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刁蠻宮主 (1948)
A Spoilt Brat

Reviewed by: dleedlee
Date: 07/24/2004

A fine romance comedy.

Lau Hark Suen (in goatee) plays the father of three daughters. Two are unhappily married. The third is a fiery tempered Ming-Chi (Hung Sing Nui). Ming-Chi has previously rejected two suitors at the altar. Scholarly Tsui (Ma Sze Tsang), returning from ten years abroad, bets one of the brother-in-laws that he can ‘tame’ her and live happily with her. Sure enough, the couple are married in short order. The wedding night becomes a battle of wits and finally, an uneasy truce develops. Ming-Chi learns to compromise, Tsui wins his bet and the two brother-in-laws apply his methods to their own marriages.

Ma Sze Tsang and Hung Sin Nui make a memorable pair. In this film, they remind me of the William Powell/Myrna Loy pairings in the Thin Man series. Hung Sin Nui gives as well as she takes and dare I say it, she’s sassy. That she crumbles to Tsui’s will so easily is a little unbelievable. The two opera stars were a real life husband and wife couple and after the war eventually returned to the mainland. During one separation, she had an affair with another actor, Huang Ho, who attempted suicide after the she and Ma reconciled (this, according to a bio in gstage).

The wedding night scene is the highlight of the film. The second half bogs down quite a bit but the actors carry on.

Ma sings two songs,Hung Sin Nui one and they share a duet.

Reviewer Score: 7