Skip to comments.Run Run Shaw, Kung Fu Movie Pioneer, Dies
Posted on 01/07/2014 10:30:13 AM PST by nickcarraway
"If you've ever enjoyed an action-packed Kung Fu film," Morning Edition host David Greene says, "take a moment to thank Sir Run Run Shaw, who passed away Tuesday."
There are conflicting accounts about whether Shaw was 106 or 107 at the time of his death. There's no disagreement, though, about his influence on the film industry.
The New York Times calls Shaw "the colorful Hong Kong media mogul whose name was synonymous with low-budget Chinese action and horror films and especially with the wildly successful kung fu genre, which he is largely credited with inventing."
Sir Run Run Shaw in 2010.i Sir Run Run Shaw in 2010.
Bobby Yip/Reuters/Landov Bloomberg News notes that:
"Shaw Brothers movies from the 1960s such as the kung-fu film The One-Armed Swordsman and the musical The Kingdom and the Beauty once accounted for more than half of Asia's box-office receipts. The Magnificent Concubine, a picture about a Tang Dynasty beauty, became the first Chinese movie to receive an international award when it won a prize at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival."
Shaw studio's 1972 film Five Fingers of Death (also known as King Boxer) is "considered a kung fu classic," the Times writes.
The BBC adds that Shaw "will be remembered for launching the careers of stars such as Chow Yun-fat and Maggie Cheung."
The movie mogul, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1977, told Signature magazine in 1981, Bloomberg News adds, that "films are an art; they are also an industry. Forget that a moment and you have a money loser in your hands."
Shaw ran the studio with his brother Ronnie, and as the Los Angeles Times says, "they churned out more than 1,000 films over more than five decades, from romances and musicals to action pictures. He even co-produced American films, including Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. The legacy of Shaw Bros. films can be seen in the works of contemporary filmmakers from Quentin Tarantino to John Woo and Ang Lee."
As his wealth grew, Shaw became "a generous philanthropist, especially in the education sector," CNN says. "The Shaw Prize, an international science award which he established, has become known as the 'Nobel of the East.' "
My proctologist is also known as the Five Fingers of Death.
BTW, Run Run Shaws most notable failure, was his decision NOT to bankroll Bruce Lee for a long term deal.
Bruce Lee initially approached Shaw Brothers, which turned down his desire for a long-term contract of $10,000 per film.
Shaw’s rival, Golden Harvest then offered Mr. Lee creative control and profit-sharing.
The Big Boss, better known as Fists of Fury (1971), was Mr. Lees first film with Golden Harvest, and it broke all Hong Kong box-office records.
Other big-name actors and directors flocked to Golden Harvest, breaking Shaw Brothers virtual monopoly.
Well, he had a good run ...run.
Relive the sounds.
Google: kung fu sounds
RIP Run Run
OMG — I own all three of those!
I love that stuff. Signs of a wasted youth?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.