then says that he has a Chinese name and would prefer it.

How Yvonne then also gives her Chinese name is again included in the shorter version.

6,6 sec

Packshot of the British Blu-ray box by Arrow Video