From Kachang To Popcorn (Part 2)

…continued from Kachang To Popcorn (Part 1)

Well guess it’s Ben Hur the first long hour movie I have watched in the cinema! Can’t really remember how many hours was that show, but it really very uncomfortable sitting in the cinema for so long especially those cinemas in the past. The seat spacing was so narrow and hard compared to now. Of course, in the past there was a price difference for those who choose the seats nearer to the screen and those who choose far behind – it was cheaper to sit in front but be prepared for stiff neck!

Of course some other nice English movies then were Ten Commandments, 101 Dalmaltians, etc… Among them, Towering Inferno definitely leave a deep impression in me. It’s probably the first movie that reported someone fainted while watching the show due to excitement.

In the 60s, you can find these type of movie flyers or posters at the ticket counter for you to take;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore

Kwan Tak Hing (seated on the left) was probably the first actor well-known for his role as Wong Fei Hong in the olden Cantonese movies;

Of course he shot to fame way before Jet Li. On the right was his all time opponent Sek Kin;

One played the good guy the other always the bad guy haha. If you will to ask me, I would prefer Kwan Tak Hing to Bruce Lee movies.

Cantonese movies were so popular in the 60s and 70s. Shows like this one were popular;

Some of the popular actors and actress then were:

Lui Kei – the so called handsome actor and then cheeky movies director;

He is probably well known in the 60s Cantonese movies together with Connie Chan (Chan Po-Chu,  陳寶珠) . Here she is appearing in the old movie Black Killer in 1967;

Since retired, she seldom appear in public. Connie Chan appearing in a HK concert in 2006;

Just as famous as her were Fong Bo Bo, Josephine Siao Fong Fong, Lydia Shum and Nancy Sit Ka-Yin.

Fong Bo Bo;

Lydia Shum and Lui Kei;

Credit :

Nancy Sit album;

and now;

Josephine Siao;

Credit :

For the guys, there were Wu Fong, Patrick Tse Yin and Kwan Shan – mother’s era idol.

Wu Fong;

Patrick Tse Yin in the past without the “pigtail” ;

Kwan Shan;

I remember once there were some kind of live appearances by some famous actress like Nancy Sit or Josephine Fong in one of the cinemas after the show. My godsisters were overjoyed and went to get their signatures and shook hands. They refused to wash their hands for a few days after the hand shake!

Before I end, here is the 2001 stamps issued in Hong Kong on some of the old HK movie stars. Can you identify them?


31 Responses to “From Kachang To Popcorn (Part 2)”

  1. 1 Lam Chun See Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Movies was really a big thing for us in the 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s. One of the first topics I ever blogged about was about movies; esp the era of black and white movies; Here.

  2. 2 HamBearGer Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 11:31 am

    You forgot the baddest and most evil Cantonese female star of that time : Le Hiong Kum.

  3. 3 laokokok Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Hi HamBearGer, before Le Hiong Kum there should be a Wong Man Li right? She was even more fierce haha.

  4. 4 profkingsfield2004 Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    I still remember when HK film stars did their filming in “Sing- ka_PO”. The pretty HK actresses like Chan Poh Chee dressed up like those Nonya girls – to emphasize the butt and sharp tops. Then the HK mother-in-law detested those “MA -LAI” girls saying they were not pure Chinese bred. But like all stories ended, the couple overcame the odds and lived happily after.

    One scene I remembered (think it was Romance of a Nonya in 1968 or Nanyang A Ba – not sure which title) was the Esplanade and the Cenotaph.

    One time TV Singapore screened Sunday Cantonese matinees starring Patrick Tze. The plot was the same. HK Man marries Nonya girl from ‘Lam Yeung” and mother-in-law or sister-in-law sabo the relationship. Law Lan usually played the “hak sum” role

  5. 5 laokokok Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    But Law Lan now mainly act in those ghost stories.

  6. 6 profkingsfield2004 Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Can somebody help me with this one. There was a handsome Hong Kong Cantonese actor of the 1950s – Yin Chor Fun? How do you spell his name? He was the heartrobe of many women in Singapore

  7. 7 Pauline Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Wow, all these are so ‘new’ to me. But I remembered my first visit to theatre was at Toa Payoh Central which the ticket cost around 3.50 at that time (80s, I think). But I cant recall what is the name for the theatra.

  8. 8 laokokok Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Peter, you refering to Ng Chor Fun as in here;

  9. 9 Lam Chun See Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Many of those famous actors of the B&W Cantonese movies have passed on in recent years. Occasionally you will read about them in the papers. I believe the most recent one was Cho Tuck Wah who was in his 90’s.

    Talking about the badies – one of the most famous ones was Lau Hak Shun. I heard my mum said that when he visited Spore, some of he Ah Soh’s cursed and threw things at him. He had to explain that it was all acting and that he wasn’t a bad guy in real life. Goes to show that his acting skill was really good.

  10. 10 Lam Chun See Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 9:56 am

    BTW, if I not mistaken, Ng Chor Fun was father of a famous kung fu director Chor Yun.

  11. 11 Victor Koo Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 11:08 am

    Lau Hak Shun has a son named Lau Chong Yan (Mandarin name Liu Shong Ren) who also took up acting as career. He acted in the early Cantonese TV serials of the 80s, at around the same time of Chow Yun Fatt’s Man In The Net. He was quite a good actor as well.

    Other famous actors who acted in “old-costume” movies were Leong Seng Por, Tham Lam Heng, Yee Lai Chan, Pak Sheet Sin, Tang Pek Wan, Yam Kim Fai, Gou Lou Chuen, Sai Gua Pow and Sun Ma Chai (otherwise known as Sun Ma Si Zhang).

    Other actors I knew were Cheong Ying (“modern” movie lead actor) and Cheong Ying Choi (who acted in the early “martial arts” movies).

  12. 12 laokokok Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks Victor. For those who wish to take a look at their photo, can try this link;

  13. 13 profkingsfield2004 Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Did you know that TVBHK screens black & white movies of yesterday around 2am? When ever I am in HK, you can bet that I will turn on hotel room TV set and never get to bed until 4am. To keep awake I drink coffee (room service). I dont watch their new generation type serials because too draggy and too many actors/actresses that I am not familiar.

    When “Mong Chung Yan” was screened on Singapore TV in the early 1980s, we could not wait until the next episode. So we went out to rent VHS tapes. This pent-up demand for Cantonese seriles led a mushroom of video shops all over Singapore until the government decided to ban or licensed them. Every Sunday night when HK serials on TV the streets of Singapore (especially in HDB estates) dead silence. Dod you know that many office girls went to work with red eyes the next morning? Too much tears and KLEENEX.

  14. 14 C Sim Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Though I’m not cantonese, I remember watching these movies way back in the early to mid 70s. The plot was always the same – the evil and scheming mother-in-law, the kind but sad daughter-in-law who was perpetually crying, the son and husband who was torn between these two women. Tragedies also always seemed to occur at night. A bolt of lightning flashed across the TV screen, followed by lound thunder. Then we saw the plattering rain and the flapping window panels. All very drama one. Heheh. Back then, before the Speak Mandarin Campaign, watching movies seemed to be more enjoyable simply because most of these film were allowed in dialects.

    The HK varieties show were also good but I can’t remember any of the title of the show though. But does “喂,7018公司有设么事请快点说” ring a bell? Heheh

  15. 15 C Sim Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks for the memories, LKK.

  16. 16 Victor Koo Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    C Sim – If you don’t want people to know who you are, you could have come back with any one of the following nicks:


  17. 17 C Sim Friday, May 11, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Oh… I also remember those corny (not horny) and cheesy stories staring Lin Chin Hsia, Chen Chen, Lin Fong Chiao. Their love interests was either Chin Han or Chin Hsiang Lin. And I’m not paiseh to say I used to like the sound tracks of these movies sung by various singers, notably Feng Fei Fei, Jenny Tsang or the late Teresa Teng. These movies were popular during the late 70s early 80s (I think). But if I were to catch them on tv these days, I think I will zzzz. Haha.

  18. 18 laokokok Friday, May 11, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Hi C Sim,
    Thanks for dropping by. The “701 fo mo gong si” by Law Lan I think is really a good recollection. I’ve really forgotten all about it till you bring it out again.

    Yes, the sound track of those Lin Chin Hsia, Lin Fong Chiao or Chin Han shows are good but their shows are real slow and boring.

  19. 19 Lam Chun See Friday, May 11, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Victor. I think you are mistaken about the son of Lau Hak Shun. Yes, he had a TV-star actor around that time but not Lau Song Yan. I can’t recall his name, but he worked for the rival Asia TV station.

    LKK. Since this topic is so popular, you should do a mini-series instead of cramping so much matl in one post. For a start, you could write about that original heartthrob Patrick Tse Yin – Asia’s Richard Gere (i.e. kissing king) of the B&W era.

  20. 20 laokokok Friday, May 11, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Hi Chun See,
    I didn’t expect the response to be so overwhelming! Yep, maybe a mini-series is a good consideration.

  21. 21 babyfiona Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Hey! this post is nice! but some of the photos cannot see ler..its wont appeared!

  22. 22 laokokok Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks babyfiona, will repost those photos that won’t appear.

  23. 23 fr Friday, May 18, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    The son of Lau Hak Shun is Lau Chee Weng, also a tv actor.

  24. 24 ming Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 1:03 am

    for those of you who seriously want to track down those cantonese films shot in singapore by Kong Ngee company founded by Ho brothers in singapore – most of the stuff has been donated to the hong kong film archive. I went there to do some research and watched about four movies, starring patrick Tse Yin and Kar Ling amd Nam HOng, and Connie Chan po chu as a Nonya. YOu pay a little for membership, then you can watch it there on your own monitor.

  25. 25 laokokok Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 9:07 am

    HI Ming, thanks for the info and welcome here.

  26. 26 ming Monday, December 17, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    i’m doing an exhibition on old cinemas in singapore and malaysia next month, at the arts house, as part of the Singapore Fringe Festival. From 16-27 Jan. I’ve been going around singapore and malaysia photographing those original cinema buildings that are still standing.
    i’ll put them on mywebsite soon.

  27. 28 Ragtime Friday, June 26, 2009 at 1:12 am

    I really enjoyed this ‘Times of my life”.

    Memories are made of laughter and tears.

    chor Yun is the son of Cheong Wood Yau who appeared with Pak Yin in many movies.

    Ng Chor fun was famous for his “sek woon ming, fun woon dai” (in cantonese).

  28. 29 Nick Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 12:04 am


    Anyone remembers the cinema opposite the current Longhouse hawker at Thomson Road? I remember just looking at it from the outside while I was in my early teens in the 70’s.

  29. 30 ht Long Monday, February 18, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I am a big fan of Hong Kong Cantonese Superstar of the 1960s Cheung Ying Choi. Anyone with info, photos, movie posters,flyers on him please contact me: Thank You so much

  30. 31 gta 5 download ps3 Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Wow, this post is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things, therefore I am going to let know her.

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