Friday, January 29, 2010

New York, Chinatown (1982)

Ok, so I figured that since I live in New York and visit the city enough, I would try and take you folks on a tour, so to speak, on some locations featured in a few Hong Kong productions that have filmed in New York City. First up is the 1982 crime/drama NEW YORK, CHINATOWN, directed by Stanley Siu Wing and starring Melvin Wong Gam-san, Alan Tang Kwong-wing, Maria Chung Wai-bing and a very early appearance by Don "The Dragon" Wilson. The film is part of a two disc double feature put out by BCI's Kung Fu Theater. The second disc contains MASTER OF DISASTER aka NEW KIDS IN TOWN aka NEW KILLERS IN TOWN. The transfer is pretty nice and what you would expect a 1982 Hong Kong pic to look like. It's a pretty standard crime flick with tough guys, dirty cops, bumbling small potatoes, hokey acting, questionable filmmaking, and amusingly bad subtitles. I tried my best (remember i'm a lazy body) to match the screen shots with pictures I have taken of the locale. Most of the location pics were taken before I thought about doing this so the pictures don't exactly match the location perfectly. But who cares? It's still pretty cool to compare NEW YORK, CHINATOWN circa 1982 with New York, Chinatown circa 2010.

Some Chinatown punks crossing Bowery. The Manhattan Bridge entrance/exit in the background. This is just south of Canal Street. Check out that Yellow Cab on the right! 1982

Here is the same location as the previous pic. 2010

The same 3 punks from the earlier pic. They made there way across Bowery and are now loitering in front of a restaurant. The guy in the middle is pretending to take a whizz which prompts the chick in yellow to utter that awful subtitle. 1982

The same location. Decidedly different. The restaurant is still there but i'm not sure if it is the exact same establishment. Today, the restaurant goes by the name of Sunshine 27. It has a much different facade incorporating a bunch of fish tanks into it's decor. 2010

Dirty Chinatown Dai lo Melvin Wong walking toward his car after viewing his brothers dead body below the Brooklyn Bridge. Manhattan side. 1982

Obviously this pic is slightly different than the long shot featured in the screen cap. This pic might have been taken from where my main man Melvin was standing? 2010

Pretty cool little shootout on Mott Street. On the far side of the street, to the right, is my favorite C-town eatery Big Wong's. Note the sign. Before..... 1982

And after. The 2010 Big Wong sign is, well, big and yellow. The facade is different as well. Going from a red tile finish to a nicer and more city friendly brick. 2010

Some punk ass triad small potatoes running scarred down Doyer's Street. 1982

This pic and the one above it are of the same location. This pic is the beginning of the final shootout. It's on the corner of Doyers Street and and Pell Street. 1982

The same intersecion of Doyers and Pell. 2010

I'll have to look at the film again but I believe this might be a pic of Don "The Dragon" Wilson riding the roof of a station wagon with gun-a-blazing down Pell street towards Mott Street. 1982

View from Pell Street looking west toward Mott Street....sans Don "The Dragon" and station wagon. 2010

Finally this is the view from Mott Street looking southward toward the Chatham Square and Worth Street intersection. 2010

After the carnage. Last man standing Alan Tang Kwong-wing walks down blood soaked Mott Street towards the Chatham Square/ Worth Street intersection. THE END. 1982

Hopefully in the future I will get to do this again. There have been a dozen or so HK productions filmed in and around New York City. The other films I have planned are TAKING MANHATTAN, MANHATTAN MIDNIGHT, TONGS, THE IMMIGRANT POLICEMAN, FULL MOON IN NEW YORK, and FAREWELL CHINA. I'm probably missing a few. Any others?

I'm also toying with portraying a few San Francisco based HK flicks since I was there two years ago and i'm heading back this summer. SAUSALITO immediatley springs to mind along with Otto Chan's awesome GATES OF HELL. Where did THE WESLEY'S MYSTERIOUS FILE take place? Was it San Francisco? Was it shot on location? Am I missing other films?


  1. Pretty sure Wesley's Mysterious Files is San Francisco.

    Love the concept here, great way to remind everyone of how much Chinatown has changed over the years.

    Now I am wondering why Big Wong's sign wasn't big and yellow all along.

  2. Thanks Diana. I hope to do the same comparison with other films in the future. I didn't notice Big Wong's in the background until I watched the film again. I'm glad I did. I LOVE the big yellow sign. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Thanks for this.
    I was lucky to have worked on this movie. Found your page looking for an updated DVD of the movie as that one is an awful transfer.
    Sad to hear Alan Tang passed away a week ago.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, William! In what capacity did you work on the film? Unfortunately, I don't believe there is an updated DVD aside from this print? It was a fun movie.

    Most definitely sad to hear of the passing of Alan Tang. He was a wonderful artist and a special voice in the HK film industry.

    Thanks again, William!

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  6. From William Klayer-

    I worked as an electrician on the film. I was hired by a friend from Taiwan. I have set photos if you ever want to see them.

  7. Yes, William. I would love to see them. Please!



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