The Man From Hong Kong (1975) – ripper car movies

Some great driving and stunt action featuring a number of iconic Aussie cars – purists beware!


BORN during the ‘Ozploitation’ era of Australian cinematic awesomeness, The Man From Hong Kong is unquestionably one of our most underrated action flicks.

movie poster

When Sydney cops Bob Taylor (Roger Ward) and Morrie Grosse (Hugh Keays-Byrne) arrest and detain Chinese drug mule Win Chan (Sammo Kam-Bo Hung), the pair struggle to glean any information to help them identify and take down the crime syndicate’s head honcho.

They call on Hong Kong-based police inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu) to lean on Chan and traverse the language barrier in an attempt to extract some answers. Like a perfect melding of Bruce Lee and James Bond, Fang is suave but has the skills to get the job done – while also packing super-smooth abilities with the ladies.

When Chan is killed on his way to court to give damning evidence, a close brush with a local assassin – played by legendary Aussie stuntman Grant Page – makes things personal for Fang, who abruptly sets his own agenda.

Thankfully, the shared focus for both Fang and the Aussie cops is feared crime boss Jack Wilton (one-time James Bond actor, George Lazenby), who pits all his resources towards stopping Fang once and for all.

Wilton soon learns that Fang is both virtually unstoppable and happy to work outside the law, so he hits Fang where it hurts by wiping out his local love interest, Angelica (Rebecca Gilling).

The stage is set for a final encounter between Fang and Wilton, as the Hong Kong inspector summons all of his skills and tactics to take Wilton down.

The action comes thick and fast, including a wild car chase involving some of the Big Three’s most iconic Aussie models. Keep your eyes peeled for the blown big block-powered ski boat The Sting, and Jimmy Wang Yu coming in a little hot across the grass in an MGB – you can see actress Rosalind Speirs noticeably flinch as she steels herself to be cleaned up!

The cast impress with their willingness to do the majority of their own stunts – it’s clear that some of the stunt safety rules were pretty loose back in these days, which makes it even more realistic. Fang was an accomplished stunt actor and racing car driver prior to this role, but the biggest surprise is ex-Bond George Lazenby, who is not only a dab hand in the martial arts scenes, but – spoiler alert – also stepped up to be set on fire for the finale. The late Hugh Keays-Byrne always gave plenty of spunk to his iconic roles and plays the scruffy Grosse to a T. His scene with a cat is true to his style and a likely improv that made the final cut.


With its tight action sequences and solid cast, The Man From Hong Kong firmly holds its own, but be prepared to cut some of the acting and dialogue a bit of slack; it was made nearly 50 years ago, remember. The pure Australiana of a bygone era shines through in the language and streetscapes, while the overdubbed fight noises had me longing for the days of jamming 20c coins into the Double Dragon machine at the local fish ’n’ chip shop.


  • 1974 Chrysler VJ Charger 770
  • 1968 Ford XT Falcon
  • 1969 Holden LC Torana
  • 1968 Commer 1500
  • 1967 Ford F100
  • 1974 Ford XB Falcon
  • 1962 EJ Holden
  • 1964 EH Holden utility
  • Honda XL250
  • 1968 Toyota Crown
  • 1964 MGB
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 350SL
  • 1974 Kawasaki Z900


  • Jimmy Wang Yu
  • Hugh Keays-Byrne
  • George Lazenby
  • Roger Ward
  • Grant Page
  • Rosalind Speirs
  • Rebecca Gilling
  • Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
  • Bill Hunter

Brian Trenchard-Smith

Some great driving and stunt action featuring a number of iconic Aussie cars – purists beware!

A Hong Kong police inspector travels to Australia to assist with a drug investigation, but is soon drawn into the Sydney underworld on a far more personal level

Streaming, DVD

Cool flick fact:
The blue Charger was a brand-new car supplied by Chrysler that was repaired and on-sold once filming was finished. The subsequent owner was reportedly none too happy when he saw the film and recognised his rego plates fitted to a car clearly in far-from-new condition.