29 August 2007
From 6 September to 31 December 2007, The Cathay Gallery showcases a collection of Cathay’s Chinese Classic movie posters from the 1950s to 1970s.
Cathay Organisation’s film production studios in Hong Kong made more than 240 Chinese films between 1956 to 1974, many of them remain priceless classics today.
The studios in Hong Kong, Motion Picture & General Investment Co Ltd (MP & GI) was established in 1956 by the late Dato Loke Wan Tho. It was later re-named Cathay Organisation (Hong Kong) Ltd.
At that time, the Hong Kong film industry was plagued by many difficulties; movie studios operated on small budgets and encountered technical, artistic and financial difficulties. Despite that, Dato Loke turned MP & GI into a successful and formidable film production and distribution company.
MP & GI signed on a stable of stars, built new sound stages with then state-of-the-art equipment, set up a script department to write scripts, a variety of films were also made for distribution and MP & GI published their own Screen International magazine which promoted Cathay’s films and stars. Many of Cathay’s films won accolades and awards at the Asian Film Festivals.
The genre of films produced ranged from romance, comedies, dramas, musicals, tragedies, suspense to period dramas. MP & GI’s first hit was Mambo Girl made in 1956 which starred the inimitable and beautiful Grace Chang (and Peter Chen Ho. Grace Chang, also known as Ge Lan, went on to become a huge star.
The stable of Cathay stars also included You Min, Li Mei, Loh Ti, Lin Dai, Yeh Fung, Lin Tsui, Chang Yang, Lei Zhen, Chang Chung Wen, Ting Hao, Pai Lu Ming, Tien Ching, Soo Fung and many more who became household names throughout Asia.
On display are some of these original posters from movies made by Cathay. These include Our Sister Hedy (1957), Scarlet Doll (1958), Sister Long Legs (1960), Sun Moon Star (1962), Fairy Ghost Vixen (1965), just to name a few.