Films and Hong Kong Productions
- By: Roselee Bachleda
Hong Kong movies from the 1950s or 1960s streaming The restoration and DVD publishing of Shaw Brothers films has helped them given a disproportionate place in the perception of cinema Hong Kong people from the 1950s to the 1970s, forgetting that other great studios existed and also produced popular and popular films artistic quality. Access to some of these films on Chinese YouTube corrects this misperception of Hong Kong cinema a little. In 123movies you will find all these films now.
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Cantonese films of the 1950s: the example of Tragedy of the Emperor’s Daughter, Films in Cantonese represents a considerable part of production Hong Kong from the 1950s or 1960s. Long considered mediocre quality because mass-produced, with the frequently cited example of many films about Wong Fei-Hung, these films have been neglected or even ignored by Western historians as much as by DVD publishers outside Hong Kong. The example of Tragedy of the Emperor’s Daughter or Princess Chang Ping, interpreted by the famous actresses’ duo Yam Kim-Fai and Pak Suet-Sin contradicts this misconception about the quality of these films in Cantonese. This film, now available in streaming, is of high quality comparable to the Shaw Brothers Mandarin films produced the same year e.g. The Kingdom and the Beauty. Li Hanxiang considered as references in terms of sets, costumes and staging especially because of the means implemented for their realization.
Studios called progressives, mainly the Great Wall and the Phoenix, were those who, during the years 1950-1960 in Hong Kong, stayed close to power in place on the continent. In contrast to the studios considered to be curators, like the Cathay and the Shaw Brothers, the films produced by these studios were broadcast in China before and after the Cultural Revolution. The founders, directors Zhu Shilin, Li Pingqian, actors and actresses Xia Meng, Zhu Hong from these studios, some of whom had started in Shanghai cinema of the 1930s, felt close to the ideas of Communist Party. Some of them, like actress Zhu Hong, refused out of political conviction to work for the conservative studios, despite the considerable sums of money offered to them. Even though they were called progressive, most of the films produced by these studios had nothing to do with propaganda films produced in mainland China at the same time.
Films from progressive Hong Kong studios
The progressive studios Great Wall Chang cheng and Phoenix Feng huang also marked cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, with popular movies to mainland China. However, these films and these studios, like films in Cantonese, have been overlooked or ignored by Western Chinese film historians. Few researchers or books in
French approach them in proportion to the considerable place they occupied in this story, especially with regard to the links they reveal between the cinema of the People’s Republic and Hong Kong. One of the reasons this again, and excluding cultural reasons, the assumed access difficult to these movies. However, like the productions in Cantonese, some of these films, notably Three Charming Smiles San xiao, Li Pingqian 1964, The Golden Eagle Jin ying, Chen Jingbo 1964 or La Peau peinte Hua pi, Bao Fang 1966, are now available on Chinese websites streaming. The visualization of these progressive films teaches us that they weren’t locked into propaganda themes.