Comparison between the cut British VHS from Made in Hong Kong and the uncut British Blu-ray from 88 Films.
There are still a few minor master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each, which were not listed in the report.
We took this HD premiere in the UK, which has been available since May 01, 2023, as an opportunity to rehash the censorship history. The Brits only got a version on VHS that was censored by several moments with a butterfly knife swung around. This weapon, as we know, the BBFC didn't like at all back then, much like nunchucks. Many reports in our archive, e.g. on the films of Bruce Lee, already document this. At least with the 2003 DVD premiere, this type of censorship was at least no longer necessary, since the rating standards had loosened in the meantime. Beyond that, the VHS still has quite a few master-related cuts, mainly during reel changes.
The Blu-ray still has the logo of Gala to start. Not included in cut duration/quantity.
20:57 / 22:14-22:21
Ko Chun (Chow Yun-Fat) still says "Once again please."
This is followed by another tracking shot to the table, initially from the angle of a couple of glasses on the tray. The last 1.5 sec of the shot, where Ko's opponent picks up the cards, are included again.
Possibly just a master error because of a reel change.
41:49 / 44:06-44:07
Probably the next reel change: First you see Knife (Andy) and Ko a moment earlier...
41:50 / 44:07-44:10
...and the same shot is a bit longer. Boss Kau (Shing Fui-On) then briefly calls for the next card.
The follow-up shot of Jane (Joey Wang) also starts a little earlier.
60:15 / 63:23-63:24
When Knife has flocked to the crowd and yet finds only a beggar on the ground instead of Ko, there is a small jumpcut.
61:09 / 64:21-64:28
Reel change: Ko runs away from Knife a little longer. Afterwards, we first see a sign of the doctor and then the first close-ups of Ko. The VHS is back with a shot of him looking to the left.
62:35 / 65:57-66:00
Due to a jumpcut, part of the people walking through the passage is lost.
73:21 / 77:14-77:18
Now begins the sequence that is the main reason for the report due to the BBFC censorship. At the end of one take and the beginning of the next, Brother Shing (Ng Man-Tat) plays around a bit with his butterfly knife.
73:22 / 77:19-77:22
He retracts the knife again and by doing so also waves it around once more.
75:55 / 80:01-80:10
After Ko has successfully performed his trick, Shing suddenly pulls the knife again. In principle, this can still be understood in the UK-VHS, but here he only reaches for the weapon and Ko immediately pulls it out of his hand. In between he actually waves the butterfly knife in front of Ko's nose again. He threatens him a bit and says that he himself is the true "god of gamblers".
75:58 / 80:13-80:18
When Ko now waves around himself, this can at least be glimpsed quite briefly at the VHS again, but actually this also runs longer. Further quick opening and closing, in which the weapon is better visible.
75:58 / 80:18-80:24
In a short close-up of his face, Ko puts the knife aside. Actually, Ko is then shown putting it in Shing's hand, quickly giving him four slaps, taking the knife again, and then using it to rip open his top.
75:59 / 80:25-80:29
The short end of a shot with shreds of clothing flying through the air in front of Ko was included, but then a shot of Shing's shredded top is missing. The camera pulls up and Ko holds the knife to his throat.
Interestingly, however, the UK VHS also shows Jane ramming the knife into Shing's thigh and Knife pulling it out shortly after. On the one hand, this would have been really hard to cut, since it is essential for the rest of the scene. On the other hand, there's no waving of the knife around at all in the process, so there's no further footage here of the folding motions potentially attractive to imitators that were so criticized by the BBFC.
80:43 / 85:24-85:28
Next reel change: Again, the end of a shot and the short follow-up shot (exterior shot for scene transition) are completely missing. The next dialogue scene inside also starts a scant second earlier.
A running time-wise only very short cut, but due to which there is a very abrupt and choppy scene transition on the UK VHS.
89:38 / 94:46
Odd: When a guy with a white top is shot bloody, a few frames with another bullet hit are missing due to a jump cut. Since significantly bloodier hits remained untouched in the surrounding area, it's probably not a deliberate cut. Nevertheless, of course, worth a listing.
91:43 / 96:57-96:58
Master error: The last shot of Ko on the street is actually still faded to black.
In the 92nd/97th minute, during the brief flashbacks of Ko, even on the UK VHS, you can see Shing whirling around with the butterfly knife for a few frames.
102:43 / 108:26-108:30
Reel change: one shot of the boat is a little longer and the next one starts much earlier.
After the credits, the Blu-ray has the Gala logo again.
Cut UK VHS from Made in Hong Kong:
Uncut UK Blu-ray from 88 Films - Slipcase and reverse cover: