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Friday, October 8, 2010

Shaw Brothers Cinema: Tragedy at Shaw Studio & Rare Productions

Shaw Brothers spy actioner, OPERATION LIPSTICK (1967) starring Cheng Pei Pei. Image from back cover of Southern Screen April, 1967.

I figured I'd get this entry out of the way prior to the upcoming Shaw Brothers Halloween special. I did add some additional things to this one to beef it up a bit. For this entry, it's a lot of behind the scenes photos from Shaw productions from the late 60's through the early part of the 1970's. There's also some interesting bits and pieces of Shaw Brothers movies that never made it out onto DVD including Chang Cheh's coveted TIGER BOY (1966). There's also an interesting David Chiang kung fu flick that never got finished. Enjoy!

***Click a pic for a larger image & to read the English text where applicable***

SHAW FLICK WITH THE KUNG FU KICK: THE BLACK ENFORCER (1972)


In the middle of 1969, Ho Meng Hua and his crew went to Korea to begin production on a very good swordplay saga entitled THE BLACK ENFORCER. With location shooting being done in Korea, the film was finally finished in 1971 and saw release the following year. This one's for Luca.



These are various clips from a four page spread of the announcement of Ho Meng Hua's new Wuxia picture, THE BLACK ENFORCER (1972).

SHAW BROTHERS RARITIES: DOWNHILL THEY RIDE (1966)


Here's an interesting article on a lively looking western film shot by Shaw Brothers entitled DOWNHILL THEY RIDE (1966). Huang Chung Shun, more familiar as a bad guy, appears to be playing a hero in this movie. This film was never announced for a DVD release to my knowledge, but I'd definitely love to see it surface someday, should it still exist. It was released in HK in February of 1966.

SHAW PROFILE: Helen Ko


Helen Ko was a super sexy Shaw starlet. She frequently appeared in erotic movies, action films and dramas often as a prostitute, or some sexbomb character. You'll find her in GENERATION GAP (1973), SEX FOR SALE, KIDNAP (both 1974) and THE SNAKE PRINCE (1976) among others.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Chen Wo Fu


Chen Wo Fu was an aspiring young actor at Shaw Brothers. His first and only lead role was THE SHADOW BOXER from 1974. Tragically, Chen would take his own life for undisclosed reasons (unless a probable cause is mentioned in the Chinese text) by gas poisoning shortly before the movie was released. Below are images from his one shining moment as a lead actor on screen as well as images after his death.




SHAW PROFILE: Chen Ping


Here's a nice bikini shot of the then premier Queen of Asian exploitation, Chen Ping. She had just headlined in her first lead role, THE KISS OF DEATH (1973), a movie that led to many more sleazy and fast paced action spectacles. After her divorce later in the decade, she abandoned her sex bomb image.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Lo Lieh


Here's a color photo from a four page spread on Lo Lieh's wedding to Grace Tang in May of 1976.

SHAW BROTHERS RARITIES: TIGER BOY (1966)


Above is a page from the January, 1966 issue of Southern Screen promoting Chang Cheh's first stab at directing. Sir Run Run Shaw took a gamble on this experiment to see if Cheh could handle a film on his own since he, unlike others, never worked as an AD before becoming a director. The gamble paid off and the rest is history.

BEHIND THE SCENES: David Chiang & Ti Lung


Above is an image from the 19th Annual Asian Film Festival in Singapore. Pictured are David Chiang (left) and Ti Lung (right) holding their awards for THE GENERATION GAP and BLOOD BROTHERS respectively.


Here, the two recipients and frequent co-stars get their picture taken with their boss, Sir Run Run Shaw. The two images above and one below are from the June, 1973 issue of Hong Kong Movie News.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Ti Lung


Above is a behind the scenes photo from THE PIRATE (1973) starring Ti Lung and David Chiang and directed by Chang Cheh.

BEHIND THE SCENES: SECRET SERVICE OF THE IMPERIAL COURT (1984)


Above are a couple of behind the scenes shots from one of my favorite Shaw Brothers productions, the dramatic and ultra violent SECRET SERVICE OF THE IMPERIAL COURT (1984). These images are from the April, 1984 issue of Southern Screen magazine.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: THE WHIRLWIND KICK


Actor, David Chiang had become a director earlier in the decade when Chang Cheh gave both him and Ti Lung the opportunity to see what they could do behind the camera. After completion of THE CONDEMNED (1976), Chiang began doing double duties on a movie called THE WHIRLWIND KICK.


Unlike THE CONDEMNED, David Chiang would be fighting in this movie. Unfortunately, the film was never completed for whatever reason. These images are from a spread in Hong Kong Movie News, September of 1975.

Above is the original HK poster for NEW TALES OF THE FLYING FOX (1984). It's a retelling of the popular Wuxia story previously filmed by Chang Cheh as LEGEND OF THE FOX (1980). The image is from the back cover of the April, 1984 issue of Southern Screen.

That's all for now, but look out for the upcoming Halloween special that highlights Shaw Brothers horror movies. Upcoming entries will include a loving tribute to one of HK's most beloved stars, Alexander Fu Sheng. Also, there'll be more co-productions and an entry dedicated to what is without doubt, the most famous kung fu team outside of Asia, the Five Venoms!

UNTIL NEXT TIME....

5 comments:

achillesgirl said...

I love this stuff! Thanks for the cool pics and fun info!

venoms5 said...

You're quite welcome, achillesgirl!

nectarsis said...

Awesome read as always. :) LOVE the pics to.

venoms5 said...

Thanks, nectarsis! Glad you enjoy these!

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