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啼笑姻緣(上集) (1964)
A Story of Three Loves (Part 1)

Reviewed by: Stephe
Date: 01/27/2011

Watching the 1964 film A Story of Three Loves Pt. 1 was an
odd experience. It stars Zhao Lei (the lead actor in The First
Sword) as a rich student and kindhearted philanthropist of sorts who
takes to helping two poor women, a street performer (played by
Jeanette Lin Cui) and a teahouse songstress (played by Grace Chang)
get ahead. I just recently saw Zhao Lei as a skittish scholar in the
1960 Shaw Brothers Betty Loh Tih vehicle Enchanting Shadow. He seems
to always play mannered good guy roles. In this film, both Jeanette
and Grace are in love with him, and he gets engaged to Grace, much
to the chagrin of Jeanette. Complicating matters is a sophisticate,
who looks just like the poor Grace, who is also in love with Zhao
Lei. A further complication comes with the introduction of a barely
recognizable Roy Chiao as a lascivious general who is after the
poor Grace, whereupon the story starts to share elements with the
contemporaneous 1964 Shaw Brothers film The Warlord and the Actress,
wherein a general schemes to make a woman (played by Julie Yeh Feng)
his concubine. It is indeed fun to see Grace Chang play two roles,
but they are so diametrically opposed that the aristocratic character
that Grace plays hazards caricature. I was shocked by a scene where
the poor Grace shrieks in hysterics when she momentarily mistakenly
thinks that Zhao Lei has been untrue to her. It is not the sort of
scene I ever expected to see Grace Chang in.

Reviewer Score: 6