Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Three Charming Smiles (4) - Smiles Since 1926


Award Winning Huang Mei Musical : THREE SMILES (1969)

Here comes the 1969 version of Three Smile, the Hong Kong Shaw Bros production directed by veteran director Yueh Feng, whom also directed the 1940 Yi Hua Studio's version of "Three Smiles" in Shanghai.

Starring the foremost Huang Mei musical queen Ivy Ling Po, together with Li Ching, the "Baby Movie Queen" of Shaws Studio, this film was one of the very last Huang Mei Musical feature of Hong Kong.

A typical Huang Mei movies by Shaws, it won the best film (Comedy) in 15th Asian Film Festival. Though it was not the best and as "classics" as Kingdom and Beauty (1958), Diao Charn(1957), The Love Eterne (1963), It still has it's own significance, as it marked the ending of Huang Mei musical golden era in Chinese screen.



As for the film itself, it was still a film with good quality, from acting, directing to filmset, and indeed both Lvy and Li Ching has gave a wonderful performance too, especially Li Ching, whom has portrayed a youthfully adorable yet innocent Qiu Xiang, a rather different interpretation compare to Chen Sze Sze, who has been very vivacious and dynamically beautiful in Great Wall version's Qiu Xiang.

However, I have to admit that personally that, when comes to Shaws Huang Mei Musical, I still prefer Ivy in blockbuster The Lover Eterne (1963) and Li Ching in The Mermaid (1965) .

As comparative to Great Wall version filmed in 1964, I would still favor the earlier one, from overall artistic quality, creativity , directing, scripts,costume design and even to the chemistry between Tang Bohu and Qiu Xiang, the Great Wall version have been more impressive yet relatively splendorous too.

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