Newest Reviews
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Iron Mask, The
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
  Pink Tears Cry me a chartreuse river
Year: 1965
Director: Chin Chien
Stars: Julie Yeh Feng, Ling Yun, Fung Bo-Bo, Liu Liang-hua, Cheng Miu, Ku Feng, Tien Feng, Chang Yi, Lui Ming, Pang Pang, Goo Man-Chung, Ou-Yang Sha-Fei, Lam Jing, Wong Chung, Chiu Ming, Mao Wei, Wong Ching-Ho, Man Sau
Genre: Musical, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: When her husband died, beautiful socialite Pai Li-Lan (Julie Yeh Feng) became mistress to a wealthy old man, so that her eleven year old daughter Xiao Lan (Fung Bo-Bo) could afford a good education and a promising future. Now bankers, politicians and billionaires all adore the glittering courtesan, who is secretly suffering from the early symptoms of tuberculosis when she meets humble piano teacher Zhang Zhi Ping (Ling Yun, in his screen debut). After Zhi Ping helps Li-Lan recover her health and convinces her money cannot buy true happiness, they fall in love and marry despite the objection of his mother (Ou-Yang Sha-Fei) and Xiao Lan who, having no idea what mom does for a living, fears she will lose her forever. When her former sugar daddy (Cheng Miu) uses his influence to ensure Zhi Ping loses his job, Li-Lan sells all her jewellery to support the family, but a misunderstanding drives her back to her old life.

Tastes in humour may differ, but nothing unites East and West like our mutual love for a good romantic weepy. Only late in the game does it become apparent that this Shaw Brothers classic is actually an uncredited variation on Alexandre Dumas’ novel Lady of the Camellias, with a closing scene that’ll wring a tinge of deja-vu from fans of the 1937 Greta Garbo movie. Nevertheless, Pink Tears is a superior romantic tragedy grounded in believable human drama rather than phoney theatrics and where tears flow thanks to a sensitive script and heartfelt performances. Not least from superstar Julie Yeh Feng who commands the screen and sparkles through a handful of emotionally charged musical numbers.

Julie Yeh Feng was actually discovered by Universal Pictures back in 1954, though the proposed movie sadly never came to be and her career only properly began in Hong Kong cinema in 1957. Audiences were immediately drawn to her sensual image, nicknaming her ‘the long-legged beauty’, and she became one of the era’s great musical stars, notably in Shaw Brothers’ The Shepherd Girl (1963). After Farewell My Love (1969), Yeh Feng retired from show business, though she staged a successful comeback concert in 2002.

As Pai Li-Lan she struggles to navigate a tricky path between ethics and survival, surface respectability and private need, traditional morality and the flawed human heart. Early on she is pragmatic enough to lament: “in this society a woman’s labour isn’t worth as much as her beauty”, though she still rails against a world that cannot reconcile the two views of her as “mother” and “whore”, “good” and “bad.” Rich hypocrites take what they can from Pai while her beauty is “up for grabs”, then distance themselves from her when she’ll no longer dance to their tune. This realisation drives morally ambiguous supporting character Mr. Fang (Ku Feng) to cease sucking up to the wealthy, though the film stresses not all rich folks are rotten to the core.

Chin Chien directs with more class and subtlety than the average Shaw melodrama. He made his directorial debut in 1949 and was famed for his romantic weepies even before joining Shaw Brothers in 1965 where he scored his biggest hits, including Till the End of Time (1966) and River of Tears (1969). Briefly married to top Shaw starlet Jeanette Lin Tsui - who appeared in the spy caper The Golden Buddha (1966) - his personal life was sadly as tumultuous as his movies. Divorced from Lin Tsui in 1967, beset by personal and financial woes, Chien took his own life in 1969 at the age of forty-three. His final movie was released posthumously and with bitter irony titled: Double Bliss (1969).

Notable players among the supporting cast include Liu Liang-hua, an actress who later left Shaw Brothers along with her husband Lo Wei and became a producer with Golden Harvest. It was Liang-hua who successfully wooed Bruce Lee to the studio and won great admiration from Wei’s mistreated protégé Jackie Chan, and after divorcing Wei she went on to produce several notable dramatic movies.

However, besides Julie Yeh Feng, the big star turn here comes from Fung Bo-Bo. Probably the most famous child actor in Hong Kong cinema and a rare one able to do much more than stand there looking cute. This cherubic, yet very expressive young actress was compared to Shirley Temple and appeared in over one hundred movies. Unlike Temple, Fung Bo-Bo made a successful transition to grownup superstar, from heroic swordswoman roles in the late Sixties to TV dramas in the Eighties. Then in an astonishing comeback, she won consecutive Best Supporting Actress Awards for modern classics ’92 Legendary Rose Noire (1992) and C’est La Vie Mon Cheri (1993). Retired since 1995, fans have movies like Pink Tears to cherish her and Julie Yeh Feng as proof Shaw Brothers could produce more besides kung fu stars.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 4906 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: