Monday, March 10, 2008

The Wild, Wild Rose (1960)

Big thanks to David Wells over at Movie-Fan Princess for turning me on to the 1960 Cathay production The Wild, Wild Rose. The film is a loose update of Bizet's Carmen that's rich with film noir atmosphere, its action playing out against the backdrop of a smoky nightclub in modern day Hong Kong. Having only seen Cathay superstar Grace Chang previously in Air Hostess--where she played a nice girl who really, really wanted to be a stewardess (even if she did at times fail to be mindful of her service attitude)--I found her lead performance here to be a revelation. It's a ferocious portrayal that starts out in classic femme fatale territory but reveals more complexity as the story progresses. The music, which includes some reworkings of songs from the original opera, is also excellent. Highly recommended.

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