Hong Kong Film Archive presents 100 Must-See Movies

Asian Editor; Hong Kong, China (@Marshy00)
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Hong Kong Film Archive presents 100 Must-See Movies
Fantastic news for fans of Hong Kong Cinema both old and new! Today the Hong Kong Film Archive announces arguably its most ambitious film programme to-date: 100 Must-See Movies. Director of Programming Sam Ho and his dedicated team have ploughed their way through the archive's 90,000-strong collection to present 100 of the very best films the city has produced, from Benjamin Brodsky's 1916 silent A TRIP THROUGH CHINA to Johnnie To's 1999 masterpiece, THE MISSION. 

The broad selection is a treasure trove of classics and previously undiscovered gems. There are obvious but essential choices like Tsui Hark's ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, Yuen Woo Ping's DRUNKEN MASTER and John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW, as well as martial arts classics like King Hu's COME DRINK WITH ME and A TOUCH OF ZEN, Sammo Hung's THE PRODIGAL SON and Bruce Lee's THE WAY OF THE DRAGON. The arthouse crowd is also well catered for with Wong Kar Wai's DAYS OF BEING WILD and ASHES OF TIME, Ann Hui's THE SECRET and Stanley Kwan's ROUGE.

What is most exciting, however, is the opportunity to plunder areas of Hong Kong's cinematic past that haven't received nearly as much love as its action films. There is a strong contingent of melodramas from the 1950s in the series, featuring such underappreciated classics as Lee Sun Fung's IT WAS A COLD WINTER NIGHT, Wong Tin Lam's THE WILD, WILD ROSE or even screwball comedies like Li Pingqian's AWFUL TRUTH.

The programme is a massive commitment for the Film Archive, which endeavours to show one film every two weeks for the next FOUR YEARS and promises to be a wonderful exploration for audiences. The films will not be screening in chronological order, but mixing up the old with the new to ensure there is always something just around the corner to please more selective viewers. It is my intention to get to as many of these screenings as possible and produce a new bi-weekly column exploring these films, from the revered classics to those about to be unearthed.

Here is the full list of films to be screened. Let us know what you think. Which films are missing, in your opinion? Which do you recommend?

Year Title Director
1916 A Trip Through China Benjamin Brodsky
1939 Orphan Island Paradise Tsai Chu Sang
1941 Scenes of Yan'an (aka On The Northwest Front Line) Lam Chong, Tsui Tin Cheung
1941 Roar of the People Tang Xiaodan
1941 A Page of History Lai Man Wai
1948 Sorrows of the Forbidden City Zhu Shilin
1949 Blood Will Tell Griffin Yue Feng
1949 Wong Fei Hung's Whip That Smacks The Candle Wu Pang
1949 Wong Fei Hung Burns The Tyrants' Lair Wu Pang
1950 Dawn Must Come Wong Wai Yat
1950 The Kid Fung Fung
1950 Awful Truth Li Pingqian
1950 The Misarranged Love Trap Mok Hong Si
1951 Blood-stained Azaleas Lee Sun Fung
1951 Should They Marry? Zhu Shilin, Bai Chen
1951 Mysterious Murderer Part 1 Tong Tik Sang
1951 Mysterious Murderer Part 2 Tong Tik Sang
1952 The Prodigal Son Ng Wui
1953/1954 Family/Spring/Autumn Ng Wui/Lee Sun Fung/Chun Kim
1953 Festival Moon Zhu Shilin
1953 In The Face of Demolition Lee Tit
1954 Story of Father and Son Ng Wui
1954 Mutual Understanding Chun Kim
1955 It Was A Cold Winter Night (aka Cold Night) Lee Sun Fung
1955 Parents' Hearts Chun Kim
1955 Eternal Love Lee Tit
1955 Anna Lee Sun Fung
1956 Blood In Snow Li Han Hsiang
1956 The Wall Wong Hang
1956 The Seventh Heaven Ng Wui
1957 Golden Lotus Griffin Yue Feng
1957 Love Lingers On  Tso Kea
1957 The Sorrowful Lute Tso Kea
1957 Our Sister Hedy Doe Ching
1959 Money Ng Wui
1959 Butterfly and Red Pear Blossom Lee Tit
1959 The Chair Tso Kea
1960 Laugh, Clown, Laugh Li Pingqian
1960 Forever Yours Evan Yang
1960 Motherhood Tso Kea
1960 The Wild, Wild Rose Wong Tin Lam
1960 The Eternal Love Zhu Shilin
1961 Father Is Back Lee Tit
1961 How To Get A Wife Chun Kim
1963 Empress Wu Tse Tien Li Han Hsiang
1963 Father Takes A Bride Wong Tin Lam
1965 Ungratefulness (aka Remorse) Chor Yuen
1966 Come Drink With Me King Hu
1967 Story of a Discharged Prisoner Patrick Lung Kong
1967 Paragon of Sword & Knife Part 1 Chan Lit Bun
1968 Paragon of Sword & Knife Part 2 Chan Lit Bun
1968 The Golden Swallow Chang Cheh
1968 The Pregnant Maiden (aka Young, Pregnant and Unmarried) Chor Yuen
1970 The Arch Tong Shu Shuen
1970 Yesterday Today Tomorrow Patrick Lung Kong
1971 A Touch of Zen King Hu
1972 Intimiate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan Chor Yuen
1972 The Way of the Dragon Bruce Lee
1973 The Blood Brothers Chang Cheh
1974 China Behind Tong Shu Shuen
1976 The Magic Blade Chor Yuen
1976 The Private Eyes Michael Hui
1978 Drunken Master Yuen Woo Ping
1979 Dirty Ho Lau Kar Leung
1979 Raining In The Mountain King Hu
1979 The Butterfly Murders Tsui Hark
1979 The Secret Ann Hui
1980 The Spooky Bunch Ann Hui
1980 Dangerous Encounter - First Kind Tsui Hark
1981 Man On The Brink Alex Cheung
1981 Martial Club Lau Kar Leung
1981 The Prodigal Son Sammo Hung
1982 Boat People  Ann Hui
1982 Nomad Patrick Tam
1983 Reign Behind a Curtain Li Han Hsiang
1983 Ah Ying Allen Fong
1984 Long Arm of the Law Johnny Mak
1984 Homecoming Yim Ho
1984 Shanghai Blues Tsui Hark
1985 Mr. Vampire Ricky Lau Koon Wai
1985 Police Story Jackie Chan
1986 A Better Tomorrow John Woo
1986 Just Like Weather Allen Fong
1987 City on Fire Ringo Lam
1987 An Autumn's Tale Mabel Cheung
1987 A Chinese Ghost Story Ching Siu Tung
1987 Wonder Women Kam Kwok Leung
1987 The Romance of Book and Swords Ann Hui
1988 Rouge Stanley Kwan
1989 The Killer John Woo
1989 God of Gamblers Wong Jing
1990 Days of Being Wild Wong Kar Wai
1991 Once Upon A Time In China Tsui Hark
1992 Swordsman II Ching Siu Tung
1992 The Legendary La Rose Noire Jeff Lau
1992 Autumn Moon Clara Law
1993 Fong Sai Yuk Corey Yuen
1993 Fong Sai Yuk II Corey Yuen
1993 C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri Derek Yee
1994 Ashes Of Time Wong Kar Wai
1995 A Chinese Odyssey - Part 1: Pandora's Box Jeff Lau
1995 A Chinese Odyssey - Part 2: Cinderella Jeff Lau
1996 Comrades, Almost a Love Story Peter Chan
1997 Made in Hong Kong Fruit Chan
1999 The Mission  Johnnie To

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Niels MatthijsSeptember 19, 2011 5:10 AM

Good to see they found at least 1 Jing Wong film to show :p

CuttermaranSeptember 19, 2011 7:23 AM

What are the creteria for this list? Actually a lot of classic films are missing here, Hongkong cinema is loved and known for by people around the world. One hundred titles are just not enough.

ironfaderSeptember 19, 2011 10:42 AM

Yes Martial Club and Prodigal Son are two of the best maybe they can add....

Legendary Weapons of China
Shaolin vs Wutang
Master Killer
Fists of the White Lotus
Once Upon A Time In China II
Duel To Death
Magnificent Butcher
The Victim
Warriors Two
Shaolin vs Llama

James MarshSeptember 20, 2011 8:45 AM

I'm sure there were many criteria ranging from availability, permission, quality of prints, personal tastes of the programming staff and an attempt to show more than just the already well-known martial arts classics. At the end of the day this is really a programme for Hong Kong cinemagoers, rather than international fans, and I praise its diversity.