The four beauties of China are not only the best-known legends in Chinese history, but here also been the inspirations for many films over the years. A true Hong Kong cinema royalty, Li Lihua has played two of the four beauties, as Yang Guifei in Yang Kwei-fei, The Magnificent Concubine (1962) and as Xi Shi in this film, the inaugural work of Zhongguo Motion Picture. Reuniting after Camille (1955), Cheung Ying and Li shared the screen once again, this time as Fan Li and Xi Shi. The two share a passionate love, but Xi Shi decides to give herself to the emperor of the Wu kingdom (Lo Wei) for the sake of her country. For the several dancing scenes in the Wu palace, the producer invited a Chinese dance virtuoso from Taiwan to train Li and the other actresses. Despite being a Cantonese film actor, Cheung managed to deliver all of his lines in Mandarin. The result may not have been ideal, but it's a testament to Cheung's dedication to his craft.
The print had suffered substantial damages, resulting in blemished images and sound. We ask for your kind understanding on this matter.
|13/10/2017 (Fri)||11:00am||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive|
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