Posts tagged "Poon Faan"

Spy With My Face (Review)

Spy With My Face

aka Black Rose vs. Black Rose aka Hei mei gui yu hei mei gui aka 黑玫瑰與黑玫瑰

1966
Directed by Chor Yuen
Written by Poon Faan

Spy With My Face
The sequel to 1965’s Black Rose has a greatly expanded scope, as the Chan sisters go from being champions of the poor to outright superheroes who take down a sinister secret gang intent on robbing jewelry from all over the city. The James Bond influence is very heavy, as there are a lot of gadgets, microbombs, disguises, and hidden identities. The film also has what sounds like an original score that is rather well done as well (and also Bond influenced).
Spy With My Face
The review of Black Rose has miniprofiles of Nam Hung, Connie Chan, Patrick Tse, and Chor Yuen, so we don’t have to do it here! Hooray for laziness! We also have the overviews of the Jane Bond genre and other interesting links there so we don’t have to link it again here. Spy With My Face is notable because this film was where Connie Chan eclipsed Nam Hung and became a bona fide Hong Kong superstar.

Spy With My Face
A color print does survive in the HKFA vault, but the VCD release is a black and white dub probably made for TV. This sucks, because it would be great to see all the funky colors. At this point in time Cantonese cinema was on the decline as the Shaw Brothers were becoming the standard with their high production values and massive use of color. Shaw was also putting out their own spy films at this time, some with female leads as well.

Once again we have no subtitles, but TarsTarkas.NET doesn’t need no stinking subtitles! And the wife translated about half of the film before deciding it was time for bed, so the rest I just followed along the story as best I could. It all works out fine.

Spy With My Face

Chan Mei-Yi (Nam Hung) – The older Chan sister, who is freed from the constant attention of rich bachelors because she spends the whole film helping her friend Cheung. Is Black Rose along with her younger sister.
Chan Mei-Ling (Connie Chan Po-Chu) – The younger Chan sister who is sassy and tough. She doesn’t put up with bad guys’ crap and would just as soon beat the tar out of them as look at them.
Black Rose (Nam Hung and Connie Chan Po-Chu) – Black Rose moves up from Robin Hood thief to gangbuster as the Black Roses save an entire city from an evil criminal element while saving their friend at the same time. Remember, it is only good to steal if you steal from those who deserve to lose it.
Cheung Man Fu (Patrick Tse Yin) – Insurance investigator and subject of Chan Mei-Yi’s attraction. Gets himself caught up in a nasty situation and replaced with an evil duplicate.
Gold Boss (Cheung Wood-Yau) – All my wife could translate of his name was Gold _____ – so we will call him Gold Boss. If he doesn’t like it, he can get bent. Gold Boss runs the secret society that kidnaps Cheung to rob all sorts of rich people. He’s also a refugee from a Mexican Wrestling film. Cheung Wood-Yau was in film for almost thirty years at this point, and only made a few more films before retiring in 1969 (with one later appearance in 1980’s Duel of Death.)
Fake Cheung Man Fu / #1 (Patrick Tse Yin) – Fake Cheung is the most worthless gang member on the team. Had he not undergone surgery to look like Cheung he would be #0 as he would have been fired. Was saving your job really worth the pain? Despite looking like Cheung, he totally doesn’t act like Cheung at all and dresses in dark shirts and sunglasses in order to look like a gangster, thus keeping his innocent insurance investigator cover. Fake Cheung is not the sharpest of tacks.
#2 (Fung Ngai) – The mute gang member. Only a mute guy would put up with being named #2, because that means you can’t hear him complain! Fung Ngai also played #1 in fellow 1966 spy film The Golden Buddha. Among his many other film appearances is Come Drink With Me.
#3 (Wong Hon) – The nerdy gang member who is fourth in charge and has confidence problems. Wong Hon was a Chor Yuen regular, appearing as a policeman in Black Rose, a doctor in Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, and many other Chor Yuen films.

Spy With My Face
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm

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