Follow the Star
Dir: John Woo Scrs: John Woo, Lau Tin-chi
Cast: Rowena Cortes, Roy Chiao, Fung Hak-on,
1978 / Colour / D Beta / Cantonese / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 88min
Golden Harvest wanted John Woo to follow up on the success of The Pilferers’ Progress. The result was Follow the Star, a comedy with fresh gags and treatment. Starring the unlikely pair of Roy Chiao and Rowena Cortes, it combines diverse elements including surreal designs, slapstick chase scenes, dancing and treasure-hunting at the cemetery in one film. The opening scene evokes Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936), with Roy Chiao getting out of bed and being helped by mechanical devices with his washing up and getting dressed. The plot is simply a girl being chased by a gang of criminals who are after the money hidden by her deceased father. With few dialogues, the film uses plenty of body language, another tribute to silent film. It also employs more special effects than other Golden Harvest comedies. Nevertheless, in the second half, the jokes are too forced to be funny. For John Woo, however, it proves that he has mastered yet another “genre”.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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