_O (1964)
The Magic Lamp


Reviewed by: Stephe
Date: 01/27/2011

Cathay's 1964 film The Magic Lamp is Cathay's version of the Shaw
Brothers' 1965 film The Lotus Lamp, which starred Linda Lin Dai (in two
roles) and Cheng Pei-pei (in her first role -- as a man!).

Although The Magic Lamp pre-dates Cathay's first wuxia pian The First
Sword, it is in the Huangmei Opera genre, so while there are some
martial arts, they are not the main aspect of the film. The naturally
athletic Jeanette Lin Cui performs impressive swordplay in one
climactic scene. I have seen The Lotus Lamp and there are battles
therein, but they are more overtly dance-oriented than Chinese Opera
pieces tend to be.

Instead of Linda Lin Dai, Grace Chang plays the goddess, and instead
of Cheng Pei-pei, Lucilla You Min plays the scholar. Jeanette Lin Cui
plays the son, which was Linda Lin Dai's second role in The Lotus Lamp.
Grace Chang's tearful portrayal is a bit overplayed, but Lucilla You Min
does a good job with the material, as does Jeanette Lin Cui.

Reviewer Score: 5