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

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.

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

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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