|Shaw Brothers – footprints in HK
Highlights from the Shaw Brothers, formerly Nanyang Studio, evolution in Hong Kong.
The Shaw brothers set up Unique (Tianyi) Film Productions in Shanghai. Maiden film: "New Leaf/Li Di Cheng Fo''
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.
Unique (Tianyi) produces the first film with a soundtrack, "The Nightclub Colours/Gechang Chunse,'' a breakthrough in Chinese cinematic technology.
Unique (Tianyi) collaborates with renowned Cantonese opera artist Sit Kok-sin to make "Platinum Dragon/Bai Jinlong'' in Shanghai, the first Cantonese sound film.
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.
Runde Shaw becomes a shareholder of Great China Film Company and leases Nanyang Studio to Great China.
Nanyang is renamed Shaw and Sons Ltd, and shifts production focus from Cantonese to Mandarin films. Nanyang Studio is also renamed Shaw Studio.
The Screen Voice Pictorial (HK edition), official publication of Shaw and Sons, is published.
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.
Run Run Shaw takes over production business in HK.
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).
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.
Shaw Studio begins operations on December 6.
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
"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.
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.
"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).
Mona Fong joins Shaw Brothers and works in the purchasing department.
Shaw Brothers issues shares and becomes a public-listed company.
Li Han-hsiang returns to SB and makes "The Warlord/Da Junfa.''
TV star Michael Hui is chosen to play the title role.
"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.
Run Run Shaw made a CBE.
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.
Run Run Shaw becomes largest shareholder of TVB, heading the board of directors.
Run Run Shaw invests in the sci-fi classic Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford.
Shaw Brothers winds down production. The company leases circuits to Dickson Poon's D & B.
Runnme Shaw dies on March 2.
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.
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.
Run Run Shaw and Mona Fong set up Film Power Co Ltd. Inaugural film: "Martial Angels/Jue Se Shentou''
Run Run Shaw sets up the 'Run Run Shaw Award' to honor scientists in areas of mathematics, medical science and astronomy.
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.