Ljj (1960)
Sister Long Legs


Reviewed by: Stephe
Date: 01/27/2011

I first time I watched Sister Long Legs, I went in with high hopes,
since Julie Yeh Feng wears glasses in this film and looks cute in
them, but I was not prepared for what it was: a screwball comedy of
manners between two classes: urban and suburban Chinese.

The performances are all endearing, and Roy Chiao shines as a shy
automobile mechanic who attracts Yeh Feng, but I found much of the
proceedings overwrought. Yeh Feng and Jeanette Lin Cui, who have
very different personalites, play off each other well and are both
great in this, and Ting Ching is fun as a bumbling suitor, but I was
not taken with the material.

After having watched the entirety(!) of Panorama's output of Cathay
discs, I returned to re-watch this film, thinking that I might have
been unfair. As it turns out, I liked it a lot more the second time,
since I was more familiar with the stars, bit players, genres, and
genre conventions of the Cathay studio. (I am now tempted to re-watch
Bachelors Beware, which I suspect I might have misjudged, as well.)

In Sister Long Legs, Insurance salesman Liu En-Jia and his wife Wang
Lai are the working class parents of schoolteacher Julie Yeh Feng and
younger sister Jeanette Lin Cui. Wang Lai runs into a rotund old school
chum, Kao Tsiang, now wealthy, who comes to visit. She invites Wang
Lai's family to her fat daughter's birthday party. Her husband is
Cheung Kwong-Chiu, who played the part of the magician father of the
three woman leads in Hong Kong Nocturne, and was also in the original
Love without End (1961). Kao Tsiang introduces millionaire's son Tin
Ching to Julie, but right away, Tin Ching takes a shine to Jeanette,
instead. Kao Tsiang wants her daughter to snag Tin Ching for a husband,
though.

There's a funny bit when a short guy swing dances with Julie and has
to jump for the over-her-head moves. Roy Chiao, who works across the
street at a car repair shop, is also at the party, and to her mother
Wang Lai's dismay, he hits it off with Julie. Tin Ching's character's
last name is the same as that of Roy Chiao's, but instead of fixing
cars, Tin Ching raises dogs as a hobby. Twice, we see him imitate
dogs in Julie's presence, and it's jawdropping to see her not be
appalled. Kao Tsiang takes advantage of the two men's last names
being the same and purposely confuses Wang Lai, causing Wang Lai to
accidentally invite Roy Chiao to visit rather than Tin Ching,
because Kao Tsiang wants Tin Ching to spend time with her own
daughter rather than go to Wang Lai's house. Wang Lai, meanwhile,
wants Julie to marry Tin Ching, but she only has eyes for Roy Chiao.
And much as Jeanette Lin Cui has fun with Tin Ching, she makes a
play for Roy Chiao at one point. Everything reaches a crescendo at a
mountaintop picnic.

Reviewer Score: 7