Yes, Madam! (1985)

AKA Huang jia shi jie (1985)

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Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock in Yes, Madam! (1985).
Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock in Yes, Madam! (1985).

The Hong Kong action film, Yes, Madam! (1985) was also known as Police Assassins (United Kingdom) and The Super Cops (Philippines). It was directed by Corey Yuen, and produced by Sammo Hung, who also co-stars in the film.

Yes, Madam (1985) opened in Hong Kong on November 30, 1985 and this film began a new era in female action movies.

Yes, Madam! (1985) Movie Poster
Yes, Madam! (1985) Poster. Click on the image for a lager view.

The film stars Michelle Yeoh, who plays Senior Inspector Ng and Cynthia Rothrock, who plays Inspector Carrie Morris.

Cynthia Rothrock’s role was originally a Bruce Lee type male character, but after the studio producers saw Cynthia Rothrock among a demo team who performed for them, they were so impressed with Rothrock’s martial arts skills that they immediately offered her the role in the film and changed the male lead to that of a female. Michelle Yeoh was just as impressive and refused to allow someone else to do all her stunt work, instead she trained for the role by working out in a gym for eight hours a day.

Yes, Madame! (1985) was filmed, as were all traditional Hong Kong films at the time, without sound, and were dubbed later. When Cynthia Rothrock forgot her Cantonese lines and spoke gibberish, she thought it odd that the director approved the shot. She also wasn’t aware that Hong Kong performers spoke their lines very quietly as the lines were not being recorded and she continued to speak in her normally loud voice making her the odd man out.

In Yes, Madam (1985) Asprin (Hoi Mang) and Strepsil (John Shum), are two petty thieves, who become involved in a murder case when they steal items belonging to a murdered man. The murdered man had hidden an important microfilm in his passport. The passport is passed on to a forger friend, Panadol (Tsui Hark). Inspector Ng (Michelle Yeoh) is assigned to the case, along with Inspector Morris (Cynthia Rothrock) from Scotland Yard. The investigation leads the inspectors to the inept crooks and soon the inspectors are on the trail of the Triad leader Tin’s (James Tien) who must recover the incriminating film.  With his hitman and bodyguard (Dick Wei) at his side, Tin proves to be too difficult for the inspectors to catch using legal means, so, in their frustration, they give up their badges and go after Tin themselves.

Yes, Madam! (1985) was the 26th highest grossing film of the year in Hong Kong. Hoi Mang received an award for Best Supporting actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in Yes, Madam! (1985). Hoi Mang, along with Corey Yuen, were martial arts instructor’s for actors in the film.

Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh in Yes, Madam! (1985)
Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh in Yes, Madam! (1985).

Yes Madam (1985) has been described as the first film of the “girls with guns” subgenre. The film also received several sequels in the “In the Line of Duty” film series also by Hong Kong movie studio D & B Films. The first two of these films star Michelle Yeoh and the next, Cynthia Khan, both are police officers who combine the use of firearms with martial arts. The third film was the first to use the In the Line of Duty (1986) title, and then the name was retroactively given to the two previous Michelle Yeoh films.

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