Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ting Hao: What's Up, Tomcat?

This post goes out to YTSL, who mentioned Kitty Ting Hao's gender-bender You Were Meant for Me (1961) as one of the Cathay films whose DVD release she had been eagerly awaiting. Alas, it failed to materialize before the series was discontinued, and the movie now remains tantalizingly just out of sight.

I'm sure that YTSL and I aren't the only ones turned on by the notion of seeing Kitty in drag. Doesn't she look dashing with suit and cigarette? Whenever I look at this photo, I can't help but think of Anita Yuen in She's the Man, He's the Woman (1994) — that wonderful film which helped turn me into a Hong Kong movie fanatic so many years ago.

Hopefully, Kitty's You Were Meant for Me will become available to the masses some day in the not so distant future. In the meantime, long live the People's Republic of YouTube!

* Photo of Kitty comes from the Yau Leung collection 昨夜星光 (1940s-1960s).


YTSL said...

Hi duriandave --

Thanks for this post! :)

Don't think I had actually seen that photo before -- and definitely not re that clip. It's so funny... besides the use of the "Daisy" music, in the first half of it, she reminded me of Peter Chen Ho! But, yeah, in the second half, definitely saw that Wing (Anita Yuen's "He's a Woman, She's a Man" and "Who's the Woman? Who's the Man?" character) resemblance you mentioned. :D

lightning in a bottle said...

even when she's cross-dressing, she pulls it off with style and panache.

it's really fab that you post all these old videos dave. i wish i could show my mom these clips/shows but unless i haul my laptop over to her house, steal some wireless and show her, she's techno adversed.

next time she comes for a visit, i'll have to show her all these clips. maybe then she will not fear the computer/keyboard so much.

duriandave said...

-- YTSL, I wouldn't be surprised if Kitty was modeling herself after Peter Chen Ho. After all, he was the suave ladies man of that era. It would have been hilarious to see her impression of muscle man Roy Chiao!

-- girl lightning, report back if you do. I'd be curious to know what stars and films your mom remembers.

SpyMonkey said...

Ummm I wonder what she'd dress as in the costume party...may be as a girl? LOL

duriandave said...

SpyMonkey, you reminded me of a Connie Chan movie where she simultaneously plays a twin brother and sister. At one point, because of some plot complications, the sister disguises herself as the brother and vice versa. So, that was one memorable instance of an actress playing a man playing a woman!

YTSL said...

Hi duriandave --

Two other instances of an actress playing a man playing a woman: the late Anita Mui in WU YEN; and Brigitte the great in SWORDSMAN III: THE EAST IS RED. :b

duriandave said...

Thanks for the reminder, YTSL! Yet more proof of HK cinema's great tradition of cross-dressing women.