女子公寓 (1970)
Apartment for Ladies


Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 11/20/2008

Yau Suk Man (Betty Ting Pei) shows up from Taipei looking for her sister who has disappeared into the urban wilds of Hong Kong, having been brought to the Crown Colony by a man who claimed he would get her work singing in a nightclub. She has a difficult introduction to Hong Kong—the address she has for her sister is a cemetery in a rural area. Her cabbie leaves here there and while trying to figure things out she is set up by two thugs who want to rape her. She is truly a babe (in both senses) in the woods and winds up sharing an apartment with a disparate and sophisticated group of women including a stripper, a private tutor who only works at night and a secretary, similarly on the evening shift. There are a few catfights, some boyfriend stealing and more than a little walking around the apartment wearing in dishabille. A collective problem the ladies face is the theft of their lingerie when left on the outside laundry lines to dry. Men are strictly prohibited from entering the apartment by Mrs. Chen, its owner, who keeps a watch that would rival Cerberus and who has installed a jail like set of bars between the front door and the rest of the place. Mrs. Chen’s son has a room but is kept away by the another set of prison type bars. Since men aren’t allowed in the apartment they are a constant subject of discussion by the tenants.

Musical numbers are well integrated. Yau Suk Man is a singer as is her missing sister and a number of the ladies are performers, including a singer and a back-up maraca player who are rivals for the same club owner. Much of the action takes place in the nightclub. The girls’ downstairs neighbor is a composer who has fallen for Suk Man and who rescued her from the men assaulting her earlier. He courts her with a song that she sings back to him.

There is much of the usual hiding under beds and behind doorways, dressing in drag and mistaken identity that has characterized sex comedies for centuries, generally well done and as convincing as it needs to be. Suk Man’s quest for her sister is the thread that runs through the movie and ties its parts together and by the end to the movie good has triumphed, evil punished and the power of sisterhood affirmed.


Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 12/14/2005
Summary: Girl power

Pretty much agree with the first reviewer. A nice light entertainment which mixes several genres. There are a few dead spots, but none that last very long, so the film remains watchable nearly all the way.

The writing and direction are first rate, and the characters clearly defined and empathetic, and it presents the sort of beautiful images that come with A-grade production values. The acting tends toward the mugging end, but that's not too unusual for movies of this (these?) genre(s). And the background music is very pleasant. Songs permeate the fabric of the story, including a song sung by Ting Pei's character, called "Life Is Like A Boat", which she uses to find her missing sister.

It's all smiles at the end, as any comedy should be. Recommended.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: sharkeysbar
Date: 10/09/2005
Summary: Jailhouse for crazies

This 1970 film is an absolute classic, of which particular genre, I am none too sure, but nonetheless a classic. Betty Ting Pei plays the lead,a Taiwanese singer searching in Hong Kong for her younger sister, who disappears after coming to HK to be discovered as a nightclub singer.
This film is great, it is an enthralling mystery, with drama, comedy, musical numbers and some slapstick thrown in for good measure!
It is also a moral tale on several levels, but most of all it is a fun film! I was laughing constantly and the fashions of the late 1960s are a real blast. Strange however that so many women waltz around in their underwear, irregardless of the time of day, haha.
Oh the reference to the jailhouse, well Mrs Chen (the landlady), she is a strange one for sure, haha. Highly entertaining and recommended. 7/10.