Gamblers and tricksters: the forgotten gambling films of the 1970s

Author: Chan, Brenda

Source: Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Volume 4, Number 2, 1 August 2010 , pp. 89-104(16)

Publisher: Intellect

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Abstract:

The gambling film has received little attention in the academic analysis of Hong Kong cinema, save for brief discussions in relation to the directorial style of Wong Jing, and the success of Du Shen/God of Gamblers (1989) and Du Sheng/All for the Winner (1990). This article examines four Hong Kong films related to gambling in the 1970s and early 1980s, namely Jixiang Dufang/The Casino (1972), Guima Shuangxing/Games Gamblers Play (1974), Duwang Da Pianju/King Gambler (1976) and Liumang Qianwang/Gambler's Delight (1981). It will discuss how these films prefigured the gambling movies of the 1990s, and how they represented a transitional phase towards the crystallization of the gambling genre. These forgotten gambling films in the 1970s reflected changes in society's attitude towards gambling when the Hong Kong economy was taking off and the Everyman was dreaming of striking it rich.

Keywords: 1970s; Hong Kong cinema; gambling; gambling films; genre

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jcc.4.2.89_1

Affiliations: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Publication date: August 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Chinese Cinemas is a major refereed academic publication devoted to the study of Chinese film, drawing on the recent world-wide growth of interest in Chinese cinemas. An incredibly diverse range of films has emerged from all parts of the Chinese-speaking world over the last few years, with an ever increasing number of border-crossing collaborative efforts prominent among them. These exciting developments provide abundant ground for academic research.
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