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The Conman is a 1998 Hong Kong action comedy film directed by Wong Jing and starring Andy Lau, Athena Chu and Nick Cheung. Despite the Chinese title, which translates as Knight of Gamblers 1999, Andy Lau does not reprise his role as the "Knight of Gamblers" from the God of Gamblers series, which was also directed by Wong Jing. The film was followed by a sequel The Conmen in Vegas, which Lau and Cheung return with new cast members Natalis Chan, Kelly Lin, Meggie Yu and Alex Man.
When King stays overnight at his mistress' place, his pregnant wife Fanny discovers them and Fanny sadly leaves King. One time King and his assistant, Chung, were gambling cards with Chimney and Chimney finds out that they were secretly videotaping him, they start to fight. For self-defense reasons, King resorts to using a knife to kill Chimney, which not only leaves him colorblind, but also resulted in a five-year imprisonment for manslaughter. While in prison, King learns horse racing skills.
Five years later, King is released from prison and a small-time gambler, Dragon, who always worship King, greets him when King's friend Uncle Leng tells Dragon to pick him up. King and Dragon become partners and they make money together from horse racing, which at that time King also meets Dragon's younger sister Ching. King discovers that Ching's fiance Raymond is a swindler (Raymond lies about going to college in the United States, when he is actually a swindler who cheats women out of their money). With the help from Dragon and Rocky, (whom King beat in billiards, later became his mentor), King stages a plan where they make Raymond think that he killed King forcing him to flee to Cambodia. After King helps Ching, he wins her love.
At the same time, King is also looking for Fanny and his son. One day Rocky brings King to Macau Mon's gambling cruise boat and King is recognized by Handsome, who is Chimney's younger brother. On the boat, King also sees Chung, who lied to him by saying that after he went to prison, Fanny committed suicide by jumping off a building. When King finds Chung's residence, he finds out that after he went to prison, Fanny was taken care by Chung and his son Little King now lives with Chung.
Later, when King is playing with his son, they encounter Handsome, who is seeking revenge and causes Little King to be injured and hospitalized. Handsome also kidnaps Fanny and Chung and blackmails King to help him get rid of his own boss Macau Mon. Macau Mon has invested a large number of stakes bet on the 1998 FIFA World Cup for the French team to win, and as long as they can create an image of the Brazilian Team winning during the time when several experts are gambling with cards, it will give Macau Mon a heart attack and allow Handsome to replace his medicine with poisoned water.
After suffering from a big blow, King becomes depressed but is consoled by Ching. In order to save Fanny and Chung, King and Dragon hire an adult film director, Squirrel, to film some fake footage of the World Cup. After completing this, King decides to fulfill Ching's wish of traveling to Europe together and meets her at the bus station the next day.
On the night of the World Cup final, King, Handsome, Winning Gary and Macau Mon are gambling cards while watching the live broadcast of the World Cup in which they bet on (King bets on Brazil while Macau Mon bets on France). At the same time on the other side, in order to create a false game screen performance of the horse cross to stimulate Macau Mon, they take the footage filmed by Squirrel which features anchor Lam Seung-wai and Dragon pretending as Ronaldo and other players to intersperse with the real broadcast. In the end, Brazil wins three to two against France, but in reality, France wins 3-0 against Brazil. After seeing this, Macau Mon suffers from a heart attack and dies.
Just when Handsome thinks Macau Mon's casino belongs to him and is ready to get rid of King, Macau Mon unexpectedly stands behind him and points a gun at him. It turns out that during the card game, King gave a two of spades card to Macau Mon telling him the water is poisoned in order to help him. Macau Mon shoots and kills Handsome.
In the end, King goes to the bus station the next morning to wait for Ching but King was unexpectedly run over by Dragon who was in a hurry.
- Andy Lau as King
- Athena Chu as Ching
- Nick Cheung as Dragon
- Waise Lee as Handsome
- Jack Kao as Macau Mon
- Angie Cheung as Fanny
- Emotion Cheung as Chung
- Bonnie Law as King's mistress
- Lee Siu-kei as Winner Gary
- Frankie Ng as Rocky
- Karel Wong as Eastwood
- Ben Ng as Bad Temper / Chimney
- Wong Jing as Squirrel
- Lam Sheung Yee as Lam Seung-wai
- Alan Man as Raymond Chou
- Yeung Kin-wai as Angela
- Wong Kam-tong as Uncle Leng
- Aman Chang as man in toilet
- John Cheung as cop
- Gary Mak as cruise gambler
- Johnny Cheung as Bad Temper's gangster
- So Wai-nam as Bad Temper's gangster
- Eddie Che as Handsome's gangster
- Vincent Chik as Handsome's gangster
- Chow Man-sing as Handsome's gangster
- Tam Tin-po as woman in advertisement
- Yu Ka-ho
The film grossed HK$17,369,190 at the Hong Kong box office during its theatrical run from 18 December 1998 to 19 January 1999 in Hong Kong.
- The Conman at the Hong Kong Movie DataBase
- The Conman at Hong Kong Cinemagic
- Du xia 1999 at the Internet Movie Database
- The Conman film review at LoveHKFilm.com