Shaw Brothers Studio

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Overview

The Shaw Studio (邵氏片場), owned by Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd. Template:Sehk, is the forerunner and the largest movie production company of Hong Kong movies.

From their distribution base in Singapore and as a strategic development of their movie distribution business in South East Asia, Sir Run Run Shaw (邵逸夫) and his third brother Runme Shaw (邵仁枚) founded South Sea Film (sp?) (南洋影片) in 1930. It was later renamed Shaw Brothers Studio. The studio released Hong Kong's first movie with sound 《白金龍》 (which translates as "platinum dragon") in 1934.

Inside the Studio

The Shaw Brothers played host to a gigantic array of talent, including directors King Hu and Chang Cheh. King Hu was an early director who is best remembered for his film Come Drink With Me, a martial arts film which differed from those of Chang Cheh in that it featured a capable female protagonist and revolved around romance in the martial arts world, rather than fast paced action and the tales of brotherhood which Chang Cheh would later popularise. Chang Cheh, who was more fond of the latter components, would go on to be Shaw Studios' best known director, with such films as the Five Deadly Venoms, the Brave Archer (based on the works of Jin Yong), the One Armed Swordsman, and other classics of Wuxia and Wushu film.

The stable with which the Shaw Brothers worked became one of their trademarks. While other studios rotated a good number of cast members, Run Run and Runme Shaw almost always had a familiar face in their films. The group from the Five Deadly Venoms - who would become known by that namesake - were among the most popular. These five were Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien, Chiang Sheng and Philip Kwok, who had been stars in the Shaw studio for years, but did not become memorable faces until the Five Deadly Venoms.

Two other stars were particularly well known and favoured by Chang Cheh in his movies: Ti Lung and Alexander Fu Sheng. Ti Lung is considered one of the most, if not the most handsome martial arts actor to grace Shaw Studios, but is also accredited as a capable actor who reinforced his physical glamour with strong characterisation over his many films. Alexander Fu Sheng, who starred with Ti Lung on many occasions, was unfortunately killed in 1983 in a car accident, ending what had been a short, but glamourous career.

Shaw Studios was not well known for female actors however, largely due to Chang Cheh's preference for brotherhood tales, and producer Mona Fong's alleged hatred for beautiful actresses. Nonetheless, actresses like Betty Loh Ti, Cheng Pei Pei, and Tien Niu all proved themselves capable actresses. Cheng Pei Pei in particular is relatively well known for her starring role in King Hu's Come Drink With Me, and more recently in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as Jade Fox.

Present Day

The Shaw Brothers continue to be known as the most prominent fathers of Wuxia and Kung Fu films. Although many of their classic films have become subject to bootlegging over the years due to copyright disputes in the international market, Celestial Pictures (http://www.celestialpictures.com) acquired rights to the studio's legacy and has begun reproducing the collection of over 700 films on DVD, with restored picture and sound quality. Many landmarks in Hong Kong and Singapore are named especially after Sir Run Run Shaw for his generous contributions to charity and medicare.

Shaw Organisation remains a major distribution network in Singapore today.

List of Actors

Note: The list below is incomplete. Feel free to add to it.

See also: Cinema of Hong Kong

Chen Kuan Tai Yuet Hwa Danny Lee Wang Lung Wei David Chiang Erl Tung Senfr:Shaw Brothers

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