China Girl (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

China Girl (1987)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

China Girl Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Set in New York City as an adaptation of both Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, the film concerns the fireworks between a Chinese girl (Sari Chang) and her Italian boyfriend (Richard Panebianco). Their respective ethnic gangs riot over the relationship.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Nicholas St. John
In Theaters:
Vestron Video


David Caruso
as Mercury
Russell Wong
as Yung Gan
Joey Chin
as Tsu Shin
Judith Malina
as Mrs. Monte
James Hong
as Gung Tu
Robert Miano
as Enrico Perito
Doreen Chan
as Gau Shing
Keenan Leung
as Ying Tz
Sammy Lee
as Mohawk
Johnny Shia
as Jimmy Bing
Tony Dante
as Costare
Joe Pentangelo
as Mounted Policeman II
Diane Cheng
as Nyu Ren
John Ciarcia
as Cha Cha
Jadin Wong
as Mrs. Lei
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for China Girl

Critic Reviews for China Girl

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Ripping reworking of Romeo and Juliet, that's set in modern-day Manhattan's Chinatown and Little Italy.

Full Review… | August 8, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Even the most stock images vibrate

Full Review… | September 5, 2009

Audience Reviews for China Girl


Chinese gangs vs. Italian gangs in NYC in 1987. Tony (Richard Panebianco) and Tye (Sari Chang) meet and fall in love. Meanwhile Tye's brother hates all Italians and Tony's friends hate Chinese.

If you've seen "West Side Story" you know how this ends--but a bit more tragically in this movie. Plotwise it's very obvious but it's beautifully done. Filmed with energy, beautifully atmospheric (the sets and lighting are incredible), and full of bursts of ultraviolence. Most of the roles are well acted, especially by James Russo, David Caruso (chewing the scenery) and Russell Wong. As the young lovers Panebianco and Chang are, unfortunately, not that good. In a way it's understandable--he was only 16 when this was made and it's the first role for both. They're both very attractive (Panebianco is pretty buff with a baby face; Chang is delicate and beautiful) but have little to do other than kiss and act like they love each other. That isn't believable either since they have zero sexual chemistry. Still, they are sympathetic characters. Also, in a nice touch, Panebianco shows more skin than Chang in their sex scene.

This is really obscure and it doesn't deserve it. It had nearly no release in 1987 (there were no stars to sell it) and was never a big hit on cable or video. Also Chang never made another movie and Panebianco disappeared after making a few more films (Whatever happened to him? He showed a lot of promise.). That's too bad--this deserves a bigger audience. Worth watching on cable or renting.

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer


Ferrara's Romeo & Juliet in Chinatown. Not his best, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't good. Ferrara's gritty vision and ensemble cast make this worth where's the DVD?

Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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