Leong Po-Chih (梁普智;[1][2] b. 31 December 1939[3]) is a British-Chinese film director.

Po-Chih Leong
Leong Po-Chih

(1939-12-31) December 31, 1939 (age 80)
Known forThe Wisdom of Crocodiles


Early yearsEdit

Leong, one of three children, was born in England in 1939. He attended the London Film School, before embarking on a philosophy degree.[4] After graduation he was taken on by the BBC as a trainee film editor and later worked on a variety of productions, including the long-running series Panorama. He went to Hong Kong to help set up the film unit at the new television station TVB. As an executive producer he also directed a number of entertainment programmes, including The Star Show. He left TVB in 1969 to form Adpower, one of the first commercial production companies in Hong Kong.[5]


Leong's first film, Jumping Ash (1976), an action film set in a drug underworld starring Josephine Siao,[6] was one of the two top-grossing films of the season,[7] and, at the 23rd Hong Kong Film Festival, was described as "the advance guard of the (Hong Kong) New Wave".[8] He went on to direct a range of genres from drama to action movies, comedies, horror and satire, in both English and Chinese. Banana Cop (1984)[9] was the story of a British–Chinese policeman who returns to Hong Kong to seek help with a case, was the genesis for his first British film Ping Pong (1986),[10] made for UK's Channel 4, the first English feature film set in Sohos Chinatown.[11]

After Banana Cop, Leong turned to history for inspiration and made the award-winning movie Hong Kong 1941 (1984), starring Chow Yun Fat,[12][13] set in Hong Kong during the early days of the Japanese invasion.[14][15] Hong Kong 1941 was an oblique comment on the 1984 deal between Britain and China about Hong Kong's future.[16][17] Leong and his film maker daughter, Sze Wing Leong,[18] directed and filmed the effect of this deal up to and beyond the handover in Riding the Tiger (1997-1998),[19] an eight part, observational documentary series for the UK's Channel 4.[20]

Further pursuing his interest in history, Leong made a Hong Kong English-language movie, Shanghai 1920 (HK, 1990),[21][22] set in Shanghai and starring John Lone,[23][24] about the rise of the legendary Shanghai gangster Big-Eared Du.[25]

His second British feature film, was the award-winning 1998 movie, The Wisdom of Crocodiles, starring Jude Law, Timothy Spall, and Kerry Fox, with notable references to Akira Kurosawas opus, especially Rashomon, and to Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï.[26] In recent years Leong has made action films starring Steven Seagal,[27] Wesley Snipes,[28] Judd Nelson,[29] Joe Mantegna,[30] and Oscar-winning Marcia Gay Harden.[31] He has directed films for US network television and AMC.[32] In 2012, he reunited with Hong Kong producer Raymond Wong Bak Ming to direct the 3D movie, Baby Blues.[33]

Private lifeEdit

Leong currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Mary.[34] His son James Leong is a film maker.[35] Leong's younger brother is sculptor Po Shun Leong, and his nephew is photographer Sze Tsung Leong.


Year English title Chinese title Notes
1976 Jumping Ash 跳灰 Director, actor
1977 Foxbat 狐蝠 Director, writer
1979 Itchy Fingers 神偷妙探手多多 Director, writer
1980 No Big Deal 有你冇你 Director
1981 Super Fool 龍咁威 Director, writer
1982 He Lives by Night 夜驚魂 Director
1984 Hong Kong 1941 等待黎明 Director, actor
Nominated – Hong Kong Film Award Best Director
1984 Banana Cop 英倫琵琶 Director
1985 The Island 生死線 Director
1986 Welcome 補鑊英雄 Director, writer
1986 Ping Pong 乒乓 Director, actor
1988 Keep On Dancing 繼續跳舞 Director[36]
1988 Fatal Love 殺之戀 Director, actor
1991 Shanghai 1920 上海1920 Director
Nominated – Chicago International Film Festival Best Feature
1997 Riding the Tiger: The Hong Kong Handover Years 1 Director, producer, writer, cinematographer
1998 Riding the Tiger: The Hong Kong Handover Years 2 Director, writer, cinematographer
1998 The Wisdom of Crocodiles Director
Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver[37]
Gérardmer Film Festival Special Jury Prize[38]
Valenciennes International Festival of Action and Adventure Films Audience Award[39]
Nominated – Sitges - Catalan International Film Festival Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Gold[40]
2000 Cabin by the Lake Director
2000 The Darkling Director
2001 Night Visions Director
Episode: If a Tree Falls...
2001 Return to Cabin by the Lake Director
2001 Walking Shadow Director[32]
2001 Wolf Lake Director
Episode: Excitable Boy
2004 Out of Reach Director
2006 The Detonator Director
2013 Baby Blues Director
2014 Bounty Hunter 賞金獵人 Director[41]
2017 The Jade Pendant Director[42]


His movies have won multiple awards and have been shown at the Venice, London, Toronto, Locarno, Hong Kong and Edinburgh film festivals, amongst others.


  1. ^ "Po-Chih Leong". IMDb. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Leung Po-Chi". Hkmdb.com. 1 January 1939. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Po-Chih Leong - Immortality". Fandango.com. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  4. ^ Roger Garcia (2001). Out of the shadows: Asians in American cinema. Edizioni Olivares. p. 253. Retrieved 29 July 2013. LEONG, Po Chih Director, Actor Bom in London, Leong studied philosophy and cinematography in British universities ... Most recently, Leong has explored another double life in his cross-over vampire movie, the British produced The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998). ...
  5. ^ Hong Kong. Urban Council (1989). 第十三屆香港國際電影節: 23.3.89-7.7.89. Urban Council. Retrieved 29 July 2013. LEONG Po-chih was born in 1939 in London. He studied at the London Film School in 1958 and Philosophy at Exeter University. After teaching secondary school for a year, he joined BBC to train as a film editor.
  6. ^ Ching-Mei Esther Yau (2001). At Full Speed: Hong Kong Cinema in a Borderless World. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-0-8166-3234-3. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Then, in 1976, the television director Leong Po-chih and the actress Josephine Siao (the latter had just completed her film education in America) codirected their first feature, Jumping Ash (Tiao Hui), which was financed by Bang Bang
  7. ^ Botang Zhuo; Pak Tong Cheuk (2008). Hong Kong New Wave Cinema: (1978-2000). Intellect Books. pp. 41–42. ISBN 978-1-84150-148-2. Retrieved 29 July 2013. The two highest-grossing films were The Private Eyes and Jumping Ash.
  8. ^ 香港電影新浪潮: 二十年後的回顧. 臨時市政局. 1999. ISBN 978-962-7040-67-5. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  9. ^ Mick Martin; Marsha Porter (1994). Video Movie Guide 1995. Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-39027-1. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Engaging comedy about an Anglo-Chinese Scotland Yard inspector assigned to investigate a Chinatown murder. His wisecracking partner is played by Teddy ...
  10. ^ New York Media, LLC (10 August 1987). New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. pp. 68–. ISSN 0028-7369. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  11. ^ British Film Institute Film and Television Yearbook. British Film Institute. 1986. p. 112. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  12. ^ Daniel O'Brien (2003). Spooky Encounters: A Gwailo's Guide to Hong Kong Horror. Headpress. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-1-900486-31-6. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Ringo Lam received sole directing credit on Esprit d'amour, Leong Po-chih disappearing from the picture. Hopefully, this was at his own request. After bouncing back with Hong Kong 1941, starring a young Chow Yun Fat, Leong made another ...
  13. ^ Daniel O'Brien (2003). Spooky Encounters: A Gwailo's Guide to Hong Kong Horror. Headpress. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-1-900486-31-6. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Chow Yun-fat as underworld romantic hero in a modern-dress.
  14. ^ R R Bowker Publishing (1988). Variety Film Reviews. Garland Pub. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Director Po-chih Leong was born in London, but has made his previous eight films in Hong Kong, including "Hong Kong 1941," about the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, which played at some festivals a couple of years ago. He's handled ...
  15. ^ Olivia Khoo; Sean Metzger (2009). Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures. Intellect Books. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-1-84150-274-8. Retrieved 29 July 2013. ... There have been Hong Kong movies that deal with a local issue through the representation of Japan, which I call 'boomerang films', for example, 1941 (Deng dai li ming, dir. Leung Po-chi, Hong Kong, 1984) ...
  16. ^ Stephen Teo; British Film Institute (1997). Hong Kong cinema: the extra dimensions. BFI. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-85170-496-8. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Leong Po-chih, who made Jumping Ash (1976), the film which foreshadowed the new wave ... Chinese cop who is sent to Hong Kong to solve a case; Hong Kong 1941 is about the fall of Hong Kong to the Japanese - an allegory about Britain's implied betrayal of Hong Kong ...
  17. ^ Edmond Grant (1999). The Motion Picture Guide: 1999 Annual (The Films of 1998). CineBooks. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-933997-43-1. Retrieved 29 July 2013. HONG KONG 1941 is packed with period detail, lending a palpable feeling of desperation: A man tries to sell his granddaughter for potatoes; parents cut their daughter's hair and make her unattractive to save her from Japanese attention; children collect horse dung to pick ... Director Leong Po-Chih, born and schooled in London, worked for the BBC and then HK television before embarking on a film ...
  18. ^ http://www.documentary.org/users/cuckoohk
  19. ^ Dakota, Alison (18 April 1998). "Hong Kong's Anti-Hero". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  20. ^ Alan Rosenthal; John Corner (13 May 2005). New Challenges for Documentary: Second Edition. Manchester University Press. pp. 357–. ISBN 978-0-7190-6899-7. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Riding the Tiger, produced and directed by Po Chih Leong and Sze Wing Leong, Channel 4 June 1997
  21. ^ A. Magazine: The Asian American Quarterly. Metro East Publications, Incorporated. 1991. p. xxi. Retrieved 29 July 2013. The following films have done the festival circuit, and may be headed for a screen near you: Leong Po-chih directs ... in Shanghai 1920, a period gangsta flick that features one scene set in a whites-only club where elaborately coiffed Asian ...
  22. ^ Cinemaya. A. Vasudev. 1992. Retrieved 29 July 2013. I saw Shanghai 1920 afterwards at another festival, and it strikes me that as a somewhat overblown gangster epic, Leong Po-Chih's feature is less representative of the best that the Hong Kong New Wave currently has to offer than
  23. ^ Dirk Manthey; Jörg Altendorf (1993). Film Jahrbuch (in German). Zweiter Kino Verlag. p. 224. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Shanghai 1920 ONCE UPON A TIME lN SHANGHAl Produktion: Fu Ngai Film (USA 1991) Verleih: Ascot Regie: Leong Po-Chih Besetzung: John Lone (Fong), Adrian Pasdar (Dawson), Keone Young ...
  24. ^ La Revue du cinéma (in French). Ligue française de l'enseignement et de l'éducation permanente. 1991. p. 11. Retrieved 29 July 2013. John Lone (Le dernier empereur) oue les parrains de triade (mafia chinoise) dans Shanghai 1920 de Po Chih Leong ...
  25. ^ Stephen Teo; British Film Institute (1997). Hong Kong cinema: the extra dimensions. BFI. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-85170-496-8. Retrieved 29 July 2013. The narrative spans a period of over forty years: from 1910 to Du's death in Hong Kong in the 50s, rigorously avoiding any perspective which ... the films may be attributed to their shrewd judgments regarding the film-going public's curiosity about Ng Sik-ho and Du Yuesheng. ... As directed by Leong Po-chih, the staunchest of Hong Kong cinema's bi-cultural representatives, the film featured a bi-cultural ...
  26. ^ Adam Lukeman (10 August 2011). Fangoria's 101 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen: A Celebration of the World's Most Unheralded Fright Flicks. Crown Publishing Group. pp. 369–. ISBN 978-0-307-52347-1. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  27. ^ Arnaud Niklaus (December 2012). Steven Seagal, dernière légende du film d'action ? (in French). BoD - Books on Demand France. pp. 83–. ISBN 978-2-322-00486-7. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  28. ^ Robert Cettl (2009). Terrorism in American Cinema: An Analytical Filmography, 1960-2008. McFarland. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-0-7864-5442-6. Retrieved 30 July 2013. Wesley Snipes brings attitude rather than conviction to the role of an arrogant and ...
  29. ^ Tracy Stevens (2003). International Television & Video Almanac. Quigley Publishing Company. p. 494. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  30. ^ Eileen S. Quigley; Quigley Publishing (2007). International Television & Video Almanac. Quigley Publishing Company. p. 503. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  31. ^ Otto Penzler (24 April 2012). In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero. BenBella Books. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-1-936661-19-0. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  32. ^ a b "Search WALKING SHADOW 2001 reviews online. Search online movie reviews and trailers". Moviesreviews.tv. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  33. ^ Mahiwaga. "Teaser Poster for Hong Kong's Baby Blues 3D". HorrorMovies.ca. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  34. ^ "People Search from Intelius searches billions of public records instantly. Search free now!". LookupAnyone. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  35. ^ "About". Lianain Films. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  36. ^ "Film | South China Morning Post". Scmp.com. Retrieved 29 July 2013. Leong Po-chih and Kam Kwok-leung's comedy revolving around a pair of quirky twin sisters (both played by Cora Miao Hin-yan) - one committed to a mental asylum by her husband, the other with a fiancé plotting to uncommit - who decide to switch identities and places.
  37. ^ "Immortality - Horror Movie News | Arrow in the Head". Joblo.com. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  38. ^ "The Wisdom of Crocodiles - Movie info: cast, reviews, trailer on". Mubi.com. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  39. ^ "La sabiduría de los cocodrilos = The wisdom of crocodiles (VHS tape, 2001)". [WorldCat.org]. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  40. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120894/awards
  41. ^ "Pegasus rides with Z Storm". Filmbiz.asia. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  42. ^ "The Jade Pendant (2017)". www.imdb.com.

External linksEdit