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孝女珠珠 (1966)
The Dutiful Daughter Chu Chu

Reviewed by: duriandave
Date: 07/28/2005

As a child, Connie Chan grew up learning Cantonese opera from her parents, who were performers, and the legendary Yam Kim-fai, who was her master. The Dutiful Daughter Zhu Zhu amply demonstrates Connie’s opera skills, which also served her well in the many swordplay and action movies she made.

In this contemporary back-stage drama, Connie plays a street performer who joins a Cantonese opera troupe. In addition to several lengthy opera highlights, there are many scenes that show Connie training and practicing with the troupe in plain clothes. These glimpses behind the elaborate costumes and make-up illuminate the amazing choreography of expression and gesture at the heart of Chinese opera. The opera scenes are directed by Cantonese opera superstar Lam Kar-sing, who also stars opposite Connie as her leading man.

Just when things are going great with troupe, gangsters kidnap Connie’s crazy mother and blackmail Connie into becoming a performer in their Macau nightclub. Lam Kar-sing checks up on her and then helps her escape, leading to a short but amazing nighttime fight on the steps facing the great ruined façade of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The fight ends on a humorous note when the troupe members come to the rescue armed with their performing spears and halberds.

The Dutiful Daughter Zhu Zhu is definitely one of Connie’s best films and a good introduction to her many talents.

Reviewer Score: 10