Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Prodigal Son - Yuen Biao (1981) - Tai Tung Wo Liu, Sai Kung

The second of the two identifiable locations used in this classic Sammo Hung film is used in the finale when Yuen Biao fights (and inflicts a rather sickening injury) on Frankie Chan.

As you can see, there are glimpses in the back ground of a very striking mountain range which are actually the northern Sai Kung side of Ma On Shan. The finale was filmed on what seems to be a very flat piece of ground and actually this area of the NT is quite flat. Here is a modern view courtesy of streetview of the same ridgeline. Bear in mind that on film the camera lens sometimes stretches or squashes the picture along certain planes in order to fit the TV screen/monitor.

There is a small village called Tai Tung Wo Liu here and the finale would have been filmed on land very close to the village given the angle of the mountains and other features that can be seen on the film.

The Prodigal Son - Yuen Biao (1981) - Yim Tin Tsai, Sai Kung

One of only two identifiable locations in this classic Sammo Hung film featuring Yuen Biao as the young Wing Chun exponent Leung Tsan.

I think Sammo (he directed and wrote as well as starred in the film) was trying to create some sort of homage to another film I discussed a few weeks ago because this scene is almost a direct copy of the one from River of Fury - filmed at the exact same location, featuring an opera troop aboard a boat that is docking at the pier. Here are the grabs.

Yes, this is Yim Tin Tsai in Port Shelter, Sai Kung, where about 8 years before Danny Lee ran along the exact same concrete pier to greet a junk traveling opera troop. The same house at the beginning of the pier and of course the previous version of the pier that now exists. You can read my River of Fury entry here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires - Peter Cushing (1974) - Fei Ngo Shan, Sai Kung

In this classic collaboration (one of two) between the UK's Hammer Studios and Shaw Bros in HK, the film makers took advantage of the unspoilt mountainous area around Fei Ngo Shan (Kowloon Peak) to film the hilly scenes as the protagonists make their way to David Chiang's lost village.

Several scenes were shot but all incorporated approximately the same area. First there is this view of everyone stumbling up the hillside.The distant peaks poking up at the back are in fact eitehr end of the saddle ridge of Ma On Shan.

Judging from the angle I am guessing the camera was fairly close to the Fei Ngo Shan Road as it goes over the hill and down the other side towards Tate's Pass. Not an exact placement but this dip is close enough to the road so that the film crew had an easy job of it.

The second part featured above was reasonably close by with a view down into Port Shelter, or at least what seems to be the Hebe Haven part of it. I think this one was shot slightly further east.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Friends - David Chiang (1973) - Ashley Road

Actually, strictly speaking this is the corner where Ashley Road joins I Chang Street. It's where two friends of struggling artist, David Chiang, meet up to try and raise some money by selling his paintings. Actually, it's more complex than that because one of these friends (played by Fu Sheng) is the son of a tycoon and has other ideas on his mind. Anyway, they conspire just outside of what is now Restaurant Osaka - HK's longest established Japanese restaurant.

In the first shot we are looking down I Chang St from the corner.

And in the next shot we are looking south down Ashley Road with Restaurant Osaka on the left. Actually, in 1973 I believe the restaurant was still called Restaurant Yamato - famous on my other blog for being a haunt of Bruce Lee.

For a comparison of the external decor of the restaurant you can check out this snap on FLICKR showing the same place about 10 years later:

And finally (below), looking back up Ashley Rd towards what looks like trees. Yes, Bo Fung House (32-34 Haiphong Rd) which currently sits in that area was built shortly after this film was made (they went up circa 1974). So the film has obviously captured a moment in time when there was an open view onto the trees that now stand shading Haiphong Road from Kowloon Park.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

River of Fury - Danny Lee (1973) - Yim Tin Tsai, Sai Kung

When we first meet the main character (played by Danny Lee) he is rushing out of a seaside village to meet the opera troupe who have come by boat. It took me a while but I eventually discovered that this seaside location is in fact located by the main pier on Yim Tin Tsai. Here are the grabs.

Two things led me to this identification. The first was the small building you can see in the first picture which is actually two houses. Believe it or not this house still exists and is identified by the sloping rooflines of the adjoining rooms on each side of the main building. You'll be pleased to know it has been renovated and looks pretty good. Click on the link for a recent picture courtesy of Suzanna Chan on Panoramio.

The next piece of positive ID came from the ridgeline that can be seen in the background of the last two pics. This ridge belongs to Sharp Island (Kau Tsiu Chau) and can only be seen like that from Yim Tin Tsai. One of my favourite local hiking websites (Hiking in Hong Kong) has come to the rescue and provided confirmation of the same ridgeline. Here is their picture taken from an excursion to Yim Tin Tsai.

On a final note, the pier we see on screen was replaced circa 2001, because I found an online note that mentioned the island's new pier (much wider than the one Danny Lee walks down) was inaugurated by the local vicar who runs the island's rather famous small Catholic Church.

Monday, June 4, 2012

River of Fury - Danny Lee (1973) - Nam Sang Wai, Yuen Long

For a brief moment, Danny gets lost in his thoughts as he sits down and looks over a part of the territory that has changed little in the intervening time. Nam Sang Wai is a wetland oasis just north of Yuen Long and here we can see Kai Kung Leng (that's the closer pointy hill) in the background to the east.

And here is the best modern day version I can do courtesy of Streetview.

River of Fury - Danny Lee (1973) - Kau Sai Chau, Sai Kung

Here is a place that we have seen before on this blog courtesy of Project A. River of Fury is one of those films that makes extensive use of the waterways around the NT - well, it is partially set on a boat, so no surprises there really - and this makes it damn hard to place some shots (I have the same problem with various snaps from The Sand Pebbles).

However, this is a spot that is very familiar to me and in fact I passed it just the other day after an afternoon's diving around the Ninepins and Shelter Island. The place you see in the shot below is the very small gap between Kau Sai Chau (which now houses the Sai Kung Public golf course) and Tiu Chung Chau (aka Jin Island).

Here is my shot of the same area (taken on Saturday) albeit from a slightly different angle and from much further away. The cluster of things you can see where the two islands meet is actually a fish farm where marine fish are raised in cages (floating in the sea) for a very tiny small fraction of the local restaurant business (the rest - i.e. most of it - is imported).