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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Chinese opera film is one of the least understood and appreciated of the genres in Chinese cinema. In fact, the genre is as old as Chinese cinema itself, but, despite the intimate connection between opera and cinema, the opera film remains an obscure form. This chapter examines the genre from its early beginnings to its development under the Maoist regime in the 1950s and its transference to the Hong Kong film industry. One of its principal subgenres, the huangmei diao, is put in focus since it became probably the most representative musical form of the Shaw Brothers studio in the 1960s. Classical films including Shaw Brothers' Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai, or in English, The Love Eterne (1963), and the Mainland Chinese version of the same opera first released in 1953 and which inspired the huangmei diao fad in Hong Kong, are analyzed.

Keywords: opera film, Chinese cinema, Hong Kong cinema, cultural nationalism, huangmei diao

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