Sammo Hung: From Stuntman to Star

May 5–27, 2023

A major force in the Hong Kong film industry, Sammo Hung has amassed roughly 200 acting credits, with more than 70 of them in leading roles. He has over 60 credits as an action director and more than 30 as director. As the founder of four production companies, he oversaw more than 100 films, with a producer credit on over 30. Becoming a key player in the Hong Kong New Wave movement of the 1980s, Hung helped change the face of martial arts films with his unconventionally hefty frame, showing that skill and resilience are more important than the steroid-riddled physiques that Western audiences were obsessed with at the time. 

Starting out in the film industry as a stuntman utilizing the acrobatic skills he learned in his youth, Hung quickly moved up to action director with minor roles as thugs and villains. His popularity with filmmakers allowed him to advance to leading roles both in front of and behind the camera. As a producer-director-star, he made his mark on the action film world with his jaw-dropping stunts and fights, often infused with a touch of comedy at the expense of his portly, yet nimble, body. This series features selections from Hung's varied career as a star, director, and producer. 

Programmed by Patrick Lowry. 
Notes by Patrick Lowry and Mark Ayala. 
This program is supported in part by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco.
Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation.
Donors to the Academy Museum’s fund in support of Asian and AAPI programming include Esther S. M. Chui-Chao, Julia and Ken Gouw, and Dr. Peter Lam Kin Ngok of Media Asia Groups Holdings Limited.