Raymond Chow Man-Wai, OBE GBS (Chinese: 鄒文懷; 8 October 1927 – 2 November 2018) was a Hong Kong film producer, and presenter. He was responsible for successfully launching martial arts and the Hong Kong cinema onto the international stage. As the founder of Golden Harvest, he produced some of the biggest stars of the martial arts film genre, including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Tsui Hark.
Raymond Chow Man-Wai
Raymond Chow at the 5th Asian Film Awards in 2011
|Died||2 November 2018 (aged 91)|
Hong Kong Film Awards – Best Film
1986 Police Story
Lifetime Achievement Award
Chow's star on the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong
Of Hakka Han ethnicity, Chow attended Saint John's University, Shanghai, and graduated with a B.A in journalism in 1949. In 1951 he joined the Voice of America office in Hong Kong. He also studied martial arts under master Lam Sai-wing.
Chow's film career began in 1958. He was the head of publicity and the production chief of Shaw Brothers between 1958 and 1970. He leased Cathay's studio and contracted its exhibition chain of 104 cinema theatres in Southeast Asia. At the time Cathay was a predominant force in the Malaysian film industry.
When Cathay wanted to end the company's association in Hong Kong, Chow left Shaw Brothers to establish Golden Harvest in 1970. He capitalized on the shortcomings of Shaw Brothers, who had a system that limited creativity, and was able to lure Bruce Lee into Golden Harvest, making it a serious competitor to Shaw Brothers. Under Chow's leadership, Golden Harvest would become the cornerstone for Hong Kong cinema leading Hong Kong box office sales for two decades from the 1970s to 1980s.
Whilst Chow is credited with producing many films, in the audio commentary for the UK release of Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain, Tsui Hark in a conversation with Bey Logan who asked the elementary question of Chow's role as a film producer, explained that this credit is mostly meaningless. Tsui stated that any producer's role at the studio was often nothing more than to greenlight and ensure funding of the project, and that producers such as Chow would rarely, if ever, set foot on the set during the making of the film. Raymond Chow officially announced his retirement in Hong Kong on November 5, 2007.
- "Raymond Chow, Hong Kong producer who found Bruce Lee, dies". The Guardian. Associated Press. 2018-11-03. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Chu, Yingchi.  (2003). Hong Kong Cinema: Coloniser, Motherland and Self. Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1746-3
- "Raymond Chow, film producer behind Bruce Lee, dies at 91". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Boucher, Geoff; Pedersen, Erik (2018-11-02). "Raymond Chow Dies: Iconic Hong Kong Producer Launched Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Williams, Trey. "Raymond Chow, 'Enter the Dragon' and 'Police Story' Producer, Dies at 91". MSN.com. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
- Teo, Stephen (2009). Chinese Martial Arts: The Wuxia Tradition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pg. 111.
- Po-yin Chung, Stephanie (2009). "A Chinese movie mogul and the transformation of his movie empire—the Loke Wan Tho family and the Cathay Organisation in Southern China and Southeast Asia (1915–2000)". Asia Europe Journal. 7 (3–4): 463–478. doi:10.1007/s10308-009-0233-3.
- Suryadinata, Leo (2012). Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing/Institute of Southeast Asia Studies. ISBN 978-981-4345-22-4.
- Tsui Hark and Bey Logan (2002). Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain, commentary track (DVD). Hong Kong Legends.
- Chow announces retirement