John Woo

The Films, 2d ed.

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About the Book

The first edition of John Woo: The Films (McFarland, 1999) was the earliest English-language volume to address the motion picture output of the celebrated Hong Kong director. The book dealt with Woo’s film career from his professional beginnings in 1968 through his first three Hollywood releases (Hard Target, Broken Arrow and Face/Off), situating his work within Asian and Western cinematic and cultural traditions. This second edition offers a wealth of additional information, including treatment of John Woo’s Hollywood productions Mission: Impossible II, Windtalkers and Paycheck. Also featured is material on Woo’s epic Red Cliff, filmed in China. A new foreword is provided by Tony Williams, author of John Woo’s Bullet in the Head. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Kenneth E. Hall has written several books, including a study of John Woo’s The Killer, authored many articles on Latin American literature, and is a contributor to Studies in the Western. A professor of Spanish at East Tennessee State University, he lives in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

Kenneth E. Hall

Foreword by Tony Williams

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4040-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8829-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Foreword by Tony Williams      1
Introduction: Painting the True Colors of the Hero      3

1. Woo and the Asian and Western Traditions      13
2. Influences, Parallels, Inspirations      27
3. A Unique “Action Director”      52
4. The Early Films: A Selected Treatment      59
5. A Better Tomorrow and A Better Tomorrow II: A Flawed Saga      68
6. The Killer: Heroism Defeated      78
7. A New Independence: Bullet in the Head and Once a Thief      97
8. Hard Boiled Heroic Cops      108
9. Move to Hollywood: Hard Target, Broken Arrow, Face/Off      118
10. Hollywood Success: Mission: Impossible II      140
11. Frustrated in Hollywood: Windtalkers, Paycheck      146
12. Music in the Films      157
13. From Hollywood to China      166

Filmography      171
Notes      173
Bibliography      195
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “shows how Woo’s work demonstrates Asian and Western traditions”—Booklist
  • “the first book-length study on the director based upon detailed research as well as personal interviews with Woo himself…highly informative with excellent footnotes…essential reading”—Film Quarterly
  • “Hall takes us on an inside tour”—VideoScope
  • “Hall demonstrates European and Hollywood influences on the work of Hong Kong film director John Woo”—Reference & Research Book News; “detailed analysis”—ARBA; “those seeking to learn more about the gifted filmmaker should read Kenneth E. Hall’s John Woo: The Films, the first serious study on his body of work”—South Dade News Leader; “the first serious study on [Woo]…Woo’s cross-cultural embrace of both Asian and American heroes gives his cinematic works a global influence and appeal”—Burlington County Times; “[an] ideal browse…much preferable to [the competition]”—Asianow.