Zhang bei (1981) is a Cantonese,Mandarin movie. Chia-Liang Liu has directed this movie. Chia-Liang Liu,Kara Wai,Hou Hsiao,Lung-Wei Wang are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1981. Zhang bei (1981) is considered one of the best Action,Comedy movie in India and around the world.
Cheng Tai-Nan (Kara Hui) is an honest and faithful servant of a dying patriarch who wants nothing more than to protect his vast wealth from his selfish, conniving nephew, Yung-Sheng. Tai-Nan is young enough to be his granddaughter, but still agrees to marry her master so that all of his wealth will be lawfully safe with her so she can then transfer it to Ching-Chuen (Lau Kar-Leung), her new husband/master's favorite nephew. This angers the hateful Yung-Sheng greatly, who sends multiple thugs after Tai-Nan, but she is a highly skilled martial artist who is not easily defeated. Amazingly, things become even more complicated when Ching-Chuen's son, Yu Tao (Hou Hsiao), arrives home from a university in Hong Kong and discovers a mysterious women in his house and attacks her, not realizing she is actually his new great aunt, Tai-Nan. Complicating things even more is the uncomfortable sexual tension between Yu Tao and Tai-Nan. Next Yung-Sheng finally manages to steal all the paperwork, ...
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Some martial-arts purists think that comedy was the worst thing that could have happened to the old-school kung-fu flick; and it is true that the introduction of comedy into the genre signaled the end of the "chop-socky" period in Hong Kong film. But the fact is, one can only carry-on a primarily physical exhibition of prowess for just so long, then everyone gets bored with it. And that's really why the chop-socky died and how the Hong Kong "New Wave" action film was born: the producers, the actors, the directors all just got bored with hitting people for ninety-minutes straight. Given that, and given the fact that Liu Chia Liang is a professional director with a considerable list of films in his resume, this film has to be seen as something other than just another kung-fu comedy. Rather, it is a comic film within the martial-arts genre, and in fact one of the best ever made. What Liu has done with this film is really a pleasant surprise: he has taken a martial-arts plot and re-constructed it along the lines of a Hollywood-style musical! Complete with episodes of singing and dancing! It was around the time of the making of this film that some film-makers and film fans began to recognize that the cinematic performance of martial-arts (really derived from the acrobatics of the Chinese opera) has more in common with dance than with fighting. (I will continue to point out this connection until most Americans realize what they are actually supposed to look for when watching a martial arts film - well-choreographed body movements, using the plot of an action film as an excuse for their performance.) At any rate, quite clearly Liu Chia Liang made this connection and decided he would explore it close to its limits. The result is an incredibly charming entertainment, filled with marvelously human characters attempting miraculous kung-fu (and tripping over their own shoelaces as often as not when they do so). and the film being set at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, allows Liu the opportunity to explore the nature of the Westernization and Modernization of China that contributed so greatly to the making of the China we know today. So the film has considerable historical import as well. Also, fans of Stephen Chow's recent Kung Fu Hustle should really watch this movie carefully, as Chow clearly learned from it before the making of his own film. A very amusing, well-made film. Oh, yes, and the kung fu in it is really, really good. Purists won't admit it, but this is probably director Liu's best film.
This is one of the great modern kung fu films. A lot of the reviews seem to miss the point that the comedy is based on a quite subtle at times (at other times right in your face) contrast between old and new China. Kara Hui for instance is called a country bumpkin and gets into trouble whenever she tries to adapt to the new but in the end to save her families honour dresses as an old fashioned heroine in contrast to the modern military style of Hsiao Ho. Gordon Liu seems to have played his part for laughs playing off his serious, monk persona with silly wigs and a guitar. The end fight is simply fantastic and ends in a defeat for Johnny Wang rather than death. Kwan Yung Moon should be mentioned for his great playing of a thug with 'invincible armour' - simply terrific. And Kara Hui does some magnificent acting and fighting. A great film.
MY YOUNG AUNTIE (1981) is a clever Hong Kong comedy incorporating kung fu battles, starring and directed by master kung fu director Lau Kar Leung (aka Liu Chia Liang), who takes a break here from more intense kung fu fests like THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN and EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN. The story, set in the early 20th century, involves a dispute over family property after Lau is visited by the very pretty young widow (Kara Hui Ying Hung) of his aged uncle. Because of her status as the wife of the eldest family member, she's considered the senior member and the others defer to her. (She also knows kung fu.) When another, greedier relative, played by perennial villain Wang Lung Wei, disputes the will, this leads to a major kung fu battle between Lau and Wang. Appearing in a comic supporting role as a guitar-strumming college boy is Gordon Liu. Much of the comedy arises from country bumpkin-in-the-big city-type gags as the young widow, newly arrived from the rural countryside, tries to fit in. At one point, she buys a whole new outfit, overdressing in a fancy white gown, high heels and jewelry, but she winds up getting into a kung fu fight anyway. At one point the college boys stage a costume ball: Kara goes as Marie Antoinette, while her great nephew, played by Hsiao Hou, who's the same age as her, goes as Robin Hood. Gordon Liu is one of the Three Musketeers and gets into a sword fight with a couple of thugs dressed as musketeers also. It's all a lot of fun, as long as you don't mind the comedy upstaging the kung fu for a change.
If you're looking for a kung-fu action movie, look elsewhere. While there are fighting scenes, the film revolves around its provincial protagonist, who struggles to find her way in Americanized Canton. Unlike most "kung-fu comedies," the action scenes are used to reinforce the comedy, instead of the other way around. Cheung Booi is a statement about the farcical nature of kung-fu movies, where the stars always seem to find some reason to fight. Instead of some grand drama about honor and respect, minor misunderstandings cause the characters to yell at each other and start beating each other up. My Young Auntie, as it's known in the West, is the story of Cheng Tai-nun, played by Kara Hui, who is a young woman who marries an elderly landowner to keep his holdings from falling into the hands of his greedy and corrupt brother. After he dies, she moves to Canton to live with her nephew, played by director Lau Kar Leung, and his son Ah Tao, played by Hsiao Ho. The basis of the irony is that although Cheng is the same age as Ah Tao, her manner is more akin to her status as his step-great-aunt. While Ah Tao speaks English (extremely poorly), plays the guitar and goes to costume parties, Cheng utterly fails when she tries to adapt to her lifestyle in Canton, complete with makeup, revealing gowns, high heels and dance scenes. What makes this movie great is its realization. Lau Kar Leung is perhaps one of the greatest, if not the greatest director of his generation in Hong Kong, and Kara Hui won "Best Actress" at the first Hong Kong Film Awards in 1982. Also, this is arguably Hsiao Ho's finest performance. His chemistry with Hui is remarkable, and although he went on to have a storied career in kung-fu comedies, often working alongside Sammo Hung, he has the perfect combination of athleticism and comedy. As the romantic tension and intrigue build in the second half of the movie, his entire countenance changes. No longer does he easily jaunt through life without a care in the world. He becomes the straight man and his cohorts the Kramer, Elaine and George. My one complaint is how suddenly the comedic aspects of the film die off during the conclusion. The film transitions from outright farce to dramatic intrigue with little but a change in incidental music. But there is a certain symmetry in it. The film begins focused on the intrigue, focused more on Lau Kar Leung's character, and it ends that way, too. But the final scene returns to the movie's comedic roots, giving conclusion to both aspects of the film.
My Young Auntie is unique in a lot of ways. First this is Hui Ya-Hung's (Kara Hui) first action film. Second She was actually doing the fight scenes after having a surgery done to her a few days before filming. Third this movie is off the chain. The movie starts out with Wang Lung Wei trying to take the inheritance from his brother. His brother then has Kara to marry him so Wang can't take the treasure. The story is pretty good leading everything to it's rightful place. In comes the action, what can I say that hasn't already been said for movies like this, or Disciples of the 36th Chambers, The Victim, or even the Magnificent Butcher. The fight scenes are what sales movie, and this one won't have any problem doing so. Liu Chia Liang and Wang Lung Wei engaged in a fight that you have to see to believe. Why have these two men not fought each other more is beyond me. I don't want to spoil anything really, but you have to see My Young Auntie to get the full blast of excitement. My only gripe is that Yuen Tak was not used as broad as he was used in 3 Evil Masters, or even Invincible Pole Fighter (8 Diagram Pole Fighter) to excellent must see movies. 9.2/10