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Hong Kong has always had a prominent place in world film culture, but in the 1980s it seemed to take over the industry with a series of stunning action flicks that changed for all time the way movies are made. Now its industry is somewhat more sedate, but the 10th annual "Made in Hong Kong" film festival at the Freer Gallery will present, over the next two months, some classics from the golden age. Some highlights:

"Police Story" (Aug. 19, 7 p.m.; Aug. 21, 2 p.m.)

Before he was a world star and a benevolent and beloved little guy, Jackie Chan was one tough piece of gristle. That Jackie is on view in "Police Story," from 1985, in which Chan is a detective tracking down the drug kingpin who framed him for murder. Though his charisma shines through, as well as his athletic skills and courage, the movie is a dead-straight thriller, not a laugh machine. It'll make you regret the somewhat less impressive character that Chan has evolved into. (Rated PG-13)

"The Killer" (Aug. 26, 7 p.m.; Aug. 28, 2 p.m.)

This was the first of John Woo's stunning films to break out big, and it's still mind-blowing. Woo brought a dance or musical sensibility to the gangster film and seemed to liberate it from constraints of time, space and gravity. Of his Hong Kong films, 1989's "The Killer" is probably the best. The great Chow Yun-fat plays a hired killer who accidentally blinds a nightclub singer in a shootout, and then decides to take a last job to pay for her operation. Yes, it's corny, particularly when Danny Lee, a cop in pursuit, falls in love with him. (Homoerotic currents run through Woo's work, but then so do . . . birds.) Anyhow, the movie is a collection of some of the most astonishing action sequences ever seen and was incredibly influential. Woo, of course, now works in America but he's never really achieved the action lunacy of "The Killer." (Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some language)

"Security Unlimited" (Aug. 12, 7 p.m.; Aug. 14, 2 p.m.)

This 1981 film never acquired the international following of the two other picks, but it's an antic performance (and the last together) of the Hui brothers -- Michael, Sam and Ricky. In the slapstick farce, the three play security guards who fall all over each other, all over their opponents, and all over anybody who gets in the way as they try to protect an armored car. Brother Michael directed. (Not rated)

Coming to the Freer Gallery: Jackie Chan in 1985's "Police Story."