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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shaw Brothers Cinema: Vintage Hong Kong Movie News

I received some old Hong Kong newspaper clippings in the mail the other day and here's some of the highlights found therein. Some of the bits and pieces include some very interesting information on films both in Asia and items about movies in production in the West. One interesting note involves David Soul reportedly holding up the filming of SALEM'S LOT (1979) by constantly wandering off the set to romance various women he has invited to the set!

Anyway, these bits and pieces will be of great interest to kung fu fanatics and exploitation fans alike. First up are two images from July 21st, 1979. This first pic showcases Ti Lung and his wife, Amy Tao (Tao Ming-ming) at the 25th Annual Asian Film Festival. Both Ti Lung and likewise HK megastar, Alexander Fu Sheng won awards for their participation in the highly dramatic martial arts spectacular, THE AVENGING EAGLE (aka COLD BLOODED EAGLES) from 1978. Ti Lung won in the 'Most Outstanding Actor' category and Fu Sheng won the 'Highest Achievement for an Actor in an Action Film'. If you haven't seen this film, it's one of the best ever made and a great place to start for those new to the genre.


Ti Lung got to star alongside his wife (pictured above) in some of his independent work including THE REVENGER (1980) and EMPEROR OF KUNG FU (1981).

This next pic is from the same Awards ceremony, this being a lineup of the various winners from Hong Kong. Fans will no doubt recognize among the recipients, Gordon Liu and FIVE VENOM actor, Lu Feng, who played the Centipede in that seminal production. Pictured here, Lu Feng was the winner for 'Most Outstanding Supporting Actor in an Action Film' from the exciting and wonderfully choreographed Chang Cheh production, SHAOLIN RESCUERS (aka THE AVENGING WARRIORS OF SHAOLIN). Lu Feng is second from the right. Gordon Liu, third from the right, was on hand to accept the Award for HEROES OF THE EAST (CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA) in the 'Best Combination of International Martial Arts' category.

This next pic is from July 22nd, 1978 and features an interesting bit of news trivia on famed Hong Kong actress, Chen Ping. The then reigning Queen of Asian Exploitation, Chen Ping did many erotic thrillers and comedies as well as appearing in numerous action and kung fu pictures for Shaw Brothers studio. Some of her best and most notable movies are KISS OF DEATH (1973), THE SINFUL ADULTERESS (1974), THE SEXY KILLER (1976), WEDDING NIGHTS (1976), CRAZY SEX (1976), THE GIRLIE BAR (1976), THE OILY MANIAC (1976), THE VENGEFUL BEAUTY (1977), THE CALL GIRLS, and SHAOLIN HANDLOCK among many others.

Here we have two photos in one. The top photo showcases Ti Lung reading this particular movie newspaper while taking a break during the shooting of THE DEADLY BREAKING SWORD (1979). This clipping comes from August 26th, 1978. Below that is a mention of kung fu favorite, Meng Fei while in Taiwan shooting THE 12 ZODIAC FIGHTERS PART 2.

This next picture carries with it some very interesting information regarding a seemingly unmade production. Pictured here is Carter Wong (BORN INVINCIBLE, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA) posing with two of his students. It says he is planning to partake in a new action movie for Warner Brothers studio entitled THE BIG TOURNAMENT. The stars of which include Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris and Jim Kelly!!! Wow! An incredible list of names for that one and it's a shame that picture fell by the wayside. Also, to the left of the picture is a small tidbit regarding Ti Lung and his wish to freelance outside of the tight constraints of his contract with Shaw Brothers studio.

Ti Lung did get to make movies outside of Shaw's massive movie empire a few months after this article went to press. Some of his work outside the Shaw house are THE HEROES (1980), THE REVENGER (1980) and a film he did for first time director (and the Lizard of the 5 Venoms), Kuo Chui, with NINJA IN THE DEADLY TRAP (1984). The article above is from June 10th, 1978.

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