Because of Her (1963)
Reviewed by: duriandave on 2005-10-17
The release of a Grace Chang movie is always cause for excitement, especially if it's a musical and even more if it's in glorious color. Because of Her doesn't exactly disappoint, but it fails to live up to its enticing promise. For starters, this wide screen film is presented in cropped full-frame mode. A shame to be sure, but I was actually OK with this, since it meant I didn't have to squint so much when admiring Miss Grace.

The movie begins on a high note: Grace is stunning and it's a real treat to see her in full color. There's also a wonderful musical number when Grace auditions for the musical troupe: she starts off singing a traditional ditty and then suddenly shifts into swing mode, inspiring all the other girls to join the party. The remainder of the songs are of the "It's a Small World" stage-spectacle variety: enjoyable but not up to par with the songs of Mambo Girl and Wild Wild Rose.

The main flaw of the film is the leading men. Kelly Lai Chen plays Grace's boyfriend, who leaves her behind when he gets the opportunity to study music in Japan. What does she see in him? That's a question that can perhaps never be satisfactorily answered. Lai Chen can't dance or sing, and, frankly, he is just a drag on Grace. Roy Chiao uncharacteristically plays an unmasculine father figure. It's a little odd, since Roy's beefcake figure and bullish charm are probably his best assets. What this film really needed was the grace and charm of Peter Chen Ho. But alas, by this time he had moved over to Shaw Brothers and was making musicals with Lin Dai and his wife Betty Loh Ti. All we are left with then are the moments of Grace. If you are a fan of hers, you will be grateful for whatever you can get. If not, you should probably stick with her classic signature films, Mambo Girl and Wild Wild Rose.
Reviewer Score: 6