6.9/10
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78 user 66 critic

Year of the Dragon (1985)

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2:07 | Trailer
A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.

Director:

Michael Cimino

Writers:

Robert Daley (novel), Oliver Stone (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Stanley White
John Lone ... Joey Tai
Ariane ... Tracy Tzu
Leonard Termo ... Angelo Rizzo
Raymond J. Barry ... Louis Bukowski (as Ray Barry)
Caroline Kava ... Connie White
Eddie Jones ... William McKenna
Joey Chin Joey Chin ... Ronnie Chang
Victor Wong ... Harry Yung
K. Dock Yip K. Dock Yip ... Milton Bin
Hon-Lam Pau ... Fred Hung (as Pao Han Lin)
Way Dong Woo Way Dong Woo ... Elder
Jimmy Sun Jimmy Sun ... Elder
Daniel Davin Daniel Davin ... Francis Kearney
Mark Hammer Mark Hammer ... Commissioner Sullivan
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Storyline

Chinatown, New York City. There has long been an unofficial agreement that the NYPD will leave the traditionally run Chinese triad alone to manage the crime issue in the neighborhood, the triad who is the face of organized crime of Chinatown. The triad also has an unofficial agreement with the Italian mafia, still seen as the major player in organized crime in the city, to be cooperative in a win-win situation in their illegal activities. However, the Chinese youth gangs are disregarding these unofficial agreements, being another violent player in the crime scene in Chinatown, they who take a stand by killing Jackie Wong, the head of the triad. To deal with the matter, the NYPD reassign Captain Stanley White from Brooklyn to Chinatown. Stanley, of Polish heritage, is not averse to slinging slurs toward his adversaries, most of those of a racial nature. This reassignment will not help the already deteriorating marriage he has to his long suffering wife, Connie. While Stanley is ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It isn't the Bronx or Brooklyn. It isn't even New York. It's Chinatown...and it's about to explode.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Manhattan Sur See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,093,079, 18 August 1985

Gross USA:

$18,707,466

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,707,466
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cimino was approached multiple times to direct the film and turned it down repeatedly. One of the reasons was his belief that he still holds "that very few people really know anything about the subject matter of Triads in America." He finally relented on the condition that he be allowed to write the screenplay. He realized after committing to the film that the studio already had a firm start date for production, and knowing that he couldn't possibly do the writing, research, and other pre-production work alone he brought in his friend Oliver Stone "one of the great writing talents." He adds James Toback, Raymond Carver, Gore Vidal, and Robert Bolt to the short list as well. . See more »

Goofs

The first time Stanley is shown on screen his hair is gray and white all over. The next time Stanley is shown in the police station his hair is brown with gray only visible on his temples. In other scenes of the film his hair changes color from gray/white to brown with graying at the temples. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tracy Tzu: Captain McKenna, any leads in the murder of Jackie Wong?
William McKenna: Nothing at this time.
Tracy Tzu: Do you think this killing means there's some kind of war going on in the Chinatown Tongs?
William McKenna: No, I don't. This is basically a situation where the youth gangs are lashing out at the establishment. The community is cooperating. The situation's under control.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits roll over a image of the Chinese woman restaurant-singer crooning a Chinese easy-listening ditty. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Cocoricocoboy: Episode dated 4 December 1985 (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Resurrection Symphony #2 (Fifth Movement)
Written by Gustav Mahler (uncredited)
By Bernard Haitink and Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Projects, a division of PolyGram Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Violent Thriller About The Triads
11 February 2018 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

'Year Of The Dragon' is a dark, brutal thriller about the Chinese mafia's turf wars in the United States. This was once celebrated director Michael Cimino's last attempt to create something daring in Hollywood after his previous film 'Heaven's Gate' infamously bankrupted studio United Artists, but while 'Year of the Dragon' might not the be the masterpiece Cimino's multiple Oscar-wining epic 'The Deer Hunter' was, it is still a very good film and remains one of the best cop thrillers of the eighties - plus it features a Mickey Rourke in absolute top form.

And it's an interesting film for some other reasons as well. For one, the script was written by none other than a young Oliver Stone. For another, it was the first time a Hollywood movie addressed the topic of Chinese gang violence in America, and although it seems rather tame now when compared to the reality of Triad wars, at the time, it was accused of being racist towards the Chinese community. The controversy it caused when it opened, plus the fact that it flopped badly, were the final nails in Cimino's career (he only made 3 more films until his death in 2016). But it's a very well crafted, gripping cop thriller that deserves to be re-discovered. 8 stars out of 10.

In case you're interested in more underrated gems, here's a list with some of my favorites:

imdb.com/list/ls070242495


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