Friday, December 19, 2008

The Arabian Nights of Au Kar-Wai

Swashbuckling Shaw star Pearl Au Kar-wai

After returning from her sojourn in New York, Pearl Au Kar-wai starred in two films that I am dying to see: The Talking Bird (1959) and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1960). Both movies were directed by Luk Bong, who was following in the footsteps of his 1958 two-part hit, Prince of Thieves, a Cantonese opera based on The Arabian Nights.

Here's an article about The Talking Bird from Southern Screen No. 21 (November, 1959).

A Tale from the Arabian Nights

There is nothing like a fairy tale to delight both young and old.

The delight is all the greater when it revolves around the adventures of a pretty young girl.

In Shaw's latest production "The Talking Bird" you have all that. And what is more! Hongkong's lovely mermaid Pearl Au Kar-wai is in the starring role.

Adapted from the ever popular "Arabian Nights", the story is about Pearl's search for the Talking Bird to save her country from the tyrannical rule of a cunning and scheming prime minister.

She braves untold hazards and overcomes them one after another. In the end she finds the Talking Bird and with its aid carries the other treasures "The Singing Tree" and "The Magic Waters" back to save her brothers who had been turned into stones.

Sharing star billing with Hongkong's lovely Pearl is "teddy boy" Mak Kay who is in a different role.

Others seen in the film include Kong Yat-fan, Lam Yim, Ko Leung, Pan Pang and many others.

And here's an article about Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from Southern Screen No. 27 (May, 1960).

Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves

Following on the success of "Glass Slipper" and "The Talking Bird" which were box-office hits with Cantonese-speaking audiences, Shaw Studio is bringing two more famous fairy tales to the screen.

Filming of one — "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" — has been completed, while shooting of the other — "Sleeping Beauty" — is scheduled to start soon.

"Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" stars Pearl Au Kar-wai, Cheung Ying-choy, Lam Yim, Shek Kin, Pang Pang, and Ngai Tung-kwa.

The film is produced by Chow See-look and is directed by Luk Pong.


lightning in a bottle said...

i really like the fencing picture. she looks gorgeous.

duriandave said...

Yeah, me too. I love her outfit!

oldflames said...

Hi Dave, i got your email, will send you the images soon.Your aforementioned moives of Pearl Au and other movies such as Patricia Lam's "Cinderalla" and "The Sleeping Beauty", constituted a special genre in Cantonese film, for the Hong Kong movie critics at that time, they called them "Roman Costume Drama".But you are right here, they all look more Arabian than Roman, I have no idea why did they use the word Roman....???

duriandave said...

Thanks, Oldflames! Looking forward to seeing them. :)

BTW, today I just found a full page ad for Women Are Angels on the inside back cover of Screenland No. 14 (November, 1960). I'll scan and post it soon.

Aaron King said...

Hi DurianDave, yes yes please do scan and post the full page ad for "Women Are Angels" starring Lam Fung and Cheung Ying-Choi. How are wish these movies are on DVDs