Friday, October 31, 2014   

Shaw Brothers – footprints in HK
(01-07 14:44)

Highlights from the Shaw Brothers, formerly Nanyang Studio, evolution in Hong Kong.

1925
The Shaw brothers set up Unique (Tianyi) Film Productions in Shanghai. Maiden film: "New Leaf/Li Di Cheng Fo''

1928
Renje Shaw dispatches sixth brother Run Run to station in Singapore and Malaysia to assist Runme in establishing distribution and exhibition networks.

The official Shaw Organisation website states that Run Run Shaw arrived at Singapore in 1926. Most other findings, however, establish that he left for Singapore only after the `Liuhe Encirclement'. Thsi refers to the challenge posed by Liuhe (United Six) Film Company in the film industry.


1931
Unique (Tianyi) produces the first film with a soundtrack, "The Nightclub Colours/Gechang Chunse,'' a breakthrough in Chinese cinematic technology.

1933
Unique (Tianyi) collaborates with renowned Cantonese opera artist Sit Kok-sin to make "Platinum Dragon/Bai Jinlong'' in Shanghai, the first Cantonese sound film.

1934
Runje Shaw establishes Unique (HK branch) at 42 Pak Tai Street, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon. Inaugural film: "Mourning of the Chaste Tree Flower/Qi Jinghua'' (a Cantonese opera film); four year slater Unique (HK) was renamed Nanyang. Runde Shaw replaced Runje Shaw as studio boss.

1946
Runde Shaw becomes a shareholder of Great China Film Company and leases Nanyang Studio to Great China.

1950
Nanyang is renamed Shaw and Sons Ltd, and shifts production focus from Cantonese to Mandarin films. Nanyang Studio is also renamed Shaw Studio.

1952
The Screen Voice Pictorial (HK edition), official publication of Shaw and Sons, is published.

1955
Shaws' Cantonese Film Group is formed. The first Cantonese film produced under the Shaw banner was "The Opera Boat in Singapore/Xingdao Hongchuan,'' shot on location in Singapore.

1957
Run Run Shaw takes over production business in HK.

1958
Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd is founded with Run Run Shaw as President. Shaw buys land in Clearwater Bay, Kowloon to build the Shaw Movie Town. Shaw & Sons switch to focus on distribution and cinema operations in Hong Kong.

"Diau Charn/Diao Chan'' wins five major awards at the 5th Asian Film Festival, including Best Actress (Linda Lin Dai) and Best Director (Li Han-hsiang).

1959
The Kingdom and the Beauty/Jiangshan Meiren wins Best Picture award at the 6th Asian Film Festival. Co-produced "Three Dolls in Hong Kong/Xianggang San Xiaojie'' in Hong Kong with Japan's Toho. Raymond Chow joins SB as publicity officer.

1961
Shaw Studio begins operations on December 6.


1962
Yang Kwei Fei/Yangguifei (directed by Li Hanxiang) won Grand Prix de la Commission Supaacérieure Technique du Cinaacéma Français at the 15th Cannes Film Festival for its achievement in color cinematography


1963
"The Love Eterne/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai'' breaks box office records in Hong Kong and Taiwan, lifting the curtain on the huangmei diao hit trend. Li Han-hsiang leaves SB and sets up Grand (Guolian) Motion Picture Company in Taiwan.

1966
King Hu's "Come Drink with Me/Da Zuixia'' marks the beginning of the 'newwuxia' era in Hong Kong cinema. Hong Kong Movie News, the second official publication of SB, is published.

Life magazine publishe a feature article on the Shaw Movie Town.


1967
"One-Armed Swordsman/Du Bi Dao,'' starring Jimmy Wang Yu and directed by Chang Cheh, hits the million dollar mark at the Hong Kong box office. It also steers the cinema to a violent, male-centred dominance which Chang termed yang gang (staunch masculinity).


1969
Mona Fong joins Shaw Brothers and works in the purchasing department.

1971
Shaw Brothers issues shares and becomes a public-listed company.

1972
Li Han-hsiang returns to SB and makes "The Warlord/Da Junfa.''
TV star Michael Hui is chosen to play the title role.

1973
"King Boxer/Tianxia Diyiquan,'' starring Lo Lieh, is released in the US and soon becomes a popular hit among western audiences.

Chor Yuen's "The House of 72 Tenants/Qishi'erjia Fangke'' was a critical as well as box office success, reviving the declining Cantonese cinema. Co-produced with Hammer Film Productions the horror film Dracula and the 7 Golden Vampires, starring John (David) Chiang, Shi Sze and Peter Cushing.

The Hongkong Shaw Foundation is set up to raise funds to support charity organisations, and establish scholarships and teacher training programs.

Runde Shaw dies.


1974
Run Run Shaw made a CBE.


1975
Run Run Shaw announces a HK$60 million investment in Taipan, a film adaptation of James Clavell's bestseller of the same title. Production commenced at Shaw Studio the following year.

Runje Shaw dies on February 17.


1980
Run Run Shaw becomes largest shareholder of TVB, heading the board of directors.


1982
Run Run Shaw invests in the sci-fi classic Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford.

1985
Shaw Brothers winds down production. The company leases circuits to Dickson Poon's D & B.

Runnme Shaw dies on March 2.

1988
Shaw Brothers and TVB co-founded Cosmopolitan Film Productions Co Ltd, with Mona Fong in charge of the new company. Inaugural film: "Mr Possessed/Zhuang Xie Xiansheng.''

TV City, located in Clearwater Bay, officially opens.


1999
Copyrights of 700-plus Shaw Brothers films sold to the Malaysian group Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd for HK$600 million. The consortium later set up Celestial Pictures Ltd in HK.

2001
Run Run Shaw and Mona Fong set up Film Power Co Ltd. Inaugural film: "Martial Angels/Jue Se Shentou''


2002
Run Run Shaw sets up the 'Run Run Shaw Award' to honor scientists in areas of mathematics, medical science and astronomy.

2003
The new Tseung Kwan O TV City, a billion-dollar joint venture with China Star Entertainment Group, is launched. Mona Fong indicated that Shaws would resume film production after the completion.

Source: The Hong Kong Film Archive of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.



   
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