B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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RetroRobot
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B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

Post by RetroRobot »

Can anyone tell me why the SB logo appears on the posters of some of the old B&W WFH films? I know they didn't produce them. But were they just distributing to various markets or did they rent out studio space or other involvements?

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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Are any of those films worth watching? Never seen any of them but they might be quite interesting looking at changes in choreography or spotting actors etc :?

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

Post by Ivan Drago »

I imagine Shaws distributed them in their theatres. Hence why Celestial owns the Taiwanese New Game of Death.

The few clips I've seen of these look fun.
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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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I have only seen the first film, but it is easily worth watching if you are fan of HK cinema. If more were subtitled I would watch more.

Here is an entry I have for the film (in a project I have been working on):

The Story of Wong Fei Hung: Part one (1949: Hu Peng) aka Whip Extinguishes the Candles. The Wong Fei-hung films starring Cantonese opera star and martial artist Kwan Tak-hing was one of the most successful and long running movie series of all-time -- written accounts vary the amount from 76 to 99 entries. Hung Gar practitioner Wong Fei-hung is the most well-known and revered Cantonese real-life folk hero. Post-World War II had seen many newspaper serials written by Chu Yu-chai and radio broadcasts with him as a hero of fictionalized stories. Director Wu Pang used a story from Chu to show off a Southern style of martial arts. The film would not only have interludes where the martial art consultants such as Chan Hon-chung would show off their skills, it starts off with a lion dance and even later has a dragon boat song (Southern style song with drum or gong) performed by Chao Fei-fei. The film would help make the venerable Kwan a star and typecast him as the Confucian and stalwart sifu. It would also bring in authentic martial arts onto the screen and showcase master and student relationships. This just might be the most influential Hong Kong movie on the martial arts genre.

Released October 8, 1949
Youtube(whole movie with subtitles; thanks to Frank Bolte)
Wong Fei-hung by Mark Pollard
Mastering Virtue: The Cinematic Legend of a Martial Artist book review by Jean Lukitsch
Wu Pan, the Father of Hong Kongs Kung Fu Cinema by Jean Lukitsch
The True Story of Wong Fei Hung Reviewed by Yves Gendron
Dragon Boat Songs

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RetroRobot
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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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I DL'ed all the ones Frank Bolte put up on youtube, but only watched one so far. If you're interested in HK cinema history and the progression of fight choreo, then I would recommend trying one. But the pace is slow, and so is the action for that matter. Plus, watching without subs is far from ideal.

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

Post by Ivan Drago »

I feel the fact you're hearing the actual actor's voices makes a big difference. Kwan Tak-Hing's voice is great - and thankfully he did his own dubbing years later for The Magnificent Butcher.
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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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Ivan Drago wrote:I feel the fact you're hearing the actual actor's voices makes a big difference. Kwan Tak-Hing's voice is great - and thankfully he did his own dubbing years later for The Magnificent Butcher.
I like hearing the direct sound of the 1950s Cantonese films in some ways reminds me of the early 1930s Hollywood cinema (they way it sounds.) But even in post-sync I do like to hear the actor's voice, though I do not always know the actors voice. But when I do, I prefer it. Listening to Sammo Hung's "voice" in When Taekwondo Strikes is pretty hilarious.

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

Post by Ivan Drago »

I have no idea if it is his voice or not, but Wang Chung Hsin has a great gravelly voice in his Shaw films.
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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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Shooting with sound is definitely a plus here.

I would still like to know to extent the Shaws were involved. Im guessing it was merely distribution. But some of the sets looks kinda Shaw-like, so perhaps they rented studio space.

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

Post by Markgway »

I would agree with Ivan that the Shaw logo is to do with distribution.
There's no other mention of the company on those flyers.

Many characters actors dubbed their own Mandarin voices in the 70s (e.g. Ching Miao, Yang Chih-Ching) so Huang Tsung-Hsun co easily have been one of them.

Shaw often rented out backlot space to other productions, though I don't know if they did it back in their heyday? It may have been part of the deal?

Cantonese movies were shot sync-sound up until the late 60s (even when Mandarin films were being post dubbed).
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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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RetroRobot wrote:Shooting with sound is definitely a plus here.

I would still like to know to extent the Shaws were involved. Im guessing it was merely distribution. But some of the sets looks kinda Shaw-like, so perhaps they rented studio space.
What years were those two films? Run Run returned to Hong Kong in 1957 and even then it took awhile for the sets to be built. If the films were older than that then the label is for redistrubution.

What year did that WB influenced trademark come into effect? EDIT: weird Wikipedia has it as 1932 -- WB is from 1929.

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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Both of the ones pictured are from '57 I believe, though I just used those as examples. But you're right, the later WFH films from the 60's, where the Shaw studios were up and running, does not feature the SB symbol... of the ones i've seen. The studio use was júst an idea that popped into my head, cuz I saw some indoor-for-outdoor sets in a clip that looked very Shaw like.

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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It's weird how the WB shield logo disapeared for a time. In the late sixties, Warners merged with 7 Arts, then later there was the Saul Bass logo, which is still the logo for Warner music.
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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

Post by grim_tales »

RetroRobot wrote:I DL'ed all the ones Frank Bolte put up on youtube, but only watched one so far. If you're interested in HK cinema history and the progression of fight choreo, then I would recommend trying one. But the pace is slow, and so is the action for that matter. Plus, watching without subs is far from ideal.
Oh yeah, good point. I don't think I can DL one with the captions (if there are any) intact, so trying one direct on YT it will have to be :)

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

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The first one (Story of Wong Fei Hung) is properly subbed, the rest aren't. Im blanking on the name of the one I watched, but it was not subbed.

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Re: B&W Wong Fei Hung series Shaw Brothers connection?

Post by Masterofoneinchpunch »

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:
RetroRobot wrote:...What year did that WB influenced trademark come into effect? EDIT: weird Wikipedia has it as 1932 -- WB is from 1929.
Looking over posters and going through the book Shaw Screen it looks so far like the logo came around 1961 (I cannot find the information in the book so far).

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