Beware of Pickpockets (1981)

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Cinema City reworks the Dickensian musical Oliver! for the Hong Kong market with this peculiar slapstick musical comedy. Dean Shek stars as a pickpocket with a heart of gold and his seven young orphan charges hiding from the law in a dilapidated old church called Fairyland. The authorities are represented by producer Karl Maka as the incompetent policeman Big Nose, and Wu Ma (who also directed) as the superintendent. The pickpocket has embarrassed the bumbling police for years, and both Big Nose and his superior want to put him behind bars. In between some fairly lavish musical numbers and a great deal of Keystone Kops-inspired tomfoolery, there is a thread of plot concerning the possible eviction of the pickpocket and his orphan friends for nonpayment of rent on the church, and his subsequent plans to steal some jewelry from his wicked brother Dog Lice. Raymond Wong co-stars with Liu On-lai and Cheung Kar-wai.