Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Pop Musicals: Run Run Shaw Runs Shows

                        The Lark - 小雲雀 - (1964) *Official Trailer* by Shaw Brothers.

Asian movie superman Sir Run Run Shaw had passed on. As part of his legacy he, with his brother Runme, produced many movies that included Chinese musicals popular even with non-Mandarin speaking public across the region.
Image Credit: SCMP Pictures.

According to Celestial Pictures Limited (Musical - Shaw Brothers Universe Film Collection) on You Tube, SB musicals, "captured the tastes, trend and psyche of the cinema-going public in the 1960s and the 1970s." 

As a teen I used to watch SB Chinese musicals in a neighbourhood cinema. Some of the musicals made by these two brothers were, King Drummer, Hong Kong Rhapsody, Hong Kong Nocturne, Le Belles, The Shepherd Girl, Love Parade, The Singing Thief and others.  To single one, the 1964 movie, The Lark is a treasure trove of some of the most popular Mandarin songs of all time.

Shades of K-Pop. From SB 1960 movie: Les Belles. Taken from Celestial Pictures Ltd.
Former PM Lee KY said, "The movie mogul will be remembered for his vision and determination in building a movie empire that touched the lives of many (ST: 8/1/14)." 

Anyone with a song to remember?

After the wind and rain last night
There's nothing except void in the dream
I'm lucky to have bumped into you
Aren't you coming back...
(Lyrics from a song on SB movie: The Lark).

Celestial Pictures Limited You Tube video from: Celestial Pictures Ltd.


Anonymous said...

Shaw Brothers produced one of the classics of Mandarin movies and the love song, Bu Liao Qing (Love Without End). It is also a tribute to that great Chinese actress Lin Dai.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Shaw brothers films. Clear, decent sound, good actors and action. Wish producers make more films like these...

(From You Tube comment about 'Killers Five' - 1969 movie).

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I remember watching movies like, 'Come Drink With Me' (Chen Pei Pei), 'One Armed Swordsman' (Wang Yu) and 'Yang Kwei Fei' (Li Li Hwa).

English subtitles helped along the way.

Lam Chun See said...

Our family were all big fans of Carrie Ku Mei.

We saw the movie Love Without End at Dai Kong in New World.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Chun See and James for the movie and song from each. Whatever happened to Lena Lim? Anyone? I have already done a posting on her but uncertain about certain details.

devilindisguise said...

Yeah Elvis Pelvis is 78 today and still ticking on the radio, You Tube, Hard Disks, MP3s, Cable, Movies, etc. Talk of spirits hovering around. It's true man!

James Kwok said...

A favourite from singer Lena Lim:

Travelled a long and arduous journey tasted the bitter and sour
Now back to the old courtyard could hear the whisper of Swallows
Mother of the child you are near the warm embrace of mother's arms

After the snow and frost have gone through hardship difficulties
Now back to the old courtyard to hear the call of intimacy
Mother of the child you are near the warm embrace of mother's arms

Since then we have to leave the family reunion and then disperse
Since then we have to leave the family then scattered like Mo

Linzhu Jun - 'Carnival'
A Google translation (edited).

走遍了萬水千山 嘗盡了苦辣甜酸
如今又回到了舊時的庭院 聽得了燕語呢喃
孩子你靠近母親的懷抱 母親的懷抱溫暖

經過了雨雪風霜 歷盡了艱辛困難
如今又回到了舊時的庭院 聽得了親熱的呼喚
孩子你靠近母親的懷抱 母親的懷抱溫暖

從此後我們合家團圓 莫再要離別分散
從此後我們合家喜歡 莫再要離別分散

林竹君 -《合家歡》

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
Many of the cinema shows I watched as a child through my teen days were SB produced. The fanfare opening theme featuring the SB logo at the beginning of every SB show still remains fresh in my memory. I remember the classics like 'One Arm Swordsman', 'The Kingdom and the Beauty','Wu Che Tian' which paved the way to stardom of actors/actresses like Wang Yu, Li Li Hwa and Lin Dai. Lin Dai and Li Li Hwa were and still are my mother's favourite actresses. She used to say no HK/Taiwan female actresses in modern times come close to the excellent performance of Lin Dai and Li Li Hwa. All thanks to Run Run Shaw. May he rest in peace.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Min, I am leaving this posting for a week as I usually do and hope to have more readers comment about him. Seldom to have a man live so long and also do so much for the entertainment industry. Anybody like RRS today? In S.E. Asia?

Unknown said...

Hi Andy.

Thanks for sending me this. I did not see it when it was first published.

When I was 23 or 24 years old, I was involved with the Society for Aid to the Paralysed, as a volunteer. The President of the Society was Mr K.S. Rajah, who was at that time the Director of Legal Aid Bureau. He was a real gentleman and a really nice guy!

I will always remember the official opening of S.A.P. and the Guest of Honour was none other than Mr Shaw himself. I was the M.C at the event and introduced him to the audience and invited him to the stage to make his speech for the occasion. I could vaguely remember him looking at me from the floor as I was making his introduction. Looking back, I imagine that he could have been thinking to himself, "I wish I could have the youth of this man but with my present wealth, experience and sagacity".

Also present at the event was Mr Peter Chong, Singapore's ace Karate Master. He was there with a team to give a demonstration of his art. He was there at the invitation of Mr M N Samy, the Vice President of S.A.P.

All the best to you Andy!


John Cher