When a man has little time to live with no son or living wife to pass on his estate to, he is left with his brother to leave everything to as next of kin. The only problem is he doesn’t trust his brother as he is dishonest and greedy, and fears what would happen if his estate was left to him.
So he comes up with a plan, he asks one of his young servant girls Cheng Tai-nun (Kara Hui), who he’s known since she was a small child and is like a daughter to him, to marry him before he dies so she can take control of the estate and pass it to his nephew. The only problem is that Cheng Tai-nun is extremely young (looking around late teens or early twenties).
After her now husband’s death, Cheng Tai-nun goes off to meet her nephew Yu Cheng-chuan, a man old enough to be her father! With the Chinese tradition and hierarchy of the elders being in charge, this young woman now becomes head of the house and this causes some funny situations between her and her new found family – both through her youthful appearance and naive nature.
Oh, and she coincidentally does incredible Kung fu. Forgot that bit.
Naturally, Yu Yung-Sheng (her greedy brother in law) wants what he believes is rightfully his and tries to steal the will and keep the estate for himself. This inevitably leads to a Kung Fu battle to top off the other conveniently placed fights the film.
More Comedy than Martial Art Movie.
This movie isn’t bad, there’s some good humor and a truly funny situation with everyone acting so ridiculous or Cheng Tai-nun being not only Yu Cheng-chuan’s uncle, but his son Yu Tao’s great aunt – despite being roughly the same age.
This all leads to some funny scenarios as the two youngsters get up top mischief and Yu Cheng-chuan constantly blames his son. So Yu Tao constantly tries to prank Cheng Tai-nun to embarass her and get revenge – leading to what is usually a funny conclusion.
The comedy of this movie creates a more natural relationship between the characters then other Shaw Brothers movies I’ve seen, but it was almost like not watching a Kung Fu movie at all.
Plus Gordon Lui plays a really funny part in this film!
The Kung Fu
The Kung Fu in this movie is conveniently placed throughout until the finale – but it’s done well. Instead of the comedy being sprinkled over and action story, it’s the other way around.
There are petty arguments turned into fights due to the ridiculous circumstances of the comedy in the scene, making it a more natural comedy than action film.
They managed to add a natural competitive theme to Yu Tao and Cheng Tai-nun’s relationship as they try to show off who has the better Kung Fu. it is accepted later though that Cheng Tai-nun seems to be the superior fighter.
The Action & Fights
The finale of the film does become more like an action film to set up for an entertaining conclusion in the same manner as most Shaw Brothers movies. Yu Cheng-chuan shows off his incredible Kung Fu (which was only hinted on until now), againt his uncle Yu Yung-Sheng.
The fights are technically awesome to watch and live up to the terrific standard Shaw Brothers have set for themselves.
Kara Hui’s performance is also impressive, demonstrating that females can perform well in Kung Fu fight scenes almost as well as any man and still has a look of a glamour to back it up. A rare combination.
Would I recommend it?
Great movie, especially if you’re into old skool Hong Kong movies – but it’s more comedy than martial arts action. While it has got some decent fights toward the end of the film, the classic nature of this film is due to it’s comedy in my opinion – not the fighting.
Find it on DVD
Unfortunately you can only find it for Region 1 (US & Canada),
so you may need a region free player outside the U S& Canada.