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曼波女郎 (1957)
Mambo Girl

Reviewed by: Stephe
Date: 01/27/2011

Mambo Girl introduced me to the ebullient and talented Grace
Chang, who plays the most talented singer and dancer in her school.
It co-stars Peter Chen Ho, who'd I'd encountered in Our Sister Hedy
and as the male lead in the Cheng Pei-pei musical Hong Kong Nocturne,
and it's a mostly upbeat tale save the plot thread of the title girl
searching for her adoptive mother. Shaw Brothers apparently more or
less remade the film with Li Ching as A Place to Call Home, but minus
the musical stylings. The music in Mambo Girl is organic to the plot
and is infectious. Kitty Ting Hao makes an early appearance (she was
only 18), as does future wife of Run Run Shaw, Mona Fong (under the
name Fang Yihua), who we see sing an entire song in a nightclub. Fong
is prettier here than she is in the 1965 Shaw Brothers film The Lark.
This is a good, solid dramatic film, which is something you might not
expect since it is in large part a musical. See it.

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 06/29/2007
Summary: hey mambo! mambo latino-mando...

kai-ling (grace chang) is about to turn twenty, she has a loving family, a whole bunch of friends and she is lauded for her singing and dancing talents. in the week leading up to kai-ling's birthday bao-ling (kitty tang), discovers that her sister was actually adopted as a baby and makes the mistake of telling a girl who is jealous of danian's (peter chan) adoration of kai-ling. said girl chooses to spread this secret around during kai-ling's birthday celebration, causing her to leave and seek out her real parents. will kai-ling find her real parents or realise that the ones who have raised her with all of their love are real family?

grace chang was one of the biggest stars of chinese / hong kong cinema for the 1950s and '60s, who retains her popularity to this day as she starred in many classic, well-loved, fims and had a hugely successful career as a recording artist. 'mambo girl' shows off her acting, singing and dancing talents; she is convincing as both the happy-go-lucky, singing and dancing, teen and the troubled young woman, searching for her identity. there's more than adequate support from kitty tang and a solid showing from liu enjia.

the musical numbers are very enjoyable, especially if you're a fan of that strange, kitsch, mandarin take on latin numbers. the incidental music is also, predominantly, percussion heavy latin gold. the film itself is an enjoyable watch, mainly due to its high production values, good performances, music and some pretty nice cinematography.

understandably well regarded...