Experienced heroine Li Li-Hua plays a swordswoman out to reclaim her murdered husband's "Green Sword," the sharpest blade in the world. The lovely Li Ching plays the role of Li Li-hua's student, who must take up the fight when her teacher falters.
The tragic love triangle of early 20th century Peking Opera star Chiu Hai-tang, his beautiful stage partner, and the warlord who forces himself between them, has been a favorite with Chinese audiences for decades.
Fan Chia-soo is a kind-hearted student whose heart is captured by the sweet song of Shen Feng-hsien. However, he is not the only one who has eyes for Shen. The General's henchmen are also determined to present the songstress to their superior as a gift. Fan received help from an unexpected quarter to save the woman he loves.
With her elegant classic persona, Li Li-hua was the ideal performer for period aristocratic and imperial roles. The Goddess Of Mercy is a good example of her strong empathy and noble presence. The youngest daughter of a brutal king, the princess openly disapproves of the floggings and cruel treatment her royal family heaps on the peasants. As a result, the heartless king turns on his own daughter forcing her into exile. This humanistic tale will inspire and hearten even the most cynical viewer.
Spy thriller set in occupied Shanghai. Li Lihua stars as the woman who is thrust into the role of nationalist freedom fighter when she discovers that her husband is a collaborator with the Japanese.
Based on one particular storyline from The Water Margin, Three Sinners weaves an intriguing story of romance, treachery, and death, all within the context of the traditional Huangmei Opera. Yan Jun casts his real-life wife, the elegant Li Li Hua, star of such Shaw Brothers films as The Goddess of Mercy and Vermillion Door, as one of the title characters, a woman who finds herself in the middle of a stormy love triangle involving her controlling husband (director Yan Jun serving double duty in a starring role) and a passionate lover (Chen Yan Yan).
The renowned Li Li Hua plays Wu Ze Tian, the most famous woman in China's four thousand year history.
The noted actress Li Li-hua, star of more than sixty films since 1947, beautifully portrays the drugged, then disgraced wife of a peddler in the waning days of the Ching Dynasty. To make matters worse, she’s soon framed for her husband’s murder by her rapist - the son of the local magistrate! And even that isn’t the end of her woes. It’s best to have a box of tissues nearby as two expert directors ratchet up the emotional suspense in this consummate tearjerker.
Comedy about five married couples — a pair of parents and their four daughters and sons-in-law. Li Li Hua plays the eldest girl, opposite her real-life husband Yean Chuan.
The son of the town bully lusts after a local beauty in this action-filled thriller of the passions and violence to be found in a fishing village.
Mak-Leung is a young woman from the Sung Dynasty era who, from birth, is fated for a great destiny. One day a white dragon emerges from a well in her family's back yard and hands her a wordless book with which she can save the world.
Storm over the Yangtze River tells the true story of undercover intelligence agent "Yangtze Number One" and his colleagues in Jianli County of Hubei Province, who risk their lives to carry out the "Dead Bridge Plan" to secure the "Yangtze 180 Blockade". Li Lihua gives an iconic performance as a strong and charming agent of an intelligence unit, engaging in a risky mission to save her unit chief-cum-lover, who is regarded as a traitor but actually is a double-dealing agent against the Japanese occupation. The film garnered four awards at the 1969 Golden Horse Awards, including Best Leading Actor and Best Leading Actress.
The Story of Qin Xiang-Lian is a Hong Kong Chinese Opera musical starring Jackie Chan in a child role.
Lee Khan, a high official under Mongolian Emperor Yuan of the Yuan dynasty (year 1366) procures the battle map of the Chinese rebel Chu Yuan-Chang's army. Rebel spies, aided by treachery within Khan's ranks, strive to corner him in an inn.
American pilot Cliff Brandon, fighting the Japanese in China, finds himself the unintentional "owner" of a Chinese housekeeper, Shu-Jen. The unlikely couple falls in love and marries, but not without tragedy brought on by the war.
A Chinese drama
In BOXER REBELLION, three young martial arts brothers, played by Chi Kuan-chun, Alexander Fu Sheng and Leung Kar-yan, go in search of fellow patriots dissatisfied with Imperialist foreigners and wind up joining a rising sect of the Boxers, led by an opportunistic conman (Johnny Wang Lung-wei). Named as such for their use of martial arts, these boxers are revolutionaries who believe that spirits protect their bodies from foreign guns. They even dupe the Empress Dowager (Li Lihua), who gives them her royal blessing to fight the foreigners.
Love knows no limits in the grand period romance, Lady Jade Locket. A young fighter inadvertently falls for the spirit of a beautiful woman, who died years earlier avenging her own father's murder. The beautiful ghost is in fact the sister of his fiancee. Experienced as an actor in many such romances, director Yen Chuan keeps the tone perfect. Plus, with period specialist Li Li-hua in the lead and the attractive and acclaimed Li Ching playing the ghost girl, he really can do no wrong.
Perhaps the most notorious concubine in Chinese history, Yang Guifei set a pudgy standard of beauty in her days of glory during the Tang dynasty. The Emperor Minghuang was so besotted with the woman that when An Lushan stages his rebellion against the empire, the ruler takes Yang Guifei along with his imperial entourage in an escape to the mountainous area of modern-day Sichuan, and sanctuary of sorts. But the concubine had roused the jealousy of the court and unfortunately for her and to the great sorrow of the king, her brother and others among the king's retainers demanded she be strangled to death while they were still in the mountains. This is the story told in this interesting Taiwanese adaptation by director Li Han-hsiang (Li Hanxiang).
With China under control of a weak Emperor, two officials compete to steer the future destiny of the land. Chiu believes the people are the future of China, while the diabolical Tu wishes to grind the people beneath an iron heel. Tu decides to take out Chiu's family, but one lone infant escapes.
A behind the scenes story of a small time folk opera troupe and other performers in Northern China in the 1930s.
Known as Great China's most charming star at the time, Li Lihua starred as Zhao Lingru, a female Robin Hood-esque hero who fights for the poor. Her brother (Yang Zhiqing), however, is the tyrannical leader of a gang. For the sake of justice, Lingru has no choice but to turn her back on family. Producer Yan Chuntang, who gave Li her start on the silver screen, made good use of Li's Peking opera training and transformed Li into a righteous action heroine. Her sword fight opposite Yang is a highlight of the film, showcasing Li's physical agility. Spending a significant part of the film with part of her face covered as the Lady Thief, Li's fierce glance is already enough to express a myriad of emotions. Also worth noting is the film's costume design, which adds an interesting contemporary flavour to the Republic-era setting of the story.
As China falls into hyperinflation following the end of the war, people fought tooth and nail to get their hands on the only reliable currencies in the world: gold and American dollars. This is a story that shows how seven bars and two thousand US dollars bring together an interesting mix of characters: an opportunistic manager, a materialistic courtesan, a con artist posing as a commissioner of the Treasury, a white-collar worker who will do anything for a promotion, a man who specialises in conning women, a father who marries off his daughter for money and a sorcerer who fakes his magic. In this dog-eat-dog world, the only truth is that everyone is lying for his own gain. Playing the courtesan who longs to be part of high society, Li Lihua steals the film with a feisty performance opposite the amusing Yan Jun, whose con artist character has a tendency to flirt with lyrics from Peking operas.
During the Republic of China, a Beijing Opera actor named Wu Yuqin specializes in performing in female roles. He takes the stage name Qiu Haitang and is invited to dinner by an admiring warlord Yuan. He later meets Luo Xiangqi, a graduate of a female performance school. The two of them fall in love but it turns out that she is warlord Yuan's wife...
Li's first directorial work in Hong Kong is adapted, by himself, from the Hollywood movie The Great Lie (1941) starring Bette Davis. When a husband disappears in an accident, the wife is dismayed by a social butterfly pregnant with her husband's child. To preserve the husband's blood line, the wife takes care of the expectant mother and raises the child. Featuring the two ravishing beauties Li Lihua and Sun Jinglu, Our Husband foregoes juicy feuds between the leads and delivers an allegorical message: parents should provide an ideal environment for the next generation. Addressing the rocky times in China, it is equally overt in its remonstration as Yung Hwa's earlier works, The Soul of China and Sorrows of the Forbidden City.
Golden Rose, an informant for the resistance groups, kidnaps Miss Takamine, her Japanese counterpart who has received special training. Disguising herself as Miss Takamine, Golden Rose frequents the Japanese army barracks and gets information she needs.
Anatole France's The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife has been adapted into three different Hong Kong films in the 1950s alone. These two adaptations stray from the source material considerably in genre, characterisation and plot, turning a farce about married life into localised romantic comedies that emphasise family values. The Beauty and the Dumb follows the couple from their meet-cute to the misunderstandings they encounter before the inevitable happy ending. The heir of a bank (Huang He) falls in love at first sight with one of the employees' daughter (Li Lihua), but their burgeoning relationship is nearly derailed when the girl's father intervenes to help his dumb daughter land a rich husband.
Shaw Brothers drama.
This is a historical drama that was produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio.
The Black Fox (黑狐狸) is a 1962 Hong Kong thriller film directed by Yan Jun. The film was produced under the Shaw Brothers banner in the Mandarin language.
This was a HK musical produced by Nanyang Film Company and distributed by Shaw & Sons.
A girl moves into a mansion with her father and falls in love with the painter she tries to evict.
Xu Ning meets secret agents Bai Ping and Mei Haozi and falls in love with Ping. Bai Ping becomes involved in a plot to steal confidential documents and faces subsequent danger...
Girl on the loose is a 1954 Hong Kong film, directed by Wang Yin.
A child learns martial arts in order to become a Kung Fu warrior. Features the Seven Little Fortunes, and is the debut film of Jackie Chan.
Sweet Song For You (勾魂艷曲) aka Song of Romance is a 1952 Hong Kong musical romance film directed by Yin Wang. The film was produced by Runde Shaw for Shaw and Sons and is based on the screenplay by Tan Liu.
A wedding musician fails to wed his own love: Little Trumpet is raring to marry his childhood sweetheart, but a series of setbacks has prevented them from getting their way. Criticism against social formalities becomes all the more forceful with the clever use of contrast and irony, not to mention the realist and comedic touch a la Zhu Shilin. Of special mention is the famous teahouse scene where dynamic, melodic camerawork creates a hilarity that continues to amaze to this day. A genuine masterpiece with every single detail, down to the minor props, forming an integral part of a whole. Today, young couples are struggling nonetheless to get a roof over their heads, a testimony to the fact that poverty still reigns beneath the facade of harmony and stability after all these years.
Taiwanese huangmei opera film.
This is a 1952 Hong Kong drama film directed by Bu Wancang, Kuang-Chi Tu, Wang Yin and Shankun Zhang. It stars Chou Man-Hua and Li Li-Hua.
Young widow Fan Ruhua feigns the daughter of a tycoon and solicits husbands on papers. But Fan bumped into Yang Xiaomao, a barber, who similarly pretends to be a suiter for a broke businessman to court a daughter from a wealthy family. After a series of misunderstandings, Yang and Fan finally give up vanity and live honest lives.
A Midsummer Night's Love is about a couple, Li Yuqin and Zhang Tianshi, who faked their marriage but the lies became real, unleashing a series of comic situations.
Xin Shu (judge) is judging a murder case and the prisoner Jia Lan Fang is mentally crazy and can not respond. Xin asks for the doctor's opinion, but the doctor must first understand Fang's past before proceeding. Apparently Judge Xin Shu has loving feelings towards the prisoner Jia Lan Fang because of the enormous resemblance to an ex-girlfriend named Yu Xiaocui.
During the Taiping Rebellion of the mid-19th century, anti-Qing (Manchu) Chinese forces led by Taiping commander Li Xiucheng march on Shanghai. Although the Western powers are officially neutral, the British consul in Shanghai sides with the Qing imperial government, and counter to his own government's policy he retains American adventurer Frederick Townsend Ward to raise a mercenary force of foreigners in Shanghai and oppose the Taipings. Ward's force is routed, with heavy casualties, but since many of the casualties are British, the British army soon is drawn in on the side of the Qings. The only support for the Chinese comes from Japanese in Shanghai and anti-imperialist demonstrations in Japan. A family drama plays out against this historical background. After a Chinese home is destroyed by careless British shelling, killing the father and crippling a daughter, the surviving son vows revenge but begins to see that his true friends may be the Japanese.
Directed by some of most well known Chinese-language directors of the time, the portmanteau film Four Moods was an attempt to alleviate Li Han-hsiang’s financial troubles during the late 1960s. Arguably one of his best works, King Hu’s short Anger is an adaptation of the famous Peking opera San Cha Kou; set to opera instrumentation and stylishly shot, the film deftly captures the tense showdown between political schemers, avengers and vagabonds inside an inn. Li Han-hsiang’s Happiness, inspired by the Strange Tales of Liaozhai, tells a tale of reprieve for a kind-hearted ghost, while Pai Ching-Jui’s Joy and Lee Hsing’s Sadness both explore the fateful encounters between mortal men and ghostly women.
Hong Kong cinemas had a wide range of glamorous female stars during the golden age of the 60's and 70's. The series will take the audience on a sentimental journey to the good old days and once again look at the expansive epic costume dramas and huangmei operas in which actresses played both the male and female roles. Rare interviews with Sir Run Run Shaw, stars Ivy Ling Po, Shaw Yin Yin, Tanny Tie Ni and Cheng Pei Pei are also featured.
Long unemployed and stone-broke, Shen Jiaguang is dealt a further blow when his wife Lu Xiaoyin has fallen seriously ill and their son Xiaoguang has to quit school.
Spring Blossoms is a parable about the Chinese youth culture and what's important to the younger generation when it comes to romance. It starred a new wave of seventies, Shaw's beauties, Lily Li, Shu Pei-pei and Essie Lin-chia as single women looking for love. It's a triple-decker romantic bus ride on a road to nowhere speeding toward a low bridge. Only Lily Li became successful via her martial-arts abilities, so awesomely featured in Jackie Chan's The Young Master.
Hong Kong musical directed by Lo Chen.