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Sons of Good Earth (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Betty Loh Ti (Actor) | Chen Hou (Actor) | Gao Bao Shu (Actor) | King Hu (Director)
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Sons of Good Earth (Hong Kong Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Technical Information

Product Title: Sons of Good Earth (Hong Kong Version) 大地兒女 (香港版) 大地儿女 (香港版) Sons of Good Earth (Hong Kong Version) Sons of Good Earth (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Betty Loh Ti (Actor) | Chen Hou (Actor) | Gao Bao Shu (Actor) 樂蒂 (Actor) | 陳厚 (Actor) | 高寶樹 (Actor) 乐蒂 (Actor) | 陈厚 (Actor) | 高宝树 (Actor) 樂蒂(ロック・タイ) (Actor) | Chen Hou (Actor) | Gao Bao Shu (Actor) Betty Loh Ti (Actor) | Chen Hou (Actor) | Gao Bao Shu (Actor)
Director: King Hu 胡金銓 胡金铨 胡金銓 (キン・フー) Hu Jin Quan
Release Date: 2006-03-23
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Mono Audio
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 107 (mins)
Publisher: Intercontinental Video (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004169951

Product Information

* Screen Format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
* Sound Mix: Mono
* Extras:
- 慕後花絮 Behind-The-Scenes
- 本片預告 Trailer
- 精選猛片預告 Other Releases
- 劇照 Color Stills
- 原裝海報 Original Poster
- 電影簡介 Production Notes
- 演員/導演簡介 Biography & Selected Filmography

Director: Hu King Chuan


  Japan has Akira Kurosawa. India has Satyajit Ray. Hong Kong has King Hu. Although he made a previous film, The Story Of Sue San, uneder Li Han-hsiang’s supervision, this was really his first full film, which he wrote, directed and co-starred in. His tale of the Sino-Japanese war is still an artistic and emotional triumph, and went on to win awards for Best Script, Best Editing, and the particularly prestigious Special Award for the Promotion of Ethnic Spirit.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Sons of Good Earth (Hong Kong Version)"

April 3, 2006

Sons of Good Earth is a re-release of the 1964 Shaw Brothers film, notable for marking the debut of legendary director King Hu. Although he had previously worked on The Story of Sue San with Li Han Hsiang (himself an important Chinese director, having made no less than 70 films, including Enchanting Shadow), Sons of Good Earth is generally regarded as being Hu's first, probably since he not only directed, but wrote and co-starred in it.

Hu, who died in 1997, is certainly a director who deserves to be better known in the West, with a talent comparable with that of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Although he only made 17 films in a career spanning more than 30 years, Hu was responsible for such classics as A Touch of Zen, the original Dragon Gate Inn and Come Drink With Me, which was the inspiration behind Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

With Sons of Good Earth, Hu tackles the Sino-Japanese war from the perspective of the inhabitants of a small town in the Northeast. The film begins as He Hua (Le Di, also in The Love Eterne), a young girl who has been sold to a brothel, tries to escape and is helped by two painters, Yu Rui (Chen Hou) and Guan Sansheng (Li Kun). After the police close the place down, He Hua and Yu Rui get married and settle into a good, honest life. Their peace is soon shattered by the invasion of the Japanese and the brutal regime that follows. Making matters worse, the owners of the brothel are released from jail and become collaborators with the oppressors, using their position to get revenge on the couple. Eventually, Yu Rui escapes and joins a local band of guerrilla fighters led by the former police chief, who struggle to liberate the province from the invaders.

The first part of Sons of Good Earth is played mainly for laughs, with comic misunderstandings and He Hua being rescued from the wicked brothel owners. It is these scenes which are arguably the film's most effective, and although the tone does take a more serious turn after the Japanese invades, the film retains a strangely light-hearted touch which prevents it from being as moving or stirring as it perhaps could have been.

In addition to this, the narrative is quite shoddy, containing multiple historical inaccuracies and rushing through some of the film's more dramatic elements without fully developing them. Perhaps the greatest flaw comes in the fact that there is no indication of the passage of time, despite Sons of Good Earth's story covering a period of 7 years, and as a result, the end comes as a rather abrupt surprise. As such, the film simplifies a number of issues that would have allowed it to be taken far more seriously.

Fortunately the story of Sons of Good Earth is strong enough for these flaws to be overlooked, being a genuine tale of heroism in the face of awful tyranny. The characters are all likeable enough, and it is hard not to feel for them as they suffer, or to cheer for them as they fight back. The last third of the film has a fair amount of bloody action, with some rousing gun battles as the rebels take back the city.

Probably the strangest thing about the film is the fact that it was made on the same old Shaw Brothers sets, which gives the constant expectation that a noble hero will suddenly jump out and defeat the Japanese with mystical kung fu skills. Although this obviously never happens, the historical events could have used a more serious treatment, though Sons of Good Earth is certainly entertaining and moving enough in its own way.

Movie Grade: 3/5

By James Mudge -

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Customer Review of "Sons of Good Earth (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

March 31, 2010

1 people found this review helpful

Entertaining occupation era epic Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
The King Hu-directed "Sons of Good Earth" features a cast loaded with familiar Shaw Bros. faces and a story that proves surprisingly effective until the film's truncated ending. Peter Chen Ho stars as sign-painter Ju Rui, who together with his fellow painter and pal Lao San (Lee Kwan), lives a meager but happy life. Into his life falls beauteous He Hua (Betty Loh Ti) and everything changes. He Hua is fleeing from the brothel into which she has been sold, chased by the relentless brothel owner Chang Bao Lu (Jiang Guangchao at his cantankerous, supercilious best) and his loathesome, hateful wife Er Hu (Guo Bo Shu).

The film essentially is divided into four acts. The first act primarily is played for laughs, features the bonding of painter Ju Rui with runaway He Hua, and concludes with Chang Bao Lu and his wife being jailed for keeping a house of ill repute. In the second act, the film turns serious as Japanese occupiers cease the city. The story becomes a complex web of intertwining tales of those locals who resist the occupation and those who seek to get ahead by becoming collaborators. Naturally, evil Chang Bao Lu and his wife become collaborators and employ their new-found power to nab He Hua and hand her over to the Japanese commander to become his concubine. This second act proves to be the longest and most gripping portion of the film, as we witness Ju Rui reluctantly throwing in his lot with a group of armed resistors. The third act features an explosion of violence as the forces of the Chinese resistance clash with their Japanese occupiers. Peter Chen, surprisingly, proves to be an effective action hero. While contemporary battle scenes were never a great strength of Shaw Bros. films, some of them in this film are well-orchestrated.

The film's fourth and final act, revealing the aftermath of the uprising, proves to be foreshortened and anticlimactic. However, don't let that deter you from watching this colorful epic. "Sons of Good Earth" is brimming with comraderie, romance, schemes, sacrifice, and heroism and I found it a very enjoyable film.
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