Miracles (1989)

 Miracles (1989)



Miracles (奇迹) is a 1989 Hong Kong action film directed and written by Jackie Chan, who also plays the lead role and worked as stunt co-ordinator. The film is set in 1930s Hong Kong and is a variation of Frank Capra's Lady for a Day and Pocketful of Miracles,which in turn were based on "Madame La Gimp", a short story by Damon Runyon. The movie was remade in Hindi as Singh Is Kinng with Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif. A similar subplot also appears in the 1973 Hindi film Loafer.

Miracles features many well-known Hong Kong actors, including Anita Mui and Wu Ma, and is considered one of Jackie Chan's most sophisticated directorial efforts. Chan is an ardent fan of Hollywood musicals, and Miracles pays tribute to that genre.According to his autobiography, Chan stated that this was the favourite film he has made.

Plot

Chan plays Kuo Cheng-Wah, a kindhearted country boy who is quickly cheated out of all his money by Tung (Bill Tung) when he arrives in Hong Kong. Depressed and destitute, he encounters Madame Kao (Rose Gua Ah Lei), a poor woman selling flowers on the street; she urges him to buy a red rose, saying it will bring him luck. He demurs at first, shaking his head sadly, then finally agrees.

His fortunes immediately take a dramatic turn when he stumbles into a gang war, and renders assistance to a dying gang leader. The leader makes Kuo his successor due to a pun, then dies. Kuo, awed, attributes his luck to Madame Kao's rose, and takes to buying one from her every day thereafter. This does not sit well with the gang, especially Fei (Lo Lieh), who felt he was next in line to be the boss. Uncle Hoi (Wu Ma), the boss' right hand man, helps Kuo adjust to being the boss. In a fight to test his toughness, Kuo wins the gang's respect, with the exception of Fei.

Kuo cannot accept being a gangster boss and tries to find a different way to legitimately make a living for himself and his gang. When singer Yang Luming (Anita Mui) comes to him with money to pay off a debt the previous boss loaned to her dad, Uncle Hoi gets the idea to open a nightclub. At the opening of the nightclub, rival boss Tiger comes to muscle his way in on half of the shares of the nightclub, but is stopped by the police and Inspector Ho (Richard Ng).

Before a meeting with Tiger, Kuo goes to buy his usual rose from Madame Kao, but she is not at her post. Because of this, he is caught up at a fight in a restaurant. The fight ends when Tiger stops a fan from falling on Kuo, who dove out of his way to grab a rose. About to be taken for ransom by Tiger, he is saved again by Inspector Ho. Afterwards, Kuo searches for Madame Kao, and finds her terribly upset over a letter she has just received. The letter is from her daughter, Belle (Gloria Yip), a student in Shanghai whom Madame Kao has been supporting, all the while concealing her sufferings and leading her to believe that she is a rich society woman in Hong Kong. Now, she is coming to visit, bringing her wealthy fiance and his father, and Madame Kao is afraid that her poverty will bring disgrace on her daughter. Kuo offers to help, buying Madame Kao expensive new clothes and arranging a lavish party for her, to which he invites some of his disreputable friends, including Tung as her husband, on the condition that they impersonate the local dignitaries.

Meanwhile, Fei has manipulated Tiger into thinking Kuo had some of his men killed when they were trying to bring him in for a negotiation, when they were simply being held captive. On the eve of the party, Kuo is captured by Tiger and taken to a rope factory run by Fei. It is clear to Kuo now that Fei was behind the scenes of all the strife, but as Tiger is about to shoot Kuo, Tiger's missing men return, proving Kuo's innocence. Tiger sees this as an internal struggle and lets Kuo and Fei sort things out on their own. After a fight in the factory with Fei's men, Kuo triumphs. Fei is ready to fight Kuo himself, but Kuo wants to solve their issues peacefully, and more importantly get back to Madame Kao's situation, winning Tiger's respect in the process.

After canceling the party, Kuo tries to convince the real dignitaries of Hong Kong to help him, but they cannot understand why he wants to help Madame Kao. Right as Madame Kao is about to confess to Belle's fiance and father about her lies, the dignitaries come in for the party, with Kuo having convinced them that he could not do this without them.

As Belle and her fiance take a ship back to Shanghai, everyone is there to see them off. Inspector Ho, wanted for embezzlement and abuse of power when he was conned by Tung, is also on the ship, denouncing Tung as they ship off. Happy with how things turned out, Kuo yells for Belle to come back so they can do this again, which causes everyone to stare at him.


Awards and nominations

1990 Hong Kong Film Awards Won: Best Action Choreography (Jackie Chan Stunt Team)
Nomination: Best Actor (Jackie Chan)
Nomination: Best Art Direction (Eddie Ma)
Nomination: Best Film Editing (Peter Cheung)

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