Qi xiao fu (1988) - full transcript

The story of Beijing Opera School, its teacher Master Yu and his students.

You'll behave yourself there?


And you won't fight with your classmates?

Do you hear me, son?

Yes, yes!

Higher! Still higher!

Harder! That's no way to somersault!


Who are you looking for?

Master Yu.

Wait a minute.



Stay clear! You may get hurt!

Next, Sammo.


What's the matter?

There's someone looking for you.

Sammo take them to hand stand for 2 hours.

Yes. Line up!

Hurry up!

I said line up! Follow me!

Line up!

Ready! One, two, three!

Mrs Chan? This way, please.

Come on, son.

Take a seat.

Thank you, Master Yu.

You know the detail of learning Peking Opera
in this school?


How long do you want the child to stay here?

Is sword-fighting and somersaulting
all you do everyday?

Well, yes.

No homework?


Great! I'll sign for 10 years!

10 years then? Decided?

Well, alright!
Anyway, his father's working in Australia.

And I have to join him soon.

There'll be no one left to take care of my son.

He's very naughty, you know.

Here's the contract. Have a look.

I can't read.

I'll read it to you, then.

Li Yuk-Ian hereby agrees to...

...let her son, Chan Kong-sang, age 9...

to be Yu Jim-yuan's pupil

in Peking Opera for 10 years.

During this period,
all Chan's income will go to Yu,

who will provide board and lodging.

Chan shall not give up midway or return home
without reasons acceptable to Yu.

Any force majeure or disease shall be Acts of God.

If he disobeys, he shall be beaten to death.

No questions shall be asked.

Upon expiry of his term, he shall repay
the Master as a decent man will.

This contract shall take force immediately,

on this the 1st day of December, 1962.

Upon signature by Li Yuk-Ian.

Thinking of home, Big Nose?

Go to bed early.
There are many hard days ahead.

I've painted one side of your face,

you paint the other.



Biao! How come the two sides are different?

Do it again!

1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Turn faster!

Bear with it!


Stay that way for 5 hours!

1, 2, go!


Big Nose, are you all right?

Are you all right?

1, 2, 3, go, turn! go, turn! Go turn!

1, 2, 3, go, turn!

Sammo, come here!

7 somersaults!



Now, raise your heads and show me your faces.

Come on!

Get going!

Excuse us! Step aside please!

Damn it! Now move quickly!

What a nuisance! Hurry up!

Get lost! Get going!

Move your little asses!

You should be careful.

Father, I'm home from school.

How dare you bump my son?

I hate people who bump my son!

Are you all right?

You little bastards!
Screaming like ghosts every morning!

Look! The baldies are here!

Don't fight. Master's here!

One two three, four five six!

Bald-headed pigs! Bald-headed pigs!

One two three, four five six!

Bald-headed pigs! Bald-headed pigs!

Hurry up!


Quick, get ready.

Hurry up! And give me a good performance!


Cigarettes, peanuts, melon-seeds.

Cigarettes, Master Yu.

Peanuts, melon-seeds.

Cigarettes, peanuts, melon-seeds.

Master Yu! Have a hot towel!


Lots of audience tonight!

Not bad.

Now you are happy.

Big Nose, show time!

Hurry up, Big Nose!


Cigarettes, peanuts, melon-seeds.

Hey, your pants!






It's all your fault!

Goddamn pants!

You stupid!

Where's the spy? Tell him to get on stage now!

I can't find him!

Why is that spy still not out?

Why no one comes out?

Not here either.

What now, Big Brother?

This time we're finished!

Well, let me give it a try!

The spy called to say that...

it's too cold tonight,

and the enemies have returned home
to eat and sleep.

And our show's over!

What? That's it? What a terrible show!

Here comes the spy!

Don't go out,

Ah Biao! The show's over!

You Majesty! We're surrounded by enemies!

This time we're doomed!

You're doomed for sure!

The enemies have returned home for the radio show!

Get up!

What were you doing just now?

Tell me! What were you doing just now?


You're the smartest of all.

Only you know what you were doing.

Where are the others?

Come out, all of you!

There'll be no dinner for you tonight!

What moronic soldiers I have! God damn it!

I'm very hungry.

Me, too. You're a bore.

Come with me!

I'll get you something!

Take off your clogs

and you won't make any sound.

Good idea!

The tailor has some crusts up there.

It's too high!

Get a ladder!

Come down! Quick!

Wow! What's this?

Crusts in sweet water.

Tastes wonderful!

More sugar!

How dare you steal?

But not dare to do Peking Opera?
Come here! Come here!

Get down and take off your pants!


Get down!

You get down over there.

Keep still! Don't move!

Don't turn or I'll beat you out of shape!

Don't turn.

Why learn to steal?

Dare to steal?

I'll beat you up. Shut up.

Don't cry, or I'll beat you up till dawn!

Don't cry.

I won't cry!

I won't either!

Sing better and you'll eat better!

Crusts in sweet water? You small-time thieves!

Work hard and you'll eat well!

What lousy pupils and lousy bed I have!


Son, mammy's here.

Mammy's come with the hot water!


Take off your towels!

Quiet! Stand still! Get down!

Don't cry.

Not so hard, Big Brother, it hurts!

Shut up!

It's cold.

It's not cold after bath.

The soap has got into my eyes!

Don't cry, or I'll shower you up till dawn!

Have you been a good boy?


Listen to your Master, and don't be naughty.

Mammy, don't cry. It doesn't hurt.

I'm big now. People will laugh at me.

Silly boy!

After the bath, you'll be fresh and clean again.

Who gave you this?

My mammy.

Is it sweet?

How does it taste? Is it sweet?

How does it taste? Is it sweet?

Take it.

Is it cool?


Let me do it when you finish.

How does it feel?


You think you're reasonable.

I think I'm reasonable.

I think I'm reasonable.

Reasonable or not reasonable.

Reasonable or not reasonable.

Playing again, imp? Get out there!

Don't come in until I tell you to!

Let's rehearse the second part.

Where is the splendor in the grass,
the glory in the flower?

Or has the best season gone altogether?

I lower my head, I leave in grief.

Farewell to the one who stays to ponder.

Where is the splendor in the grass,
the glory in the flower?

Or has the best season gone altogether?

Uncle Hua.

You two must have made your Master mad again.

Come down first, kid!

Farewell to the one who stays to ponder.

Who told you to come in? Get out!

Have some crystal biscuits.



You two get out! Hear that?

Get the hell out!

Don't be so mad!

Have some crystal biscuits.

Uncle Hua.

Hello, everybody!

You have been naughty and made your Master mad.

You mustn't do this again.

Now have some crystal biscuits.

Thank you, Uncle Hua.

Pass them around.

Let's go out for a drink.

You're ill-tempered as ever.

Sammo, have them recite these lines.

Then go to the pier to get relief rice.

You two get out!

Buy something for everyone.

I can't.

Take it.

Master, are you coming back late tonight?

None of your business!


You imps! Sit properly!

Follow me!

You think you're reasonable.

You think you're reasonable.

I think I'm reasonable.

Reasonable or not reasonable.

Heaven only knows.

Has the Master left?

Yes! Free at last!

Watch out and don't fall!

Let's go!


It's sleeping.

So funny it's not moving at all.

I like this big silly fish.

So foolish, this big fish.

I like the small one, petite.

Biao caught the fish. Run!


Give it to me.

Let's go there.

I go to school by bus

I go to school by bus

I go to school by train

One two three, four five six!

Bald-headed pigs! Bald-headed pigs!

Stay away from our school!

Get out!

My fish bowl is broken.

Give me back my gold fish!

Smash them!

Run quick! Run!

I'll go and tell your Master!

Go ahead! Little mouse!

Little mouse! Little mouse!
Short-sighted little mouse!

Bye, Master Chan.

Uncle Sun, may I have a few chilies?


Do you want one?

Have a drink. The sun's setting.

Still remember old Master's parrot cry?

How can I forget?

Don't eat so much chili.

It's bad for your voice.

Stop nagging me now.

How many chances do we still have?

How have you been doing?

Much as usual,

Running errands as a stuntman.
Getting a few kicks when lucky.

Getting a few broken ribs when out of luck!

See, this is hit by the kung-fu superstar.

And this is the movie queen's masterpiece!

Bear with it and someday you'll make it!

It's life, you know. Thirty years of good luck,
thirty years of bad luck.

And in sixty years you're dead!

Shut up! Come.

Have a drink!

It's nice seeing you.

I always remember our childhood days.

Storm or snow.

We'd get up early and practice hard.

And after 20 years of sweat,
I'm nobody but an extra.

Some day...

You'll get back on stage again.

Take my word for it!

I hope so too.

Let me sing one more time. Sing then!

What's the big deal? Let's sing now!

Come on!

Alas! Looking back of my life.

With strength to remove mountains,
and air to rule the world.

My time has ground to a halt,
my light shines no more!

The hero is no longer,
his horse dead and gone.

There's nothing left my dear queen,
nothing but you and me!

We won! Let's go.

Hurry up!

Big Brother, where are we going now?

Back to school.

How? We're far from school.

Take a bus.

But we have no money!

Right, I don't have a penny left.

Nor do I.

I bought the balloon.

How do we get back?

The bus is coming!

What now?

Follow me!

How can we get in without money?

Well, let's give it a try!
Just say what I say!

Okay, we follow.

Quick! Get on.

Ticket, kid.

Next of kin.

Who's your next of kin?

Conductor 1033.


Next of kin! Conductor 1033.

1033 again?

What's your relationship with 1033?

He's my father.

Your father?



Next of kin! 1033!


What's your relationship with 1033?

He's my father.

1033 is your father?

Yes! He's my father! He's their father too.

1033 is my father...

Little bastards!

Well done!

Well done!

Kids, you really have the nerve!


Since when did 1033 have so many bald-headed kids?

Well, my father is a monk.

Yes! Our father is a monk!

Funny, huh?

You'll have more fun with the police!

Hey, go straight to the police!

Got some rascals here!

All right.

Big Brother, what now?

Take your rice! Get ready to escape!

Your Highness! Let us go, please!

No, you little rascals!

Back to your seat!

I beg you.

Back to your seat!

You kids deserve this!


Drive carefully! You son of a bitch!

Jump! Quick!

You two jump from the rear!

Wait till I get you!

Big Brother, help!

Jump! Quick!

I can't.

Come back in, you little rascal!

Come back in!

I'll get you! You bald-headed rascals!

You think you're reasonable,
I think I'm reasonable.

Reasonable or not reasonable.
Heaven only knows.

Stay right there!
Why are you always running wild?

Tell me, where do you want to crawl to, huh?

What a lousy bed!


Try crawling! Go on!

Good! Now everything's steady.

Shanghaiese, come out!

There's no Shanghaiese here! Only a Pekingese!

230lbs in weight, and nearly 40 in age!

What do you want?

Look, your little baldies

have broken my son's head!

My son has to study

and enroll at Hong Kong University one day!

How can he study with his brain damaged?

My pupils never use violence.

Your son must've provoked them!

I didn't provoke them, they provoked me!

Hear that, Shanghaiese?

Your children provoked my son!

How did they provoke him?

How did they provoke him, your short-sighted man?

How? Tell me!

They called me a short-sighted mouse!


My son is short-sighted because he studies hard!

Unlike your baldies,

who have no father or mother to bring them up!


My pupils are all brought up by me!

Everyone is good.

I'm their father and I'm their mother! So?

I won't argue with you low-class people!

Son, let's go home.

"A prostitute has no true love,
an actor has no real feelings."

Daddy, what's a prostitute?

A whore!

That's no way to teach your child!

None of your business.

Actors are the worst type!

You're the worst type!

Did your education give you such a dirty tongue?

What good is a degree

if you're so mean!

"Scholars are too weak to risk
and too dignified to beg"!

I don't know what you're talking about!

My son will study to be a lawyer,

an architect, or an accountant.
He'll lead a steady life.

Unlike you baldies

who will somersault all their lives...

Never able to stand on solid ground!
We have high aspirations!

Even if we should fall down,
we've jumped up there after all!

It takes three years to train a scholar,
and ten years an actor!

Pigs could fly if

the baldies would become actors!

What did you say?

Son, go back to study!

See if Master has returned...

...He's fallen asleep.

Be quiet.

I thought you'd never come back!

Don't look down on yourselves

even if people do!

Come here!

Let's start all over again!

Put your rice down
Weigh on the leg 300 times!

Go ahead!






Eight! Nine! Straighten your leg!






See how miserable they are, son!

Study hard, or I may as well
let you be Master Yu's pupil!




Thirty years of good luck,
thirty years of bad luck.

Takes 3 years to train a scholar,
and 10 years an actor.

10 years.

A new haircut for the New Year.

You're all big boys now.

A new haircut for the New Year.

Come on, let's go! The sun's setting!

Let's go.

Let's go. Put it down.

Wait for me.

How much?

$4.50, a special discount for you.

What is that? Can I have one, too?


Give me one!

Me too...

Be careful!

Me too...

Master Wong.

How about a free pair of shoe laces?

Well, all right! It's New Year!

What are you doing?

What's going on here?

Be careful not to burn the others.

Hold it like this.

You little baldies!

Watch out, Big Nose!

What the hell's going on here?

What are you doing?


Careful not to burn your hands.

You baldies really get on my nerve!

Happy New Year!

Master Yu, Happy New Year!

May you have a prosperous year!

Same to you!

Well, let's go!

The sun's setting!

Son, let's go home

for the New Year dinner!

Get going!

Show time!


Show time!

Master Yu, your pupils are brilliant.

Thank you!

Take off the hat for me.

All right!

Big Brother, how was I today?

Good! You did well!

Big Brothers, the audience are still clapping.

Come back in! The next performance is coming up!

How dare you, Big Nose!

Don't let Master find out!

There you go again, Big Nose!

How dare you!

Don't let Master find out!

Come out for a photo! All of you!

Corning, Master!

Get going! Get going!

Hurry up! Master's waiting outside.

Move it!

Hurry! The sun's setting!


Pose, ready!

Ready, 1, 2, 3.

Master, you jerked.

Yes, you jerked.

I didn't jerk.

You did,

Master, you did.

You, did.

Impossible! I've been taking pictures for years.


Quiet now!

Let's take one more!

Okay! Master didn't jerk, we did.

We did...

Ready, 1, 2, 3.

See? I didn't jerk, did I?

Look at that idiot. Isn't he funny?

I bet it's stuck onto his head.


maybe not.

Big Nose, stop fooling around!

Come back now! Master's looking for us! Hurry!

Master, are you looking for us?

That Phoenix Cantonese troupe

wants several of us to play warriors.

I want to take you there
to enrich your experience.

Have they stopped the magic show
at No. 6 theatre?

People get tired of seeing
the same tricks every night!

Have they got no warriors themselves?

Nobody can compare the skills
with the Peking Opera troupe.

Nobody can compare the skills
with the Peking Opera troupe.

We have the toughest vocal
and physical trainings of all.

Stop screaming and get moving!

Grandpa? Grandma?

Shut up! What are you singing?

Let me tell you all.

You'd better behave yourselves there!

Don't make me lose face!

It's all your fault!

Behave yourselves!

Is Master Cheng in, please?

She's in there.

Thank you.

Master Yu?

Yes, Master Cheng.

Thank you for helping us, Master Yu.

You're welcome.

You see,

We are having a show next week.

And we still need several warriors.

No problem. They're here.

Oh, hello, young men! Thank you!

Let's rehearse when you have the time.

Tomorrow will be fine.

Master Yu, you're a busy man,

let them come by themselves.

It's all right. I'll come with them.

That's better.


When will the show be?

Next Saturday, at the pier.

I see...an open air performance.

What if it rains on Saturday?


How silly I am!

If it rains on Saturday,
we'll just change it to Friday!

Right, change it to Friday.

We'll see you tomorrow then.

We will rehearse some more times.

Yes, yes!



Hey, check!


Elephant 3 steps forward!

Hey! An elephant can't cross!

Elephant 7 steps backward.

Take elephant and check again!

Let's try again. 1, 2, 3!

Everybody listens.

The timing was not too good just now.

Let's try again.

This round is a fight.

When I kick you in the face, Big Nose.

You should somersault sideways.

Then get up right the way.

Big Nose, do you understand?


Let's try again then.

Ready! 1, 2, 3!

Are you all right? I'm sorry.

Hsiao-hsien, bring some iodine.

There's no need for that. I'm fine.

Are you sure? Have some grapes, then.

Come on.

Hsiao-hsien, take some to Master Yu.

Does it hurt, my child?


Listen, I'm hosting a party tonight.

Why don't you all come?

We must have our Master's permission first.

Finish this.

Master Yu.

Are you free for dinner, Master Yu?

No, thanks.

Please come!

No, thanks.

Come on!


Go! You have only a marshal left!

He's coming! I stripped him clean!

Are you coming or not?

Master Yu, have some grapes.

Thank you.

Take the whole bunch.

Thank you.

Master Yu, do come tonight.

It's our Master's birthday.

Is it?


Then I must bring a gift!

Yes, buy a birthday cake.

Birthday cake?

Well, are you coming?

I'll see...

Sammo, Big Nose, why don't you go first!

I'll come by myself.

Don't wait for me, though.
If you see me, you see me!

I'll strip you clean next time!

You must be joking.

Master Yu, you look very nice today!

Do you have birthday cakes?


but we have all kinds of Chinese cakes.

They all taste good. Would you want some?

Sorry, I prefer a birthday cake.

You can take this lotus cake.

Would this pass for a birthday cake?

It's not presentable, thanks anyway.

I will try somewhere else.

There is a boy staring at you.

Don't stare!

Big Nose, don't stare!

Who's staring?

You are. Look, she's gone!

Go and introduce yourself.

Go on.

How do I start?

Tell her "I'm little Big Nose,

and I want to be your friend"

Go ahead!

That doesn't sound too sophisticated.

It's the singer, not the song, you know.


Go ahead, go!

The best is yet to come.

Go ahead, go!

Are you Hsiao-hsien?

Yes, and you?

I'm... friend,
...and I want to be your little Big Nose!

Oh, my God!

What's your hobby?


Me, too.
What kind of music do you like best?

Cantonese opera,

Sometimes Western hits too.

And you?

Me, too!

Really? Can you play the guitar?


How about the drum?


What musical instrument can you play, then?

The radio. I'm good at switching stations.

Do you make birthday cakes in your bakery?

Birthday cake?

Such a fancy thing takes a long time to make.

Baking, decorating,

putting on the name...

You must place an order 2 days in advance!

I can't wait that long.


you can try your luck
at the bakery by the waterfront.

Such fashionable foreign things
are difficult to find.

Well, cross the harbor and then turn right.

Walk to the end of Castle Peak Road
and then turn left.

Where you'll see a cake shop by the roundabout.

There you may get a birthday cake.

Cross the harbor, turn right.

Then turn left, till I come to the roundabout.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

Master Yu is still not here?

May be he's not coming.

Have a seat.

Let's eat first.

You must be hungry. Please sit down.
Have some soft drink.

Sit down.

Come on, boys!

Don't be shy.

Make yourselves at home.

Kid, you're beginning to leave your
Big Brother behind.

Go on, you must be hungry.

Make yourselves at home.

Hello, everybody!

Here comes the birthday cake!

Master Cheng, happy birthday!

I'm glad you made it.

Sorry to be late.

Have a seat.


I thought you were not coming.


I've never had a birthday cake before.

It took me the whole afternoon to get this one.

Wow! Let's have a look!


Let's look at it now!

Later, later!

Happy 70th Birthday Granduncle!?

Why's it written like this, Master Yu?

I only found out
it was your birthday this afternoon.

I tried to get a birthday cake for you,

but couldn't.

I went from Shaukiwan to Central

and from Central to North Point.

And finally, I got this one.

A cancelled order.

Never mind, let's eat.


why did the granduncle cancel the order?

Yes, why, Master Yu?

The shopkeeper said that the granduncle

...died this morning.

Never mind, Master Yu, we're not superstitious.

Come on, cheers!

Master Cheng,

Many many happy returns!

You like drinking too?

Yes. I also like people who drink.

People who drink are more open and reliable.

I agree!

Master Yu lives down there.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

Come and have lunch.

Master has a date tonight, you know.

Come and have lunch.

Master Yu.

You're early?

Please come in.


Why's there a tortoise under your bed?


My bed used to have one leg shorter than the others,

and the tortoise kept running wild,

so I kept the tortoise there...

to balance my bed.

Poor thing!

It's all right.
It has actually grown

over the past 7 years.

So now my bed has one leg longer than
the others.

It's been there for seven years?

Yes, it's seven years old.

It was born in the year of the rabbit!

You're incredible.

Shall we go to the patio?

It's cooler out there.


Master Yu, I've made something for you.

What is it?

Not something good.

I'm thinking...

You seldom have home cooking.

These home-made preserved fruits
are excellent for you.

Try one.

Thank you.

They're very tasty.

Too sweet?

Have a pepper to drive away
the sweetness, then!

One can't easily change one's eating habit,
can they?

Let me see.

You really are two inches taller!

Two inches taller!


Wow. Really terrific!


Wow, a white jacket

with black buttons! Really chic!

The collars are too tight.

Could you make the collars wider, Uncle Ming?

Wide collars are in now!

Why make them wider?

They are perfect.

Your head is bald, your nose is long...

...if your collars are wide,
you'll look like an elephant!

Too old-school.

Make it an inch wider, please.

No! They're perfect right now.

To make them wilder will be illogical!

Ask my son!

Daddy, they're illogical,

But you're untrendy.

Well, you won't understand anyway.

That's why I say trend is not logical.

See how ugly these bell-bottomed pants are!

Would I be making them

if I didn't have to make a living!

Daddy, I'm going for a walk.


I'll be right back!

Quick! Someone's waiting for you.

All right.

Be back at 10:30.

10:30! Stop nagging!

Master will kill me

if he finds out I stand in for you.

No one can recognize a painted face!

You never take your old man's advice.

Always fooling around! Never home to study!

Do you think it's easy

to enroll at the University?

1, 2, 3,4.

2, 2, 3, 4.

3, 2, 3, 4. Again!

Sorry, are you all right?

Let's do it again! Ready!

1, 2, 3, 4. 2, 2...


Did you do that on purpose?

How can an acrobat like you
be such a clumsy dancer!

Well, enough dancing. Let's play the guitar.

Oh, this book's perfect for you. See?

"Ballroom Dancing"

I don't need it.

Don't worry, it's very simple.

Take it.

No need.

It's all pictures, no words. Take it.

Let's play the guitar! This way.

Let's go.

Big Nose, come with us!

Come on.

No, you go ahead. I can't play anyway.

Well, learn then.

Come on!

I'm not coming.

If you don't play guitar.

Do you want to play ping pong with me then?

You're really not coming?

Then maybe you
want to play ping pong with my brother.

Good! Come play ping pong with me.

Come quickly! 21 points a game!

I'll serve first.

Are you really not coming?

Never mind him. Let's go up first.

Let's go.

Watch out!

Here comes the ball!

Hey, what's the matter with you?

Come on!

I'm not coming.

Let me tell you a secret. Come here!

He's like his Master.

He'll show up by himself later.

Silly boy! Never mind him.




You're terrible, baldie!

All right, let's play real ping pong.


No big deal! Come on, serve!

Three-two, three-three, four-three!

You've got it wrong!


Should be three all!

Don't you know simple arithmetic?

You play dirty! You think I don't know?

You're after my sister!

What? Who's after your sister?

My sister will go back to school next term.
She'll give up Chinese opera!

You have no chance, baldie!

Say that again, and I'll kill you!

Stop bluffing!

My mammy says an opera singer
is good for nothing!

Is a scholar so terrific, then?

Of course! Your friend up there, for instance.

He plays the guitar and sings the Beatles.

Can you?

Can he sing Peking Opera?

What's the matter with you two?

No one wants to see your Peking Opera!

You look ridiculous in your bell-bottomed pants.

Go home and sing, baldie!

Brother, come up!

Big Nose, you, too!

Come here!


Come here!

Sit down

and listen to me play.

Isn't it nice?

Yes. I want to learn too!

Your hand isn't big enough.

It's big enough.


All right, here you go.


Sister, is this the way to play?

Where's Big Nose?

Who cares?

Surrender! Surrender!

Surrender! Surrender!

Want one, Master Yu?

No, thanks.

Last month's account has been worked out.

Sorry, there's no dividend for you.

You worked it out yourself.

You can say whatever you want.

Look at the audience size yourself.

I've checked it very carefully.

Look, here is the account.

Well, whatever you say! I don't care!

We're old friends! I won't cheat you!

I thought you were not coming back!

Is it my turn yet?

No, it's over!

Didn't you say 10:30?

I stood in for you just now.

Master kept staring at me!
He must have seen through my make-up!

So what? Big deal!

Why didn't you tell me earlier?

You think I didn't want to come back?

Crazy? What do you want to do?

How dare you talk back to your Big Brother!
Do that again and I'll beat the devil out of you!

Go ahead! You never like me anyway!

I knew that!

Beat me if you have the guts! Go ahead!

I beat you as a child,
I can beat you as a man too!

Go ahead! Prove it!


Stop it...

Who was that on stage just now?

Fighting again?


You've been fighting since childhood!
Don't you get tired?

Big Nose, why are you dressed

like a teddy boy?

Who gave you permission to go out?

Did you let him out? Why did you let him out?

You've not done your duty as a Big Brother!

How dare you miss the show.

How did you lead them as Big Brother?

Don't run! I'll kill you!

How dare you run away from your Master?

Don't run! Stay right there!

I'll kill you!

Stay right there!

Don't run!

Master Yu, don't hit him.

He's big now.

I'll kill you!

Run! How dare you run?

I taught you somersault and now
you somersault away from me!

Go away for all I care!

I don't care anymore!

You deceived your Master.
You don't deserve to be the Big Brother!

My troupe won't close down with one less ticket,

Nor with one less pupil!


So early?

I couldn't sleep.

Take the class to practice when they wake up.

Big Brother...

Fold his bed and put it in the store room.


Want one, Master Yu?

You don't need to come starting from next week.

Higher! You're far too weak!

Boss made that decision.

You need to look for another way.

Thanks, we'll be fine.

Higher! Give me a better performance next time!

I've performed with the kids here
for so many years.

Yet I have never really seen the place.

Let's walk around before leaving, then.

How about visiting the Wax Museum first?

Why not?

Life is but a stage,

and everyone on it merely players!

And the best players stand here as wax figures.

I can't believe they really dissolved
the traditional theatre.

But then no one's to blame.

There's no audience.

Who says there's no audience?

That old gentleman from Peking Restaurant,

the masters from Shanghai Sauna House,

They all come every night!

They are not enough

to support the company.

The company lost money,

and we lost our mood.

Never! I'm always in a good mood.

I feel uneasy

when there's no show.

You've lost your mood?

I want to dissolve my troupe

and let the children try other trades,

or go back to grammar school.


Yes! Hong Kong is now too westernized.

Who would care about traditional opera?

It's a dying art!

In fact, you should think it over too.

No need.

It takes 10 years to train an actor.

I won't give up half-way!

No, the show must go on.

I got an offer from Chinatown, New York.

I'd like to see how things are over there.

Many old Chinese live in Chinatown.
Perhaps we can perform there.

Do you want to go there?

I don't want to leave the school that I founded.

It may be better for your pupils.

But it means all these years
of training will be wasted.

You decide for yourself.

But you can always come to me
when you're tired of performing.

All right!

Come to me and we can drink together.

I'll make you some preserved chili.

Sounds good!

And we can sing together too.

Pekingese and Cantonese opera

performing together!

Wonderful idea!

You'll come then?

Don't wait for me. If you see me, you see me.

I understand.

If I see you, I see you!

Have a drink, Brother.

Sometimes I think drinking is a waste of time.

But then not drinking is a waste of life.

Big Nose!

Yes, Master?

Take out Sammo's bed.

Go ahead.

Big Brother, it's really you.

Is it true that our theatre has been dissolved?


Uncle Hua!

Have you eaten? Put your things inside first.

Why have you taken such a long walk?

See how frail you are! Even if there's a show,

you won't be able to perform.

Go in and take a rest.

Yes, Master.

The child must have suffered.

He needs some herbal soup.

All right, add some more herbs and dates.

Where are they?

Up there! Get a ladder!


Come down! Quick! They belong to the tailor!

Might as well take some more.

He'll give you hell if he finds out!

Be patient, Brother. The unit manager's busy.

See, here he is. Register first.

Have you brought any photos?


You can't register without photos.

Oh, I have one.

Taken at a New Year performance.

How can I tell who's who

from this whole bunch of baldies?


The 2nd one's Sammo, the 4th Big Nose

and the 6th Biao.

The 2nd one's Sammo, the 4th Big Nose,

the 6th Biao, right?


Biao, Big Nose, Sammo.

Take back the rest.




Hey, the show is over.

The camera's gone already,

you idiots!


Have you finished dying?

Master says

not to stop until the director says "Cut".

This is professional ethics for an actor.

Ethics, yes; wisdom, no!

Sir, how was that take?

Those on the right died well,

those on the left died badly.

But never mind, it will only be
a split second on the screen.

Is dinner ready?

Yes, sir.

Break for dinner then!

Yes, sir.

That was a good take.
We now break for dinner.

Come on, let's go over there to eat.



Just two pieces of dyed pork, damn!

Brother, isn't that the fortress
in "the One-Armed Swordsman"?

Oh, yes!

And that the valley in "Fourteen Amazons"?

Yes, Lily Ho the movie queen
flew over it beautifully.

Uncle Hua said he was her stand-in.

Wish I could be the movie queen's
stand-in some day.

Stop dreaming! Eat!

Come down quick.

Put on your shoes.

My socks are all wet.

What a fool.

Ming is up there.


So old-fashioned.

He's in there.

Thank you.


Quiet! Be careful! Don't pull!

Let him down.

Cut! Let him down. Where did you get him?

How can he be my stand-in?

Assistant Director.

I'm here, sir!


Where did you get this old fellow?

Ask this fellow to get lost!

Sorry, I'll take care of it.

How's it?


Are you hurt?

Fix the wire first, quick!

Uncle Hua, go home and take a rest.
We'll call you later.

Let me try once more.

Let me try once more. I can do it.

I wish I could, but the director's furious.

Do me a favor.

Let me try once more.


One more time please! I won't miss this time.

One more time please!

All right, one more time.

And you'd better make it this time.

Thank you.


let him try once more.
Replace him if he fails again.

Brother, when did you come?

I just arrived.

Something the matter?

No. I just happened to pass by.

Come on, we're brothers. What is it?

I just got a letter from the Government.

The school building will be pulled down soon.

Come to my place if you've nowhere to go.

I can go anywhere.

But what should I do with the children?

I can arrange them to be stuntmen here.

I can arrange them to be stuntmen here.

$80 a day,

just a few somersaults. Easy money!

Easy money?

Yes, all performances are faked.

Master used to say,
"Only madmen act and only idiots watch".

Now I can't tell who's the madman
and who's the idiot.


Stop the noise. Take off your shoes.


My shop has been here for over 20 years.

At your home...

How can we make a living after?


That's bad.

You kids finally came home!

What? How dare you wear my clothes!

Take them off!

I'll make you pay for any damage.

Take them off now, before your Master finds out!
He has been looking everywhere for you!

Why? What is it?

Here's a letter. Read it yourselves!

Brother, what does it say?

What does it say?

A letter from the Government? Read it!

What's the matter?

Our school will be pulled down next month!


How come?

Does Master know about it?

I think so. We're waiting for him to return.

He's gone to the film studio to see Uncle Hua.

Shame on you!

Brother, what do we do now?

What do we do now?

Let's go to the studio to see Master.

Take off your clothes first!

A whole bunch of sailors are
waiting to get their suits.

You don't have to shout.
Let's go for another take!

Hua, be careful!

Uncle Hua, are you ready?


Let's go for another take!

Everybody stand by! All actors in position!

Everybody stand by!

Close the door.

Shadow dancing ready?


Wire and stunt unit ready?


Everybody stand by!
Roll camera! Action! 1, 2, 3.

Call an ambulance!


Hua, are you all right?

You're in trouble! You broke the doll!

Little dolly is all right.

Little dolly is fine.

Hua, go home for a rest.

Uncle Hua, go home for a rest.

We'll call you again.

Now give me back the doll.

Why are you taking away my doll?
I need it for my act.

I need it for my act.

You don't have to act today.

Let me go.

God damn you! I want to act! Get away.


Get away.

Let me go.

What's going on?

Get away.

I want to act!


Go get Uncle Hua down.

Uncle Hua...

I'll go.

Show time!

Take the money first.


Wait for me.

Hua, are you all right?

Who are you to stop my show?

Hua, I'm your brother.



Uncle Hua, be careful!

The snow has come! Get up everybody!

Get up! Time to practice!

Your Majesty!

Looking back at my life...

Yes, your Majesty!

With strength to remove mountains,
and air to rule the world.

My time has ground to a halt,
my light shines no more!

The hero is no longer,
his horse dead and gone.

Big Brother.


Big Brother, help me!

Hold on tight!

Big Brother.

He's up there! Follow me.

Big Brother, help me up please!

I fell off the stage again!

This time Master will kill me!

Don't worry, Big Brother will help you up!

Hold on! Hold on!

Big Brother, pull me up!

I still have to act!

You're back on stage.

You're all right now.

Let's finish the song together.

The hero is no longer, his horse dead and gone.

There is nothing left my dear queen,
nothing but you and me.

Brother, how was I?

Good! You were brilliant!

See? There is a big audience down there.

Yes, such a big audience.

Was I really good?


Master will be very pleased with you.

I'm coming down with Uncle Hua.

He acted so well,

you should all give a big hand.
Clap your hands!

Come on, clap your hands!

Thank you!

Let's go down.

Easy, take care.

Thank you.

Thank you all.

Thank you for coming to my show.

Thank you.

Here are some crystal biscuits for you.

Thank you for the flowers!

Do come to my next show.

You were great!

Please come with us, sir. The show's over.

Don't worry. We'll take care of him.

Please come with us.

It's going to be all right.

Please come with us.

Take a rest in the backstage first.

Uncle Hua, take a rest. You were great.

Hua, we'll come to see you.

Thank you!



I learnt Peking Opera in the Capital

for 10 years,

and wandered around China in a troupe

for 15 years.

Then I spent another 15 years

running this school in Hong Kong.

To spend 40 years of one's life

on the same thing...

...takes a lot of conviction.

How I suffered...

...from my conviction.

Heaven only knows.

Successful or not,
I have given myself a chance to try.

I just don't know
if I have given you the same chance.

The school...

will be pulled down next month.

I can't go on any more.

I've decided to retire overseas.

Before I leave,
I'll try my best to find you new paths.

It's up to you to decide your own future.

Sammo, Big Nose, come in!

Yes, Master?

I'm tired. Lift up my bed

and let the tortoise go.

Master, the bed may lose its balance.

How much longer will I be sleeping on it?

After all, he needs to crawl a little.

Have you written down my address?

Yes, Master.

Drop me a line when you have time.

But then you can't write much.

Master don't worry,

we've decided to work in the film studio.

Movies? Is there a prospect in movies?

We'll give it a try.

For how long? I've been trying all my life.

We'll try 40 more years,

as you did.

All right, you decide for yourselves.

Master, we've got something for you.

Remember not to look down on yourselves...

...even if people do.

Well, go back!

Go on!

Go now! The sun's setting.

Master, we're leaving.

Goodbye, Master.

Goodbye, Master.

Take care, Master.

Goodbye, Master.

Take care, Master.

Goodbye, Master.

Go on!

Take care, Master.

Goodbye, Master.

Behave yourselves in the film studio.

Remember not to stop acting
till the director says "Cut".

Sammo, take care of your young brothers.

You must behave yourselves, you hear me?

"Painted Faces"

You think you're reasonable.

I think I'm reasonable.

Reasonable or not reasonable.

Heaven only knows.

Where is the splendor in the grass,
the glory in the flower?

Or has the best season gone altogether?

I lower my head, I leave in grief.

Farewell to the one who stays to ponder!