Looking Back in Anger (Chinese: 義不容情; lit. 'righteousness doesn’t permit feelings') was a 1989 Hong Kong TV series and one of the most watched TVB series by Chinese people in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and around the world. Many factors contributed to the success of this series. As well as its tragic but memorable storyline, the series featured a strong cast, with Felix Wong, Deric Wan (who rose to fame with his role as the main antagonist), Carina Lau, Kathy Chow Hoi-Mei and Maggie Shiu.[1] The popular theme song of the series "Yat sang ho kau" (一生何求) was sung by Danny Chan and later by Deric Wan himself.

Looking Back in Anger
Promo poster
Also known asNghĩa Bất Dung Tình
Created byWai Ka-Fai
Directed byLee Kwok Lap
Yuen Ying Ming
StarringFelix Wong
Deric Wan
Carina Lau
Kathy Chow
Maggie Shiu
Elliot Ngok
Kwai Hoi-san
Henry Lee
Carrie Ho
Spencer Leung
Yammie Nam
Gregory Lee
Soh Hang-suen
Theme music composerDanny Chan
Dave Wong Kit
Opening themeYat sang ho kau (一生何求)
Bits of Sadness, Bits of Craze (幾分傷心幾分痴)
Country of originHong Kong
Original languageCantonese
No. of episodes50
Production locationsHong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, China
Running time42 minutes (each)
Original release
NetworkTVB Jade
Release3 April (1989-04-03) –
9 June 1989 (1989-06-09)

In 2022, the drama was selected as one of ten classic TVB dramas being honoured for a new joint Youku and TVB programme.[2]

Cast edit

Plot edit

The series starts with tycoon Alex Ting Yau Kin (Felix Wong) waiting for a phone call. His entire story is then told in flashback.

1960s edit

Kin (Gregory Lee) was born into a poor family. Kin's father, Ting Wing Cheung (also played by Felix Wong) is a gambling addict.

Kin’s mother, Mui Fan Fong (Yammie Nam), is wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death. Cheung goes insane after his wife’s death.

Lee Ho Cheun (Bowie Wu) and his wife, Yip Sau Wan (So Hang Suen) adopts Kin and his baby brother, Hong.

Cheun suffers a fatal stroke soon after, leaving a financially destitute Wan to bring up Kin, Hong and two other adopted children, Mun and Ling.

1980s edit

Kin (Felix Wong) works multiple jobs to help Wan support the family. Wan takes in her brother-in-law’s daughter, Lee Wah (Kathy Chow).

Hong (Deric Wan) drops out of university to work for Fong Sai Bong (Elliot Ngok), the prosecutor of their mother’s case, resulting in a falling out with Kin. Kin starts a relationship with Wah and befriends heiress Ngai Chor Gwan (Carina Lau).

Hong becomes increasingly ruthless in his pursuit of wealth and power. He manipulates Kin into taking the rap for him after causing the death of Gwan’s brother, Kit (Canti Lau), over a business dispute. Hong later murders his own girlfriend Chiu Kar Mun (Maggie Shiu) in Malaysia so that he could marry Bong’s daughter, Cindy (Kiki Sheung).

Upon his release from prison, Kin starts a successful restaurant chain. He faces setback in his personal life after breaking up with Wah due to her insecurity. Gwan is there to offer him solace and they become a couple. Wah is paralyzed in a plane crash and commits suicide on the night of Kin and Gwan’s wedding.

Wan finds evidence of Kar Mun’s murder, forcing Hong to kill her. Hong manages to avoid extradition to Malaysia due to a legal technicality. Cindy files for divorce and Hong loses his position in Bong’s company. However, Cindy dies before the divorce is finalized, allowing Hong to inherit her wealth.

Hong suffers major financial losses and becomes a fugitive after kidnapping his own son for ransom. During a fight with Kin, Hong fell down an elevator shaft and became crippled. He was eventually imprisoned for the kidnapping.

1990s edit

Kin spots an impoverished Hong on the streets, and gives him a lowly job at his restaurant.

The ungrateful Hong attempts to inherit Kin’s wealth as surviving next of kin by poisoning Kin and his family during a company dinner. Kin and Gwan survived, but their son did not. Kin deduces that Hong is the culprit.

Kin sets a trap for Hong and have him arrested in Malaysia. Hong is sentenced to death.

Gwan separates from Kin and leaves for Ethiopia. Kin says he will wait for her at the church where they got married exactly ten years to the day.

Before the ten year deadline, Kin appears on a retrospective of the tv show where he first met Gwan. Kin makes an impassioned plea for Gwan to return.

Present edit

The story comes out of flashback to the present.

Gwan calls to tell Kin she is coming home. While rushing to the airport, Kin gets into a car crash. Later, news reports indicate that Ethiopia has suffered a massive earthquake and Gwan is amongst the missing. Kin clings to the hope that Gwan will return on the ten year deadline.

On the appointed day, Kin heads to the church and waits for Gwan. After midnight, a disappointed Kin falls asleep on a pew. A lady in red, visible only from the waist down appears. She approaches the sleeping Kin and leaves him a note.

Kin wakes up and finds the note which implores him to forget Gwan and move on. Kin desperately calls out Gwan’s name.

Ending edit

There were many speculations as to the identity of the lady in red, from Kin’s sister to Gwan herself, and even her dead spirit.

25 years after the series finale aired, lead actor Felix Wong confirmed that the lady in red was Kin's adopted sister Ling, and that Gwan had already died in Ethiopia.

Filming edit

Principal filming occurred in Hong Kong with some scenes set in Macau. Extensive filming also took place in Malaysia; notable locations filmed include Kuala Lumpur railway station, Chin Swee Caves Temple, Genting Highlands, and Christ Church Malacca.

Notes edit

1.^ A passing reference to the murder of Vincent Chin is made as having occurred months ago in the US.

External links edit

References edit

  1. ^ "30-year-old Classic "Looking Back in Anger" Reruns Start November". JayneStars.com. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  2. ^ 朱奕錦 (2022-05-18). "優酷同TVB合辦綜藝《那年的精彩》 邀兩地人重演10套無綫經典劇". 香港01 (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  3. ^ hermes (2018-11-09). "Yammie Lam's sister may want simple funeral". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-04-04.