The Secret (1979)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2001-02-27
Summary: Impressive
Ann Hui's HK cinema debut is impressive in every way. Great cast, including some outstanding small parts from very old actors, though Norman Chu steals the show as the is-he-harmless-or-a-killer madman. Creepy dark photography. The lovely Sylv Chang in the lead (she even acts quite well, too).

It's tempting to describe this as a heavily Western-influenced film with distinct Oriental touches though, as Hui went to film school in London, this is hardly surprising. It certainly stands up well against any mystery-thriller in Western cinema at the time.

At first, the pace seems rather slow, and events and shots disconnected, but it starts to make sense after about 20 minutes, and never lets up after that.

I've chatted with several people who profess to dislike Ann Hui's films. To those people I say, watch The Secret (and Song Of The Exile), and prepare to change your view.

Rated : unmissable.

Reviewer Score: 10