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The Pope’s Exorcist

The Last Starfighter

Chinatown Kid, The

original title: Tang ren jie xiao zi


  • Alternate Celestial Version
  • Original Version
Release: Apr 10, 2020 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Asphyxia - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the alternative Celestial version and the uncut version

75 documented deviations, including
* 35x alternative course
* 42 scenes with additional material in Celestial Master
* 6 re-cuts

Difference: ~ 24 minutes [in PAL]
* Additional material in Celestial-Master (coarse count without trivial alternativetakes): ~ 18 minutes
* Additional material in original version (coarse count without irrelevant alternativetakes): ~ 42 minutes

As usual at Celestial, there are several framecuts which explain the additional runtime difference of about 2 minutes and were only mentioned in the cut report for a duration of more than one second.

The Versions of The Chinatown Kid

The Chinatown Kid (1977) by Shaw Brothers veteran Chang Cheh is basically the warm-up for the "Venoms" before the same cast starred in the Eastern classic Five Deadly Venoms. At one hand, the here compared movie is a classic among fans and on the other hand the yet rather unknown status results from the fact that the Original Version is not that easy to get.

On VHS many countries still received the uncut original version with a duration of almost 110 minutes in PAL - only Germany was unlucky again and got a on this basis cutted down censored version to almost 74 minutes. This is basically a well-known misery but the Hong Kong DVD from Celestial was surprising: The film suddenly only runs for 86 minutes and shows many more complex differences which suggest that the version was deliberately assembled for (presumably Asian) alternative markets.

This version is the subject of this edited report; until 24 August 2018 it was the only way to see the film digitally and in good quality. But now a German Blu-ray has been released which has three different versions on board: The aforementioned Celestial HD master, the uncut original version in SD quality as well as a reconstructed German theatrical version without violent cuts. Unfortunately, despite intensive searches, no better picture material could be found for the original version than the American VHS master. After all, in contrast to many other worldwide VHS editions this one is in the original image format as well as really uncut - more about this in the following comparison to the Italian VHS. Qualitatively not a completely satisfactory solution but at least the film is now available in digital form.

The differences in the master from Celestial

In terms of content it immediately stands out that the Celestial version clearly played down the film : The storyline around the hard-working pupil portrayed by Sun Chien is more strongly in the foreground and in the end must also serve as a moral end. Some scenes or whole subplots with Alexander Fu Sheng drifting into the gangster milieu fell under the table again. At the same time several violent pikes or harder fights were cut down.

On the other hand there is also a lot of exclusive alternative material. That begins already with many short alternativ takes, which exhibit however usually no really appreciable difference and stand therefore in many places only as small kept marginal note. Entire conflicts between the individual gangs are also differently arranged from the beginning and some characters disappear almost completely from the film. There is also a politically correct ending: The police arrests Fu Sheng as well as the adversary before he can bless the temporal. Moreover there is a little hope for the children of the future.

The original version makes a much more fluid impression. Some interventions in the Celestial version are simply dilettantish and cause connection errors. The same applies to a few of the alternative takes in which characters suddenly have a different hairstyle in the middle of the shot or sit against a different background. So it's only to be welcomed that the new German Blu-ray didn't just satisfy with the Celestial master - especially since the old German version, as already mentioned, was shortened in places that were partly identical, but often also completely different.

After the Mediabook release originally announced for July was postponed to August 24, 2018, a release date for a single Amaray release with the same content by Black Hill Pictures is also available now. From 25 October 2018 the film with all 3 versions can also be found in department stores individually on DVD or Blu-ray.

Runtime specifications are arranged according to the scheme
Celestial Master in PAL / Italian VHS in PAL
1 of 5
The Celestial Master has a similar hint at the beginning.
Not included in cut duration/quantity.

+ 10 sec

Directly after that different credits insertions.

Celestial masterOriginal version

01:52 or 03:16-04:27 / 01:48-03:12

Tan (Fu Sheng) walks through town with his grandpa and his grandpa talks about money.
Comes in the Celestial master unchanged (if one disregards the usual framecuts) about 1.5 minutes later after the scene with Yang Chin Wen (Sun Chien) and his father.

Alternative / Additional material in Celestial master
02:12-02:32 / 03:26-03:30

In the original version you can see Yang Chin Wen laughing on the floor, getting up and holding the children in his arms - then it goes on with the fact that his father comes along.

The Celestial-Master apparently starts exactly at this moment of the scene and shows Yang Chin Wen still talking to the children.

Celestial 14.8 sec longer

03:16 or 04:27 / 04:17-05:19

While Celestial inserted the scene mentioned at the beginning with Tan and his grandpa in the city again, another scene with the two of them was completely deleted. Actually they go out for something to eat in the evening and Tan promises, considering the broken glasses, that he can buy him a new one sometime when he has earned some money.

58,4 sec

Additional material in Celestial Master
05:22-06:20 / 06:17

After Tan has beaten the ceiling at night, the Celestial has an additional scene: Grandpa struggles in the restaurant and Ah Xiang invites him to dinner.

+ 58.2 sec

Additional material in Celestial Master
07:25-07:41 / 07:29

The Celestial master used to start in the scene with the working Yang Chin Wen: Only here someone comes along and thinks that Yang should not overwork himself. But he replies that he promised his boss a draft and that he will stick to it.

+ 16 sec

Additional material in Celestial Master
07:45-07:52 / 07:33

At the Celestial another shot from outside and Yang lets his student repeat something.

+ 7.1 sec

Alternative / Additional material in Celestial master
07:55-08:19 / 07:36-07:52

Strange (and still in many later scenes): How Tan and Grandpa talk, go to the table and order 2x orange juices can be seen in two alternative and somewhat longer takes at the Celestial. The first one is very similar, the second from a completely different perspective.

Celestial 7.8 sec longer


Alternative / Additional material in Celestial master
08:46-09:04 / 08:21-08:48

Again two completely alternative takes when Tan and grandpa talk about business opportunities and get up again. Very similarly shot but clearly different shots.

Original version 8 sec longer

Celestial masterOriginal version

Alternative / Additional material in Celestial Master

With a few close-ups a few seconds later there are again different but similar or only absolutely insignificantly deviating alternative takes.

Original version 1.2 sec longer

12:27 / 12:30-12:40

Tan's grandpa walks away an insignificant moment longer and Chu Ho looks towards the two or makes a comment.

9,4 sec

Alternative / Additional material in Celestial Master
12:37-12:49 / 12:50-13:03

An insignificant alternative take from Tan as he sets about tearing up the newspaper.

Original version 0.3 sec longer

14:12 / 14:33-14:47

The policemen discuss a little longer with Tan at first.

13.8 sec

15:35 / 16:17-16:38

A longer part of the fight is missing here in which Tan is attacked with a knife, among other things.

20 sec

Alternative / Additional material in Celestial master
16:29-16:33 / 17:33-21:26

At theCelestial-Master you only see Tan walking away from behind for a short time and Chu Ho thinks he will pay for it.

Tan still attacks in the original version but is held back by the woman. He gets into her car and they drive away but there is still some dialogue.

Tan then rescues a girl from the clutches of a few henchmen and brings her home. There, he is offered some money but he refuses. The father says that he wants to go to America and take him with him. Tan says that it is not his league.

Finally Tan is home and grandpa complains that he fought. He gives him some kind of house-arrest.

original version 217,9 sec (= 3:40 min) longer
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