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K (1962)
It's Always Spring

Reviewed by: Stephe
Date: 01/27/2011

The 1962 film It's Always Spring was my first experience
with the Cathay Studio because I am a Chang Cheh collector and
he wrote the script with some help from the film's director.
(This is the only Cathay film with a Chang Cheh script available
on disc, by the way, because he provided only script doctoring
for Death Traps.) I was immediately smitten by its star, Julie
Yeh Feng, who is apparently considered to be Hong Kong's answer
to Kim Novak, and intrigued by her co-star, the reserved yet
smoldering Helen Li Mei, who had worked with Chang Cheh on His
Cruel Heart in 1956 and on Wild Fire in 1957. This was my first
time seeing Roy Chiao other than in Enter the Dragon, Enter the
Fat Dragon, and Tower of Death (aka Game of Death II), and my
first encounter with Kelly Lai Chen, who is the brother of Betty
Loh Tih (who co-starred with Ivy Ling Po in The Love Eterne).

The story involves a rivalry between two singers, and it is really
quite entertaining, with memorable tunes and performances. There
is a pair of dogged, mostly one-sided romances woven through the
proceedings. Annette Chang plays a spunky go-getter who is an
understudy of sorts to Julie Yeh Feng. Highly recommended.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: duriandave
Date: 11/30/2005

The story of two rival singers, It's Always Spring is chock full of musical numbers, alternating between Helen Li Mei and Julie Yeh Feng from the beginning of the film all the way to the end, when they join together for a very memorable finale. It's not just fame and fortune that the two are fighting for but romance as well. That's the sum of this simple story, but the real pleasure of the film is watching MP&GI's two resident bombshells on screen together. I preferred Yeh Feng's songs, which were more contemporary and upbeat and featured her own distinctive low voice, over Li Mei's songs, which were more traditional and dubbed by singer Winnie Wei. As for the Won Ton song with its infamous innuendos, it seemed more lukewarm than steaming hot—a little disappointing since it was one of the more elaborate numbers. But the final song, with Yeh Feng in a dashing white tux and top hat and Li Mei barefoot in a sexy luau outfit, ends the film in grand style. All in all, It's Always Spring is an enjoyable film but not one of the essential MP&GI musicals. Fans of the stars, however, should definitely check it out.

Reviewer Score: 7