Set against the backdrop of a chaotic life and war preparation in Hong Kong. The year is 1941, and Hong Kong is in a state of turmoil. The Japanese are ready to invade at any time, too much for the British to handle. British women and children are fleeing to Australia and beyond. Lawlessness and anarchy are about to hit Hong Kong.
Ha Nam (Cecilia Yip) and Wong Hak Keung (Alex Man) are friends since childhood. Nam has a terminal illness. She comes from a rich family, her father Ha Chung Sang (Enter the Dragon bad guy Shih Kien) controls the entire rice distribution in Hong Kong. Keung is an outcast from his family and is a coolie out to make a buck wherever. Yip Kim Fay (Chow Yun Fat) belonged to an opera troupe and failed in an attempt to become a stowaway on one of the ship sailings to Australia. While working together at one of Chung Sang's rice distribution centers, Keung and Fay become friends. The three would then share a bond that would stay together through thick and thin, sticking together when denied the opportunity to escape to freer destinations, and staying strong through the Japanese takeover. More than a friendship, both fall in love with Nam, though Fay is much more quiet and mature throughout his friendship with Nam.
- Yellow Hammer