Hong Kong Movie DataBase
The Hong Kong Movie DataBase (HKMDB) is a bilingual (English and Chinese) website that was created in 1995 by Ryan Law to provide a repository for information about movies originating from Hong Kong and the people who created them.
HKMDB homepage from December 2, 2009
Type of site
|Online movie database|
|Available in||English, Chinese|
|Created by||Ryan Law|
The database was initially populated with data on over 6000 films, and reviews from the defunct database hosted at egret0.stanford.edu. In subsequent years it has expanded to contain information on more than 20,000 films and 86,000 people, and to include many films from Taiwan and Mainland China.
The database can be searched by movie title or by person's name.
HKMDB contains credits for cast and crew members, image and portrait galleries as well as user-contributed reviews. Additional information about individual films such as production company, release date, box office gross and languages spoken is included where known. Information about cast and crew members may include gender, birth dates and brief biographies.
There are over 14,700 reviews on the site, and more than 309,000 images. Images can be associated with a movie and with one or more people, and largely serve as an aid in identifying cast members.
Reviews can be submitted by any registered member, but cast and crew information can only be entered by an authorised editor. The database has a forum in which proposed additions or modifications can be raised by any member for consideration by the editorial team.
Since the on-screen credits in many older Hong Kong movies are often sparse and frequently contain errors themselves, and cast/crew members often worked (and sometimes still work) under different names, with a variety of different spellings, it can take some detective work to establish accurate credits for a particular film. Restricting the addition of data to an editorial team who specialise in Hong Kong cinema means that the database typically contains more accurate information with respect to the films and people it covers than the Internet Movie Database.
The database was initially fully open to the general public, but in 2004 the system was changed so that only registered members could view information. Membership was free but required a commitment to contribute to the site in some way (for example, submitting reviews). This decision created controversy amongst the internet community, but led to an expansion of the editorial team and a large increase in the quantity and quality of data.
In 2006, access to the database was changed again to allow nearly full access to all areas of the database. Posting in the forum and submission of reviews still requires registration.