This is one of the few Mandarin films produced in Hong Kong during the Sino-Japanese war, in which elements of traditional horror, thriller and suspense are blended with nationalistic and anti-Japanese themes.
A young lady travels to Shanghai in the hope of finding her fiancé. Although she does manage to locate him, it turns out that he is infatuated with a dancing girl and is fraternizing with traitors and Japanese. The dancing girl turns out to be a member of an underground resistance organization. She is in love with her group leader, and together they assassinate several notorious traitors: their activities are supported by the newspaper boys and street peddlers who report them. During a New Year’s party, members of the resistance organization elude the enemy’s security checks and successfully execute a few more high profile traitors. The dancing girl and the group leader decide to sacrifice their love for each other to the greater good of the resistance by each taking on a new assignment. —chinesecinema.ucsd.edu
Born in Shanghai to Cantonese parents, but raised in Chaoyang, Shantou, Guangdong, Cai Chusheng worked in low-level positions in several small studios during the 1920s, before eventually joining Mingxing Film Company as a director’s assistant to Zheng Zhengqiu, another Chaoyang-native. Cai later joined the Lianhua Film Company where he directed a handful of mainstream popular films including Spring in the South and Pink Dream (both 1932). He would not cement his reputation as a leading leftist filmmaker until after the Japanese attack in 1932, when Cai, like many of his colleagues, shifted towards increasingly progressive or leftist filmmaking. This shift can be seen in output after 1932, including the class-struggle dramas Dawn Over the Metropolis (1933), Song of the Fishermen (1934), and the proto-feminist New Women (1934), which starred Ruan Lingyu. Song of the Fishermen, for example, was a major box office success in Shanghai where it played for 87 days, and… read more