Hong Kong, 1949
Wing Yiu Film Company. PROD: Cheung Tsok-hong. DIR: Wu Pang. SCR: Ng Yat-siu, based on the story by Chu Yu-chai. CAST: Kwan Tak-hing, Walter Tso Tat-Wah, Lee Lan, Sek Kin, Tsi Chi-wai.
One of the most revered of Chinese folk heroes, the legendary martial artist Wong Fei-hung (1847-1924) is also one of the most popular and enduring screen characters in cinema history. A tried and true symbol of Chinese tradition and patriotism standing tall against Western influence and foreign incursion, Wong was portrayed at various ages and in numerous incarnations, from the comic to the ultra-serious, in over 100 feature films---most famously by Jackie Chan (in 1978’s Drunken Master and its absolutely awesome 1994 sequel) and Jet Li (in the Once Upon a Time in China series). But Wu Pang’s 1949 The Whip That Smacks the Candle started it all: not only did it bring Wong to the screen for the first time in the person of Chinese opera star Kwan Tak-hing (who would go on to play the role in over 70 features, serials and TV episodes), it set the template for the modern kung fu genre by eschewing the fantasy elements of the silent era wuxia films in favor of realistic action choreography and a focus on the importance of martial arts discipline and technique. Come see where it all began!
35mm, in Cantonese with English subtitles, 72 min.
Followed by: THE STORY OF A DISCHARGED PRISONER
UCLA Film & Television Archive
Billy Wilder Theater
Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard (at the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards)
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tickets: $10 online. $9 general admission, $8 for non-UCLA students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members (ID required) if purchased at the box office only. Free admission for UCLA students (current ID required); free tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office until 15 minutes before showtime, or the rush line afterwards. Online tickets available at ; click on the individual program.
Parking: Museum parking lot; enter from Westwood Blvd, just north of Wilshire. $3 flat rate after 6:00 pm on Mondays-Fridays and all day on weekends.
UCLA Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024