Connie in flower frame
Connie Chan: Movie Fan Princess
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Review Index
Connie Chan A Beginner’s Guide
to the Films of Connie Chan

Where to start? With around a third of Connie’s nearly 250 films now available on VCD or DVD and most of them without English subtitles, it can be a bit daunting for those who want to sample the charms of Hong Kong cinema’s brightest star. more
Connie Chan as Lady Black Cat Lady Black Cat (1966) and
Lady Black Cat Strikes Again (1967)

The great thing about Connie Chan’s action movies is that you don’t need to understand the dialogue or comprehend every little twist and turn of the plot to enjoy them. In fact, more often than not, the story is just a wire hanger on which to drape the real attractions. Case in point: Lady Black Cat and its sequel. Both movies involve the internal power struggles of criminal organizations, the innocent people who get swept up in the conflict, and a hero who must set things right. And both films feature a “McGuffin”—that inherently meaningless plot device that sets everything in motion and keeps the characters busy for the next hour and a half. more
Four Gentlemanly Flowers DVD cover Four Gentlemanly Flowers (1968)
Almost all we ever see of the Fong family’s household is an abnormally large foyer that conveniently fans out toward the camera—in which the Fong’s themselves, like no one in reality ever does, seem to conduct almost all of their social interactions, which in turn are punctuated by whimsical musical cues. In short, anyone raised on 1960s American TV has an easy reference point for Four Gentlemanly Flowers. And if you think that equating this Cantonese film with American family sitcoms of its era is stretching it a bit, please consider also the precocious tot who’s on hand to dispense scene-closing zingers, the bumbling parental figure continually made to look foolish by his wise-cracking offspring, the abundance of double takes and improbable comic masquerades, and the relentless idealization of upper middle class life. more
The Dragon Fortress VCD cover The Dragon Fortress (1968)
I first saw The Dragon Fortress a little more than five years ago. It was my first Connie Chan movie... [and] I hate to say it, but at that time I was more taken by her co-star Suet Nei, who I’d never seen nor heard of before and whose nasty temper, killer looks, and unique voice struck me like a bolt out of the blue. Which is not to say that The Dragon Fortress is a bad Connie Chan film, but it’s not the first one that I would choose to illustrate the charms of Hong Kong cinema’s Movie-Fan Princess. more
She Is Our Senior VCD cover She Is Our Senior (1967)
I have to admit that my Cantonese is rusty. And I say “rusty,” rather than “completely nonexistent,” only because a Chinese friend recently complimented me on my pronunciation of “Tsing Tao.” Beyond that, though, it’s pretty much completely nonexistent. This language barrier, however, in no way prevents me from indulging in the fantasies of glamour and escape that Connie Chan’s 60s thrillers inevitably inspire. more
Supreme Sword DVD cover Supreme Sword (1969)
In October 1965 the Shaw Brothers announced the dawning of a new action era in Hong Kong cinema: the “Colour Wuxia Century.” This was their latest offensive in the battle for box office supremacy, and it squarely targeted popular Cantonese serials like Buddha’s Palm (1964) and The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute (1965). Shaw’s first strike, Temple of the Red Lotus (1965), proved ineffective against the box office drawing power of Connie Chan, who was quickly becoming the top martial-arts star. more
Girl in Red DVD cover Girl in Red (1967)
Girl in Red greets you with a blast of surf guitar and the sight of sharp-suited, shade-wearing goons in a classic Citroen, letting you know right out of the gate that it’s going to be serving you up with a generous helping of everything there is to love about Connie Chan’s contemporary action thrillers from the sixties. That it goes on to distinguish itself by being one of the very best of those films is a welcome dollop of ultra-mod icing on the cake. more
I'll Get You One Day VCD cover The Lizard (1972) and
I’ll Get You One Day (1970)

In 1972 Connie Chan retired from the entertainment world: The Lizard was her final farewell to the silver screen. It is ironic that the last film of Cantonese cinema’s most beloved superstar was a Mandarin-language production from the Shaw Brothers, the studio goliath whose big-budget spectacles made even the most expensive Cantonese productions pale in comparison. more
The Young Girl Dares Not Homeward VCD cover The Young Girl Dares Not Homeward (1970)
The Young Girl Dares Not Homeward can be seen as the last cry of Cantonese cinema’s tradition of social melodrama before it was drowned out by the violent kungfu movies, cynical comedies, and exploitation flicks that became popular during the 1970s. Hong Kong’s social melodramas had their roots in the lean and difficult postwar years when socially conscious filmmakers wanted to educate as well as entertain audiences. more
Incredible Rumour DVD cover Incredible Rumour (1968)
A woman runs a restaurant together with her two daughters, the older Suk-lan (Connie Chan) and the younger Suk-fan (Petrina Fung Bo-bo). When a relative introduces the rich and eligible Tsi-min (Lui Kei) to Suk-lan, it’s love at first sight, but Tsi-min’s mother, at least in the beginning, isn’t so eager to let her son become intimate with a mere waitress. Instead she tries to hook him up with the very rich—and very fat—Ting (Lydia Shum), who has just returned to Hong Kong from Sidney after graduation. Tsi-min doesn’t like her choice, so at the first opportunity he introduces Suk-lan to his mother. Even she has to agree with him: Suk-lan really is a very beautiful and polite girl. Everything’s fine until one day when Suk-lan’s sister spots their mother entering a sketchy building in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. more
Her Tender Love VCD cover Her Tender Love (1969)
Although Her Tender Love is not the last film that Connie and Lui Kei made together, it is the final testament to their on-screen (and off-screen) romance. For a period of nearly four years, beginning in 1966 with Movie-Fan Princess and ending in 1970 with Secret Agent No. 1, they made 26 films together, becoming one of Hong Kong cinema’s most beloved couples. more
The Sweetest Moment VCD cover The Sweetest Moment (1967)
Sometimes life’s sweetest moments are also the most fragile. This is certainly true of our cinema heritage. Projected on the silver screen, movies seem larger than life, immortal. But in fact they are only fragile strips of plastic, prone to the ravages of time. According to Paul Fonoroff’s book Silver Light: A Pictorial History of Hong Kong Cinema, 1920-1970, it is estimated that nearly half of the 4000 films produced in Hong Kong between 1945 and 1970 no longer exist. The situation of the 500 made before 1945 is even worse: only 4 remain. Furthermore, those films that do survive are often incomplete or damaged prints. Connie Chan fans are very familiar with this problem. more
The Blonde Hair Monster VCD cover The Blonde Hair Monster (1962)
While the success of The Black Rose in 1965 undoubtedly paved the way for Connie Chan’s transition from swordplay films to contemporary action movies and for her iconic role as “Nui Sat Sau” (Lady Bond), Connie actually made her modern action debut three years earlier in The Blonde Hair Monster. Just fifteen-years-old at the time, she steals the show with her spunky performance as the sidekick of female crimefighter Wong Ang (played by Yu So-chow). more
Waste Not Our Youth DVD cover Waste Not Our Youth (1967)
You know this is going to be a great youth film when the movie starts with a school bell ringing and swarms of youngsters running out of class and hopping into their cars. English words and phrases like “barbecue,” “water ski,” and “let’s go!” and a rocking Cantonese version of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” are associated with the spoiled rich girl (played by Connie Chan) and her all-night-partying friends. The son of the family’s butler (played by Lui Kei) is the voice of reason and filial responsibility and keeps a distance from the selfish behavior of Connie and her pals. more
The Dutiful Daughter Zhu Zhu VCD cover The Dutiful Daughter Zhu Zhu (1966)
This is a movie about love—for parents, for friends, for the arts. The setting is the sixties, when the performance arts were looked down upon as just a lowly profession. Zhu Zhu is a filial daughter who cares for her mentally unstable mother. She works hard as a street performer to support her. One day she meets up with Ah Cheurn (Lam Kar Sing), who performs Cantonese opera. Zhu Zhu wants to learn opera and do something in the arts that she can be proud of. Ah Cheurn secretly trains her until his sifu (Lan Chi Pak) finds out and becomes very angry. more
Beauty in the Mist VCD cover Beauty in the Mist (1968)
In Beauty in The Mist Connie plays a young girl named Anna, who died 30 years ago at the hands of Fan Kwai-lee who owns the theater where she performs and wants to force her into marriage. Because of her tragic death and because she did not complete her life as she wanted, she comes back as a ghost to fulfill her dreams. She wants people to know of her tragic story, and she wants to know what is love, because she never experienced that during her short lifetime. more
Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute VCD cover The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute (1965)
Previous to this film, Chan Po-chu was usually the supporting actress to such stars as Tso Tat-wah and Yu So-chau (in mohup films) and Yam Kim-fai (in opera films), or else she played the girl in love with hero Cheung Ying-tsoi. The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute helped catapult her career as a leading actress and also paved the way for the new-style mohup films of the late 60s. more
Paragon of Sword and Knife VCD cover Paragon of Sword and Knife (1967-68)
Strange, that I missed this movie. I thought maybe it never came to NYC but someone else on the Web said it had. I must have missed it, so it’s a good thing we can watch Chan Po-chu’s movies nowadays and relive our childhood again. This movie was made in 1968, so Chan’s physical stature is different than when she did the older mo hup movies and when she played the naïve and helpless girl in the modern dramas. Her face seems longer and thinner. But it’s good to see her in a mo hup movie again. She’s so much better portraying the hero and not the victim. Paragon of Sword and Knife has so many characters that it is hard to follow who is who and who does what to whom. Basically, the story is about Tso Siu-pak and how he learns the techniques of sword and blade to avenge his family and to rid the martial arts world of all evil. more
The Black Rose VCD cover The Black Rose (1965)
During a masquerade party for society’s elite, guest Lee Tien-nam (Lee Pang-fei) exclaims that his valuable sapphire has been stolen by the notorious thief Black Rose and presents as proof a black rose left by the perpetrator. Actually, it is a scheme to swindle his insurance company. Little does Lee know that the hosts of the party, social butterflies Chan Mei-yu (Nam Hung) and her sister Chan Mei-ling (Connie Chan), are the real Black Rose(s). more
The Reincarnation of Lady Plum Blossom DVD cover The Reincarnation of Lady Plum Blossom (1968)
Cantonese opera has been around for a long time, but unfortunately it is becoming a dying art. So I am very happy to see what Connie Chan Po-chu is doing to keep this culture from disappearing. To pay tribute to her master Yam Kim-fai, she performed in Sentimental Journey, a stage play telling the story of the long lasting partnership of Yam Kim-fai, Pak Suet-sin, and Tong Tik-sang. Tong was one of Cantonese opera’s greatest librettists, and without him I don’t think Yam and Pak would have made so many films together and become such icons of Cantonese opera. more
Girls Are Flowers DVD cover Girls Are Flowers (1966)
Girls Are Flowers has often been considered the defining film of Connie Chan’s career, raising to a sublime level the “yuk nui” (flawless maiden) image. If being a yuk nui was an art, then Connie would be its original master, partly due to her unique screen persona created by this movie. Although she had already made her modern yuk nui debut in the successful You Do Me Wrong (1966), it was this film that captured Hong Kong by storm and broke the box office record for a black-and-white film. more
Aftermath of a Fire VCD cover Aftermath of a Fire (1966)
I love to watch the mohup movies co-starring Chan Po-chu and Siao Fong-fong. My favorite is Banner of the Twin Phoenixes (which unfortunately is not available on video and may actually be lost, since even the Hong Kong Film Archive does not have a print). Aftermath of a Fire is my second favorite. What makes it so good is the chemistry between the players and the intricate plot. Watching this old-time movie, you will see its influence on later films. Remember the pagoda scene in Bruce Lee’s The Game of Death (1978)—now where do you think he got that from? more
Won't You Give Me a Kiss DVD cover Won’t You Give Me a Kiss? (1968)
The place: a very westernized Hong Kong full of life. The people: a dissatisfied couple (Lui Kei and Ha Ping, called respectively Happy and Honey!) living a nightclub life (she sings, he takes a slice of her earnings) and a group of girls employed in a department store (among them, Connie Chan and Lydia Shum). The plot: one day Lui Kei runs into Connie and protects her from some hoodlums who are bullying her in the street. From that moment, he has eyes only for her and she is fascinated by him; the goal of the story becomes bringing together these two very different kinds of people while removing all obstacles along the way. more
Lady with a Cat's Eyes DVD cover Lady with a Cat’s Eyes (1967)
If the opening credits sequence of Lady with a Cat’s Eyes fails to reveal the film’s inspiration, then the name of the special agent played by Kenneth Tsang Kong certainly will: Sit Bong. The huge international success of the James Bond franchise launched a wave of spymania that crested in Hong Kong in 1967. more
Eternal Love DVD cover Eternal Love (1966)
Originally called Why Not Return?, this is a classic Cantonese opera story first brought to the silver screen by Sit Gok-sin in the 1940s. The theme music is well known by many, and the story about love and filial piety has been retold many times. In an attempt to liven up the show, director Lee Tit cast two of the hottest rising stars of the time, young Connie Chan and Josephine Siao, as the lovers in this fresh remake. more
The Black Killer DVD cover The Black Killer (1967)
Long before Michelle Yeoh kicked her way to international stardom, Connie Chan was Hong Kong’s reigning action queen. In fact, Connie was kicking butts even before director Chang Cheh ushered in his era of yanggang (masculinity) that radically changed the face of Hong Kong cinema. more
Opposite Love VCD cover Opposite Love (1968)
Siu-ling (Connie Chan) and Chi-ming (Wu Fung) grew up as brother and sister, ever since she was found in the street next to her dead mother during the war. Siu-ling likes to sing, and Chi-ming is an excellent composer who works as a pianist in a nightclub. Chi-ming tends to work too much and sometimes feels strangely giddy. One day he is too sick to work, and Siu-ling goes to the nightclub to tell the manager. While she is waiting for him, she starts singing and playing the piano. The rich and gentle Keung (Cheung Ching), who happens to be visiting from Singapore, walks in and mistakes her for a singer at the club. more
A Romantic Thief VCD cover A Romantic Thief (1968)
If you want to see the roots of Hong Kong comedy, A Romantic Thief is a good place to start. Whether you find it funny or not depends on how much you enjoy nonsense and slapstick. If you are a fan of Wong Jing’s films, chances are you’ll get at least a few chuckles from this Cantonese quickie about two virtuous thieves trying to recover a diamond from a crooked businessman. more
Young, Pregnant and Unmarried VCD cover Young, Pregnant and Unmarried (1968)
A nice family with two daughters and a father always on the verge of a heart attack due to the troubles caused by his girls. Helped by her younger sister (Connie Chan), the eldest (Fong Sam) spends the night with her boyfriend. Later she finds herself pregnant and panics. The younger sister, as courageous as she is carefree and accustomed to being in trouble, decides to take the blame and tells her father that she is the one who is pregnant. She clearly has no clue about how a woman becomes pregnant yet is convinced that her dear dad will understand and once again forgive her. more
Movie-Fan Princess VCD cover Movie-Fan Princess (1966)
During the late 60s Connie Chan was the idol of Hong Kong’s “factory girls,” the young women who worked in the colony’s booming manufacturing industries. These women readily identified with Connie’s down-to-earth nature and can-do attitude. In Movie-Fan Princess she plays a factory girl who ends up becoming a movie star and being romanced by her screen idol played by Lui Kei. more
A Glamorous Christmas Night VCD cover A Glamorous Christmas Night (1967)
During a Christmas play at the local church, Ah Lai (Connie Chan), a poor girl living in a crowded public housing unit with her mother and several little brothers and sisters, is noticed by a film producer and offered a contract. Kong Ping (Lui Kei), Ah Lai’s neighbor and best friend since childhood, also finds a job with the same company. Ah Lai starts making movies and in less than a year becomes quite famous. But when the directors assistant approaches Kong Ping and offers him money to... more
Teenage Love VCD cover Teenage Love (1968)
The beautiful and elegant Lei-fai (Connie Chan), accompanied by her best friend (Lydia Shum), brings some Christmas presents and a bit of joy to the orphanage in which she grew up. There she meets Ti-wan (Lui Kei), a rich and handsome guy who loves to flirt. Ti-wan’s parents can’t bear all the gossip about his many girlfriends. So one day his father pretends to be seriously ill and tells him that before he dies he’d like to get to know his fiancée. Ti-wan of course doesn’t even have a steady girlfriend, so... more