Wong Kar Wai

As Tears Go By

As Tears Go By

Wong Kar Wai’s scintillating debut feature is a kinetic, hypercool crime thriller graced with flashes of the impressionistic, daydream visual style for which he would become renowned. Set amid Hong Kong’s ruthless, neon-lit gangland underworld, this operatic saga of ambition, honor, and revenge stars Andy Lau Tak Wah as a small-time mob enforcer who finds himself torn between a burgeoning romance with his ailing cousin (Maggie Cheung Man Yuk, in the first of her iconic collaborations with the director) and his loyalty to his loose-cannon partner in crime (Jacky Cheung Hok Yau), whose reckless attempts to make a name for himself unleash a spiral of violence. Marrying the pulp pleasures of the gritty Hong Kong action drama with hints of the head-rush romanticism Wong would push to intoxicating heights throughout the 1990s, As Tears Go By was a box office smash that heralded the arrival of one of contemporary cinema’s most electrifying talents.

Film Info

  • Hong Kong
  • 1988
  • 98 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • Cantonese

Available In

Collector's Set

World of Wong Kar Wai

World of Wong Kar Wai

Blu-ray Box Set

7 Discs


As Tears Go By
Andy Lau Tak Wah
Maggie Cheung Man Yuk
Jacky Cheung Hok Yau
Alex Man
Wong Kar Wai
Written by
Wong Kar Wai
Alan Tang Kwong Wing
Executive producer
Rover Tang Gwong Chow
Cinematography by
Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Edited by
Cheung Bei Tak
Edited by
Hai Kit Wai
Art director
William Chang Suk Ping


World of Wong Kar Wai: Like the Most Beautiful Times
World of Wong Kar Wai: Like the Most Beautiful Times

By marrying the glamour of golden-age Hollywood to a quicksilver formal daring influenced by a wide range of artists, the Hong Kong auteur became one of the coolest and most beloved filmmakers in the world in the 1990s.

By John Powers