Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Air Hostess (1959)

Air Hostess (1959)

April 16th, 6:30PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

In the late 1950's Hong Kong was dominated by two large studios, the Shaw Brothers and MP&GI later renamed Cathay. They were both famous for their individual studio styles and the goal of each was to dominate the other. Air hostess is one of MP&GI’s major hits and excels in everything the studio was known for, a sense of modernity, shooting in far off locations and the odd musical number or two.

The film follows a young woman played by one of the studios biggest stars, Grace Chang at the height of her career, who decides to become an Air Hostess. At the time this occupation allowed for nearly unrivaled independence compared to the normal career options that would be open to women, as well as a sense of prestige that went with the job. The film follows her through training and the start of her career as well as throwing in a few romances and musical numbers into the mix.

Air Hostess was a kind of prestige picture for the studio and it shows in many ways. It was shot in color when most productions were not and portions of the film were also shot on location in Thailand and Taiwan. This is a classic film little known of in the West.

Hong Kong, Director Yi Wen, Cast Grace Chang, Kelly Lai Chen, Feng Erh and Hung Chiao, 105 minutes, in Mandarin with English Subtitles.

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