Musical Third Master Sha
Dir: Chan Pei
Scr: Tse Hung
Cast: Sun Ma Si-tsang, Pak Suet-sin, Chow Kwun-ling
1951 / B&W / D Beta / Cantonese / 81min
Chan Pei seems to have a certain affinity for the infamous case of Third Master Sha. Before directing this film in 1951, Chan had starred in a theatrical play about the case and also played a role in a 1935 film version of the story. Based on an actual murder case that occurred in the late Qing Dynasty, this musical tells the story of a spoiled rich slacker (played by Cantonese opera star Sun Ma Si-tsang this time) who turns to murder after failing to buy a married woman he has fallen for. Much of the credit of the film’s success should go to songwriter Ng Yat-siu, who worked closely with Chan to turn the dialogue into song lyrics. In 1954, Chan brought a brand-new cast together for Third Master Sha, The Heart-Stealer, another “all-singing” take of the story. However, Musical Third Master Sha will always be remembered as one of the films that introduce “all-singing style” as a special musical genre in Hong Kong cinema.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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