The Black Rose (1965)
Reviewed by: duriandave on 2005-09-09
Critic Sam Ho considers this as one of the first “Jane Bond” movies, the term he uses to designate the films featuring female action heroes that were popular in HK cinema from the mid to late sixties. These films were influenced by English pop icons such as James Bond and Emma Peel from The Avengers TV series, but were more deeply rooted in the Chinese tradition of the woman warrior.

Nam Hung (who also produced the film) and Connie Chan star as the two sisters who spend their evenings stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. They are known only by the calling card they leave at the scene of their crime: a Black Rose. Clever and cool, they continually outwit the police until a meddlesome insurance claim inspector (played by Patrick Tse Yin) figures out their secret identity.

The film is a tightly paced game of hide and seek enhanced by noir lighting, a moody score, and early action choreography by Lau Kar-leung and Tong Kai (who can be seen in the group of thugs taking a beating from the Black Rose). Nam Hung and Connie Chan are quite charming and their complete control of every situation gives the film a light touch.

Connie Chan would go on star in many more “Jane Bond” films, such as Lady Black Cat, She Is Our Senior, and the Black Killer (all currently available on VCD), becoming Hong Kong cinema’s first female modern-day action star.
Reviewer Score: 8