The Prodigal Son
Dir/ Scr: Ng Wui
Prod Co: Sun Luen
Cast: Cheung Ying, Lo Duen, Pak Yin, Wong Man-lei, Yung Siu-yi
1952 / B&W / D Beta / Cantonese / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 108 min
In a performance that Cheung Ying has always saw as a career highlight, he plays a stubborn young man who grew up spoiled by his mother. As an adult, he loses everything after being steered the wrong way by friends and his wife refuses to tolerate him any longer. After reevaluating his failed life, the young man picks himself up by devoting his life to reviving his father’s business, dropping his obsession with wealth and vanity. Sun Luen Films lives up to their reputation as a progressive company with a film that explores social ills through the downward spiral of one man’s life. Ng also depicts the psyche of those with an idealized vision of a life abroad through the story of Cheung Ying’s father, who immigrates to San Francisco (dubbed “The Gold Mountain” at the time) looking to strike great fortune, only to find himself relegated to working as a poor labourer in a laundry shop. The Prodigal Son may appear to be a comedy, but its social commentary is as sharp as ever.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
Post-screening talk with Jack Ng
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