View Full Version : Favorite HK 1970s Director

Al Edwards
04-26-2003, 03:49 PM
Who is a favorite HK film director from the 1970s?

Al Edwards
03-04-2005, 05:10 PM
I haven't seen enough from this decade to have a favorite HK director.

Ian Jane
03-04-2005, 06:19 PM
I think Chang Cheh made some of his best films in the 1970s, as did Jimmy Wang Yu (I think all the films he directed were in the 70s, weren't they?)

Andras Hernadi
03-04-2005, 07:35 PM
I'm not the biggest m/a fan,but my fave HK-directors of the 70's are:
Chor Yuen (excellent wuxias and all-round good director)
Kuei Chi Hung (master of exploitation)
Ho Meng Hua (all kinds of films,usually good)
King Hu (top)
maybe Sun Chung and Chen Kang but haven't seen much by thm yet.
They are Shaw Bros directors (bar Hu),but that's what is available from that era. I'd list Yuen Woo Ping and Sammo but they really came out on top in the early 80's (unless you think Drunken Master was well-directed)

Did Wang Yu actually directed films in HK besides his Boxer films? Master of the F.G. wasn't a HK production(not that I'd ever rate that film well-directed,but it was fun). I don't know what to think about Chang Cheh. From what I've seen by him,I would say that any of those men I mentioned were years ahead of him in technique. Just compare COME DRINK WITH ME with GOLDEN SWALLOW.

Linn Haynes
03-04-2005, 10:24 PM
Sun Chung, Lo Mar, Joseph Kuo, Wang Cheng, Ng See Yuen, Lee Tso Nam, really too many to list. And you're right, Wang Yu only directed Chinese Boxer in Hong Kong. But Wang Yu directed quite a few films. He was at his best with large action scenes IMO, and he was clearly one of the most inventive talents behind the scenes of the era.

As for Chang Cheh, if you disregard his ideas, writing talent, eye for talent (with every director you listed (with the exception of Hu) tilling talent from Chang's stable of performers and technitions), prolific workload, inventiveness with the camera, ability to predict trends, and willingness to take risks; I would have to agree he wasn't anything special. The problem is, you can't disregard those things. It also helps that nearly all of the directors he’s compared to here, made at best two to three films a year(in King Hu's case, perhaps a decade). When you’re required to make as many as nine films in a year, you’re ability to make films of consistently high quality goes out the window. You’re lucky if you get one or two good ones, which is what he did. Also, nearly every director listed here burned themselves out fairly quickly, and Chang continued making interesting films going into the 1990s.

Andras Hernadi
03-05-2005, 07:38 AM
You are right Linn,but I can only go with what I see - I compare similar films from that period. I haven't been impressed by CC's work so far,though I yet to see ONE ARMED SWORSMAN (his best?). Also I'm still not sure who influenced who, whoever was there first (didn't Ho Meng Hua & Chen Kang started out around the same time as CC?).

Linn Haynes
03-05-2005, 11:21 AM
Ho Meng Hua was a director in the mid-50s, but did mainly romances. He didn't do any action films until Chang Cheh kicked in the door in 1967/68. By the late seventies, he had pretty much wore out his welcome and got less and less budgets for his projects. Chen Kang is pretty much the same story, but wasn't working for the Shaws nearly as long. He didn't start directing action films until 1967, after the success of One Armed Swordsman. He was more of a writer than the other directors mentioned.

The argument I often hear is that King Hu was the person that started the modern wuxia genre. But King Hu and Chang Cheh were peers, with Hu and Chang taking different sides of the wuxia argument. Chang had been putting forth his ideas of a male dominated action cinema as a film critic in the 50s, but the Shaw Brothers were not convinced. While King Hu was getting ready to start Come Drink with Me, Chang was still head writer for the Shaw Brothers even though he had made his directing debut years before. Hu and the Shaw Brothers were not convinced that a male lead could make it in the female dominated world of Hong Kong action cinema, so Chang's ideas were pushed back. It took Chang taking a young Wang Yu a couple of others into the woods behind the studio and filming the movie Tiger Boy with old black and white film stock left over in the Shaw Brothers vaults. When this clearly showed Chang Cheh could do what he said (it was later a large hit in Taiwan), they still sat on him until a couple of years later. BTW, Tiger Boy was actually filmed around the same time as Come Drink with Me, but didn't get released because of it's "experimental" style.

Andras Hernadi
03-06-2005, 06:30 PM
thanx for the infos Linn. When I have the chance,I will check out ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN.