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History[ edit ] Runje Shawthe eldest Shaw brother who started the film empire Prior to their involvement in the filmmaking business, the Shaw brothers were interested in opera and owned a theatre in Shanghaiand their father also owned a cinema.
The Shaw brothers then bought their first camera, and Runje Shaw made this play into a silent film which turned out to be a success.
Inthey operated their own cinema in Tanjong Pagar in Singapore,  expanded in Malayaand opened four cinemas there. This film proved to be very successful, and inthey established the Tianyi Studio Hong Kong in Kowloon to make Cantonese films. In the s, Nanyang began to switch film production from Cantonese to Mandarin as Communist takeover in mainland China cut off the supply of Mandarin films to overseas Chinese communities.
Some of Shaw Brothers' most notable films were made in this period, including The Magnificent ConcubineThe Love Eterneas well as One-Armed Swordsmanwhich broke the box office records and spawned multiple sequels.
In the s, Shaw Brothers faced a strong challenge from a new studio, Golden Harvestwhich had considerable success internationally with the martial arts film, Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee.
Shaw Brothers then also began to co-produce films with western producers for the international market,  and invest in films such as Meteor and Blade Runner.
Inthe company was reorganized under the umbrella of Shaw Organisation. King Hu was an early director who is best remembered for his film, Come Drink with Mea 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 popularize.
Almost equally as famous was fight-choreographer -turned-director Lau Kar-leung, who would produce such highly regarded kung fu films as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter.
Shaw Brothers was modeled after the classic Hollywood system, with hundreds of actors signed to exclusive contracts. While other studios rotated cast members, Shaw Brothers assigned certain groups of actors to work exclusively with certain directors.
Its huge success is in part due to the ingenious casting of Ivy Ling Po, who was a relatively unknown supporting actress, as the male lead. In the story of Butterfly Lovers, the female lead played by Betty Loh Ti disguised as a male to attend college because social mingling between the sexes was forbidden.
The film resonated with its audience, and reportedly some members of the audience in Hong Kong and Taiwan repeatedly bought tickets and watched the feature in theaters over and over again inwith some having watched it over 20 times.
From the late s onward, production of dramatic features was reduced in favour of martial arts features. The group of actors from the release, Five Deadly Venoms, and the subsequent series of films—known by the name the Venom Mob —were among the most memorable.
Wei Pai, who played the Snake referred to as "Number Two" throughout the film Five Deadly Venomswas also part of the Venom Mob which numbered over 15 actors who appeared in almost all of the Venom movies.
In the first half of the s, two other stars were particularly well known and favoured by the "Million-Dollar Director" Chang Cheh in his movies: Ti Lung and David Chiang. He is also accredited as a capable actor who reinforced his muscular glamour with strong characterization over his many films.
Chiang, on the other hand, was slight and wiry and often played the sarcastic anti-hero to Lung's standard archetype. In the middle of that decade, the duo was overshadowed by the rise of Alexander Fu Shengwho had played supporting roles opposite them on many occasions. Fu was killed in in a car accident, at age 28, ending a brief but spectacular career.
Members of the Peking Opera Schoolincluding Jackie ChanYuen Biaoand Sammo Hungplayed extras and bit parts in several Shaw Brothers films in the s, although they were unknowns at the time.
Celestial Pictures acquired rights to the Shaw Studio's legacy and is releasing, on DVDout of the nearly 1, films[ citation needed ] with restored picture and sound quality.
Many of these DVDs have come under controversy, however, for remixing audio and not including the original mono soundtracks.
Karmaloop TV's licensing deal[ edit ] Karmaloop TV, a multi-platform programming network designed to help operators "reclaim" viewership among the to year-old demographic, announced its first film licensing deal with Celestial Pictures.
The Hong Kong-based company owns, restores and licenses the world's largest collection of Chinese-made films including the Shaw Brothers library of fan-favourite kung fu and action classics such as The 36th Chamber of ShaolinFive Deadly Venomsand The One-Armed Swordsman.
The licensing deal with Karmaloop TV means that kung fu and action fans in the United States will see these films in their digitally restored versions, many of which will be premiering for the first time on U.
The newer Shaw House and Shaw Villa are there. The studio site has been vacant since and will likely be redeveloped with no new tenants targeted.As a Woman in Recovery, the Term ‘Beauty Junkie’ Bothers Me.
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