Money No Enough, 20 years on: The Singapore movie that made history

The Straits Times speaks to Jack Neo, Mark Lee and Henry Thia ahead of a screening of their restored movie, part of the Singapore Media Festival’s Singapore Classics Reignited film programme.
(From left) Actors Jack Neo, Henry Thia and Mark Lee, co-stars of Money No Enough, on Nov 3, 2018. The film achieved box-office takings of over $5.8 million here in 1998.
(From left) Actors Jack Neo, Henry Thia and Mark Lee, co-stars of Money No Enough, on Nov 3, 2018. The film achieved box-office takings of over $5.8 million here in 1998.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
(From left) Actors Jack Neo, Henry Thia and Mark Lee, co-stars of Money No Enough, in a 1998 photograph. The film, which made $5.8 million at the box office here, was released that same year.
(From left) Actors Jack Neo, Henry Thia and Mark Lee, co-stars of Money No Enough, in a 1998 photograph. The film, which made $5.8 million at the box office here, was released that same year.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore hit comedy marks its 20th anniversary with a restored version and free screenings. Its director and cast tell The Straits Times why the movie is groundbreaking.

SINGAPORE - Home-grown movie Money No Enough (1998) did a lot more than just make audiences laugh and cry - it is significant because it opened the doors for other commercial Singaporean films to follow.

Screening to packed cinema halls for five months upon its release - believed to be the longest theatrical run for a local film - the movie about three Singaporeans facing financial difficulties was proof that there could be immense audience interest in a local production. In other words, it was possible for a Singaporean film to make money.

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