From Russian classics to Hong Kong pulp fiction : Kong Ngee's urban literary culture

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The glorious modernity of Kong Ngee, Page: 40-50

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WONG, Shuk Han
Hong Kong Film Archive
book chapter description
One way to examine Kong Ngee’s unique place in Hong Kong film history is to study its approach to screen adaptations. To a large extent, the productions owe their local color and urban feel to their screenplays, which were frequently adapted from Hong Kong novels. By novels, I am referring to ‘three dime novels’ published by the Universal Publisher, newspaper serials and ‘airwave novels’. The protagonists and what they go through in these texts are culled from everyday life in Hong Kong, so their readers could easily identify with them. Kong Ngee did not pursue this urban style in the first two years of its inception. Instead, the company chose to hire Lee Tit to do a remake of The Remorseful Rich (1948), which he initially directed for Guolian Film Company. Adapted from a stage play by Zhou Yan, it is a melodrama about the power struggles and love-hate relationships within a wealthy feudal extended family-a subject which has become removed from preoccupations of the emerging middle class in Hong Kong. Let us trace Kong Ngee’s path to localization and urbanization by examining what type of works they chose for adaption.

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