Murder on the Beach
Dir: Chan Man
Scr: Tung Fai
Cast: Michael Lai, Patrick Tse Yin, Patsy Kar Ling
1957 / B&W / D Beta / Cantonese / 93min
Michael Lai first made his mark in Mandarin cinema, and Murder on the Beach was robably his first foray into Cantonese cinema. Exhibiting a stronger commercial streak than other left-wing studios such as Great Wall and Feng Huang, Kong Ngee rolled out this crime thriller that set the stage for the up-and-coming actor to shine. Michael performed his own stunts in his role as a rich heir, including one kidnap episode where he was left hanging in midair, preceding if not outperforming The Seven Little Fortunes (Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung et al). Filming of exterior night scenes was notoriously difficult without the benefit of filmmaking technology available today, but whatever directors Chan Man and Chor Yuen lacked in technical skill was more than made up for by tight action, hairraising suspense and mind-bending plot twists – all packed into a fast-paced plot. Plenty of location shots were mixed in for heightened realism and excitement. Wonderfully smart, astute-minded and physically agile, Michael singlehandedly started the ‘screen prodigy’ franchise that catapulted him to even greater fame in Cantonese cinema.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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