Characters played by child stars are often pivotal to the film but the relatively small part they play may be easily overlooked, and their contributions go unrecognised. Each generation of Hong Kong cinema has its group of popular child stars, many of them growing up on set and witnessing the transformation of Hong Kong films. Times might have changed but their works continue to charm and enchant. This programme will showcase 30 films featuring 12 popular Hong Kong child stars alongside an exhibition for their fans’ enjoyment.
The idea for this programme first came about five or six years ago. While we were organising film memorabilia for a programme dedicated to actress Linda Lin Dai, we were in close contact with Fung Bo-bo, Lin’s goddaughter. In the initial stage of the project, we had only planned to screen films featuring Bo-bo, Michael Lai, Josephine Siao Fong-fong and Wong Oi-ming. After further research and internal discussions, we added Yuen Siu-fai, Bruce Lee, Peter Dunn, Tsui Siu-ming, Shek Sau, Connie Chan Pochu, Sammo Hung and Yu Kai. Their addition gave our programme greater diversity and more perspectives. With the exception of Yu Kai (whose acting career started earlier), the stars we chose were active and well-loved by audiences from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s. This means that these stars often appeared together in films, giving viewers a quick glimpse into the camaraderie they shared at the time.
Opening film The Great Devotion (1960) stars Fung Bo-bo, Wong Oi-ming and Michael Lai in their equally competent turns as siblings. Other star performances in the programme that are definitely worth revisiting include Oi-ming and Bo-bo as Patrick Tse’s children in Deep in Love (1960), Shek Sau as an unruly heir in Garden of Repose (1964), the talented ensemble cast in The Seven Kids (1961) and Connie Chan Po-chu as Peter Dunn’s stepsister in For Better…For Worse (1959). We will also take the opportunity to screen a brand-new, digitally restored print of Nobody’s Child (1960) starring Josephine Siao Fong-fong. The three films featuring Bruce Lee are chosen to tie in with exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's exhibition that commemorates the 40th anniversary of his passing.
Among the most popular child stars at the time, Fung Bo-bo was the only one who acted in more than 35 films a year. For just 1960-61 alone, Bo-bo appeared in an amazing 73 films. As a result, she catches more limelight than the others in this programme with a total of eight films. Still very active in and outside the entertainment industry, Bo-bo has been a passionate supporter of the Hong Kong Film Archive’s work, and she will appear at the screenings to meet the audience. In addition, Michael Lai, Shek Sau, Peter Dunn and other featured stars will appear at different screenings as well. Michael and Bo-bo will also attend the seminar on August 17 to share stories from their child star days. Special thanks to Ms. Yuen Tsz-ying for her assistance in research and the selection of films and photos.
Special thanks to Fung Bo-bo, Michael Lai, Yuen Siu-fai, Peter Dunn, Wong Oi-ming, Shek Sau, Tsui Siu-ming, Josephine Siao Fong-fong, Connie Chan Po-chu, Sammo Hung and Yu Kai
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.