Also known as Wu Hsiang-fei, Yu-Sam Ng, John Wu, Yu-Sheng Wu, Yusen Wu. Born on May 1 1946 in Guangzhou, China with the birth name Yusen Wu. He's directed (or is scheduled to direct) over 2 dozen movies at the time of this writing:

  1. King's Ransom (2001)
  2. Windtalkers (2001)
  3. Mission: Impossible II (2000)
    ... aka M:I-2 (2000) (USA: promotional abbreviation)
  4. Blackjack (1998) (TV)
    ... aka John Woo's Blackjack (1998) (TV) (USA)
  5. Face/Off (1997)
    ... aka Face Off (1997)
  6. Broken Arrow (1996)
  7. Hard Target (1993)
  8. Lashou shentan (1992)
    ... aka Hard-Boiled (1992)
    ... aka Hot-Handed God of Cops (1992)
    ... aka Ruthless Super-Cop (1992)
  9. Die xue jie tou (1990)
    ... aka Bullet in the Head (1990/II)
  10. Zongsheng sihai (1990)
    ... aka Once a Thief (1990)
  11. ie xue shuang xiong (1989)
    ... aka Killer, The (1989) (USA)
  12. Yi dan qun ying (1987)
    ... aka Just Heroes (1999) (UK: video title)
    ... aka Tragic Heroes (1987)
  13. Yinghung bunsik II (1987)
    ... aka Better Tomorrow II, A (1987)
    ... aka Color of a Hero II, The (1987)
  14. Ying huang boon sik (1986)
    ... aka Better Tomorrow, A (1986)
    ... aka Color of a Hero, The (1986)
    ... aka Gangland Boss (1986)
    ... aka True Colors of a Hero (1986) (Hong Kong: English title)
  15. Ying xiong wei lei (1986)
    ... aka Heroes Shed No Tears (1986)
    ... aka Sunset Warrior, The (1986)
  16. Liang zhi lao hu (1985)
    ... aka Run Tiger Run (1985)
  17. Xiao jiang (1984)
    ... aka Time You Need a Friend, The (1984)
  18. Ba cai Lin Ya Zhen (1982)
    ... aka Lam Au Chun No. 3 (1982)
    ... aka Plain Jane to the Rescue (1982)
  19. Hua ji shi dai (1981) (as Wu Hsiang-fei)
    ... aka Laughing Times (1981)
  20. Mo deng tian shi (1981)
    ... aka To Hell with the Devil (1981)
  21. Ha luo, ye gui ren (1978)
    ... aka Hello, Late Homecomers (1978)
  22. Hao xia (1978)
    ... aka Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1978)
    ... aka Last Hurray for Chivalry (1978)
  23. Da sha xing yu xiao mei tou (1977)
    ... aka Follow the Star (1977)
  24. Fa qian han (1977)
    ... aka Money Crazy (1977)
    ... aka Pilferer's Progress, The (1977)
  25. Qian zuo guai (1977)
    ... aka From Riches to Rags (1977)
    ... aka Money Talk (1977)
  26. Dinü hua (1975) (as Yusen Wu)
    ... aka Princess Chang Ping (1975)
  27. Shao Lin men (1975)
    ... aka Countdown in Kung Fu (1975)
    ... aka Hand of Death (1975) (Hong Kong: English title)
    ... aka Shaolin Men (1975)
    ... aka Strike of Death (1975)
  28. Tie han rou qing (1975)
    ... aka Ninja Kids (1975)
    ... aka Young Dragons, The (1975)
  29. Nu zi tai quan qun ying hui (1974)
    ... aka Belles of Taekwondo (1974)
    ... aka Dragon Tamers, The (1974)


John Woo appeared at the Virgin Megastore on Sunset Boulevard a few years ago, signing copies of the Criterion Edition of a collection of his films on laserdisc. A friend of mine went to the event. While Mr. Woo was signing his copy of the collection, my friend mentioned that he was getting married soon and had been hoping to play the beautiful opening song from The Killer at the wedding. However, he'd been unable to find it anywhere.

Woo expressed his sympathy and said he would see about getting him a copy. Two weeks later, a package from Hong Kong arrived on my friend's doorstep with a pristine copy of the song inside.

John Woo rules.

According to an interview, after completing "Hard Target", John Woo was doing pre-production work on a film called "Tears of the Sun" which was an adventure film set in the Brazilian rainforest. When the plug was pulled, Woo moved on to other projects. The script was eventually optioned for possible use in the fourth installment of "Die Hard". Where it's going now is anybody's guess.

Update 2003/03/20: Actually, it ended up as a film directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci.

In his most recent two films (Face/Off & Mission: Impossible 2), Woo has moved a bit away from the themes/elements that made his reputation. In particular the elements of male bonding, friendship, sacrifice, and honor above all have fallen to the wayside. Instead, Woo has moved in an interesting new direction, and is working with common horror themes: the concepts of imitation and loss of identity. This is essentially uncovered ground for action film.
These two films interweave some classic Wooian elements (over-the-top action scenes, two-handed gun battles, slo-mo, and doves) with this new web of interchangeable faces and deception. It's not surprising that the writer of M:I2 took a great deal of inspiration from Hitchcock.

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