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HK comedy veteran Ricky Hui dies at 65

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  • dragg's Avatar
    49,241 posts since Mar '05
    • HONG KONG: Veteran Hong Kong comedy actor Ricky Hui, who became famous in the 70s and 80s after appearing in a series of hit comedic films with his brothers Sam Hui and Michael Hui, was found dead at his home on Tuesday, reported Hong Kong media.

      A friend of Ricky Hui visited him at his Kowloon home but nobody answered the door, so he notified the police along with Hui's older brother Stanley Hui.

      Ricky Hui was later found collapsed on his bed.

      Police said that their preliminary investigations suggest he had died of a heart attack.

      Hui was 65 when he passed away.

      The comedy actor had appeared in some 30 films including "Aces Go Places 3" and "The Haunted Copshop" over the course of his 40-year film career.

      However, he is best remembered for playing Man Choi, the bumbling disciple of Master Kau, a vampire-busting priest (played by the late Lam Ching-ying) in the 1985 Hong Kong comedy classic "Mr Vampire".

      Incidentally, Lam had also passed away on the same date (November 8) exactly 14 years ago in 1997.

      Hui's final film appearance was in the 2005 crime thriller "Divergence".

      Hui was also quite the singer, and had released seven albums prior to his death.




  • ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~'s Avatar
    31,272 posts since Oct '02
  • ditzy's Avatar
    68,869 posts since Dec '03
  • ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~'s Avatar
    31,272 posts since Oct '02
  • dragg's Avatar
    49,241 posts since Mar '05
    • Originally posted by ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~:

      ehhh... got pics as in who he is?

      you dont know the hui brothers?  you must be very young.

      半斤八两 was their most popular movie.

      the used to have one 贺岁片 every year.

  • ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~'s Avatar
    31,272 posts since Oct '02
    • Originally posted by dragg:

      you dont know the hui brothers?  you must be very young.

      半斤八两 was their most popular movie.

      the used to have one 贺岁片 every year.

      Well, I do not know their names... But I can only regconize them from their face...

      Got see b4 their shows but if u ask me to name some, I wont be able >__>

  • Dalforce 25's Avatar
    822 posts since Jul '11

    • Ricky Hui and some vampires



      Ricky Hui in Project A Part 2 (1987)

      Ricky Hui in The Inspector Wear Skirts 2 (1989)

      Chicken and Duck Talk
      Michael Hui and Ricky Hui



      Before Stephen Chow, there were the Hui brothers.


      Throughout the history of modern Hong Kong cinema there have undoubtedly been many stars. From Kwan Tak Hing to current stars such as Lau Ching Wan and Sammi Cheng, numerous names have contributed to the development and popularity of this unique film industry.

      However, few can be attributed with changing the face of Hong Kong cinema, few can earn the overused title of 'genius'. Without listing the reasons for and against the plethora of stars that may be in contention, I would personally list a mere handful in this category. Michael Hui is one of the film-makers whose contribution certainly ranks him among this class. Before our exclusive interview with Michael, a short foreword is in order just to give a suitable introduction.

       Michael Hui's films, at their best, combined a strong dose of character-driven comedy with a splash of subtle slapstick alongside a unique Cantonese sensibility. What Hui also provided was a definite social backbone behind the humour and the examination of the plight of the working man. His seminal masterpiece 'The Private Eyes' is perhaps the most vivid realisation of this; from the opening Sam Hui-sung theme to the tracking shots of the Hong Kong populous, there is no doubt that this is intended as more than just an exercise in comedy.

      The pattern continues in the box-office smash 'Security Unlimited' which again brings into the narrative each of the Hui brothers well-rounded character-types. Both films are widely regarded as the best of the Hui brothers' canon, but I would also recommend the under-rated 'The Contract'; although lacking the layered-storyline it is pure fun and contains some classic Michael Hui routines, especially when he presents a crass quiz show.


      'The Private Eyes

      Throughout his later career, that followed the hugely successful 'Security Unlimited', Michael still produced some cinematic gems, even though some of his output wasn't of his usual standard. Highly recommended viewing of this period includes the wonderful 'Chocolate Inspector' and the well-loved 'Chicken And Duck Talk'. Both films are a perfect example of the chemistry between Michael and Ricky - a partnership that has rarely been matched. Michael's craggy, yet appealing persona makes these two classics required viewing for every Hong Kong film fan.

      Weaker features such as 'Teppanyaki' and 'Happy Ding Dong' have their moments, but fail to have the spark of genius that Michael's greatest efforts have. It's hard to define what makes Michael Hui such a master of his craft; his supreme timing, ability to produce magic from moments of subtle stillness and the sublime character interaction all play their part.

      The composition of his talent doesn't need deep analysis to appreciate though. Just as the works of screen legends the ilk of Chaplin, Tati and the Marx Brothers can be much more than simple comedy, the easiest way to really enjoy Michael Hui is to simply sit back and lose yourself in his unique world. The reward is priceless.

      The following is an interview that Far East Films conducted with Michael Hui via email :

      Far East Films: Did you always have a gift for comedy, or did it develop over time?

      Michael Hui: I think I always had a tendency to make people laugh ever since I was a kid although I may not be aware of it.

      The skills I used in my films and talk shows I developed over time.

      FEF: Did you ever imagine, when you started working in the industry, that you would have such a major impact on Chinese culture?

      MH: I never imagine such impact . Like all comedians, we all started as a joke.

      And in time they saw something behind the jokes and started to look into the matter with greater depth.

      FEF: Which of your films are you proudest of and why?

      MH: I like 'The Private Eyes' and 'Chicken And Duck Talk' most. 'The Private Eyes' points outs the conflict between employers and employees.

      A subject matter which I am very sensitive of since childhood . I grew up watching my father being exploited by his employers. 'Chicken And Duck Talk' comments on a very interesting subject : The infiltration of American food culture to the orient which is supposed to be very strong on food culture. Its seemingly impossible , however , it succeeded ... why ?



      FEF: Which of your films would you like to remake if you had the opportunity?

      MH: I seldom consider remaking my films.

      FEF: Why didn't Ricky have bigger roles in 'Games Gamblers Play' and 'The Last Message'?

      MH: Because at that time , Ricky is still under contract with Shaw Studios

      FEF: Who are your major influences both as a comedian and a film-maker?

      MH: Chaplin , Leung Sing Bor ( a Chinese comedian in the 50?s and the 60?s ), Billy Wilder and Robert Wise

      FEF: Why do you think Comedy films are so undervalued by critics?

      MH: You tend to undervalue things that makes you laugh and remember things that cause you pain.

      FEF: How did you come to appear in 'Cannonball Run' and what do you think of the finished film?

      MH: Golden Harvest invited me to take a cameo role in the picture and I thought it was fun at that time. Well , the finished film is a lot of fun.

      FEF: What do you think of the current state of Hong Kong cinema?

      MH: The Hong Kong market is at its lowest peak ever as a result of the shrinking box office returns from all over Asia . Piracy of copy right is one of the major reasons.

      FEF: What do you think of Chow Sing Chi's work?

      MH: I think he is a brilliant comedian.

      FEF: Will there ever be another Hui brothers project?

      MH: Have you watched a James Bond movie by the name of 'Never Say Never Again' ? FEF: What are your future plans?

      MH: I am trying to come up with something that I have never tried before . And trying to figure out what future comedy will be like .

      FEF: Are you surprised that you have such a big following in the west? Do you have any message for your fans?

      MH: I am very happy to know that I have such a big following in the west . Please tell my fans that I will have some new projects coming up soon and thank them for their patience !

      Michael Hui Recommended Filmography:

      The Private Eyes

      The Contract

      Chocolate Inspector

      Security Unlimited

      Chicken And Duck Talk

      Games Gamblers Play

      The Magic Touch


      Edited by Dalforce 25 10 Nov `11, 1:48PM
    • Hong Kong Comedies Laughing Into Success

      While the West generally focuses on the action of Hong Kong cinema, John Woo's gun-slinging gangster features and Jet Li's martial arts epics, it can be argued that Hong Kong's most successful movie genre is comedy. Innovative and entertaining, HK comedies consistently win the most critical awards and the highest box offices rankings. Just as Hollywood has Annie HallAce Ventura and There's Something About Mary, Hong Kong too has its must-see comedies. Since the 1970s, HK comedy has continually evolved, with each decade topping the previous with new comedic formulas, genre-benders, ever more outrageous slapstick and nonsense wordplay. The following selection offers a sample of Hong Kong's finest, each a trend-setting landmark masterpiece.

      1970s Return of Canto-Comedy

      Michael Hui and Sam Hui as prominent actors, many also think of them as "saviours". When the Cantonese movie industry was near collapse in the 1970s (dominated by the Mandarin films), the Hui's came to the rescue. Focusing their films on the Hong Kong masses and aspects of their lives - prostitution, gambling, and their desire to become rich - they combine wit and sympathy to make comedies that struck a chord with mass film audiences, subsequently entering the Hui brothers into the comedic hall of fame.

      Games Gamblers Play is the comedy that started it all. Con artists Lau (Sam Hui) and Deng (Michael Hui) pin their hopes on becoming rich by manipulating the outcome of a dog race. Along the way, the duo clumsily run into one obstacle after another, and discovers that cheating on their partners is every bit as dangerous as conning the triads. With Lau looking out for his partner, Deng holidays with his mistress confident that he'd get away with both crimes. When their women and the criminals unexpectedly come knocking on their doors (literally), what ensues is one of the wildest chases in Hong Kong cinema history. Following this film's success, the Hui brothers produced other classics such as The Last Message (1975), Private Eyes (1976), and The Contract (1978).

      1980s Action Comedy

      But by the 80s, audiences wanted something new, and as one would expect, Jackie Chan comes in and saves the day. Unlike his forerunner Bruce Lee, Chan does not limit himself to action, choosing to combine action with comedy. While filming in America, Chan stumbled on old black and white features that captivated and inspired him with stunts similar to Buster Keaton's. This move boosted his stagnant career and 1984'sProject A cemented Jackie Chan's status as a Hong Kong legend.

      Project A has countless of stunts to combine with Chan's customary kung fu acrobatics. In what has now become a classic scene, Chan leads a gang of criminals on a bicycle chase through the back alleys of Hong Kong before falling several stories (with no stunt double!) from a clock tower only to quip, "Now I know how gravity works."

      Assigned to infiltrate the selling of military issue rifles to a gang of pirates, Dragon Ma (Chan) teams up with the a thief (Sammo Hung) to intercept the shipment of rifles, only to have Dragon himself accused by everyone for stealing the weapons himself. The genius of the movie comes from the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes; more slapstick than violent, each fight goes beyond five minutes and leaving trails of broken chairs and tables.

      Building on the success of the movie, Chan continues to develop the action comedy genre in masterpieces such as Police Story (1984), Project A Part II (1987), and Drunken Master II (1994).

      Frightening Audiences To Laughter

      While Jackie Chan was busy with stunts, an equally entertaining subgenre of comedy emerged. Instead of policemen chasing evil villains, it was Taoist ghost catchers being chased by hopping vampires. Former classmate as well as choreographer in some Jackie Chan films, Lam Ching-ying stars in most of these horror comedies as the stubborn but loveable Taoist master. In Mr. Vampire, Uncle Nine (played by Lam) and his two bumbling disciples' inadvertently revive a thousand-year corpse dripping in vengeance and puss. Not only does Mr. Vampire wreck havoc by sucking the blood dry from its victims, it also turns them into vampires in the process.

      The horror walks hand in hand with the humour. Soaked in Jackie Chan-like style, the laughs not only come from the death-defying escapes by the good guys from rowdy vampires, but also from the practical jokes that the ghost-catchers play on each other. In a classic scene of the voodooism gone astray, Chou and Choi seek revenge by pulling a ruthless prank on the wicked police chief Wai. Using black magic to control his body and forcing him to do a series of humiliating and raunchy acts, words can't explain how exceedingly far they go to retaliate: you have to watch it to believe it!

      Mr. Vampire not only produced three sequels, it also influenced other classics such as A Chinese Ghost Story (1986), The Haunted Cop Shop (1988), Vampire Vs. Vampire (1989).

      Definition of Mo Lei Tou
      A term created to explain Stephen Chow's comedic formula. The literal translation of this Cantonese phrase is 'nonsensical', where words are uttered for purposes, be it comedy, rhythm, or sound, but logically it means nothing at all. This term has now entered mainstream usage in Hong Kong to describe someone talking complete nonsense.

      Mou lei tou Comedy

      By the 1990s, stunts and fistfights became old-fashioned in the ever-shrinking attention span of a demanding Hong Kong audience. Stephen Chow, an ex children's show host, revolutionized Hong Kong comedy with a new formula. Rather than throwing punches, Chow uses his unstoppable acidic wit to develop mou lei tou, Cantonese for nonsense talk, and in essence "verbal wordplay".

      Fight Back to School highlights Chow's dazzling display of mou lei tou. Revolving around the comical premise that a police chief has lost his weapon during a highschool fieldtrip to the police station, Chow Sing Sing is dispatched as an undercover agent disguised as a student to retrieve the "lost gun." But as if the plot isn't far-fetched enough, Chow attempts to do the impossible: court and marry the teacher while infiltrating an international gun smuggling operation.

      The laughs are entirely created and maintained by Chow's goofy persona, clever comebacks and gross-out humour. Chow stops at nothing for a laugh - in one scene his teacher catches him with a condom in his hands. To prove his innocence Chow declares it as chewing gum and bravely plops it in his mouth. He even blows a bubble as supporting evidence!

      Crude, crass, but effectively entertaining, Chow's comedies were essential viewing for film buffs of the 90s. They redefined the comedy genre as other filmmakers vaingloriously copied his winning formula of unlimited source of one-liners, quirky characters, and habitual references to urine and feces After the success of this movie, Chow dominated the decade with other classics as A Chinese Odyssey (1995), Forbidden City Cop (1996) and God of Cookery (1996).

      The Maturation of the HK Comedy

      But by the turn of the century, the tastes of both audiences and filmmakers took a 180 degree turn. Perhaps a sign of maturity, or just the fact that mou lei tou became real nonsense in the end, movies began to take on the persona of Enter the Phoenix , which is an intelligent film combining humour and tragedy with a dash of fighting. Summoned to take over his father's triad business, the clueless underworld bosses mistake Georgie's roommate Sam (Eason Chan) for Georgie (Daniel Wu). Never wanting to be a part of the triads in the first place, Georgie plays along with the game of mistaken identity and returns to attend his father's funeral. But in Hong Kong, Sam and Georgie encounter a long-held feud from his father's past that would come back and haunt them in the end.

      The humour is subtle but perfectly complements the movie's drama and action. In one memorable scene, Sam displays one of the most pathetically fake attempts at mourning for the death of his "father" only to realize that halfway into his performance that he is at the wrong funeral! If not for the engaging story and striking cinematography by rookie director Stephen Fung, then Eason Chan's over-the top-comedic performance should be worth the price of admission.

      Just like Enter the Phoenix, similar comical but profound comedies have been produced in recent years. Golden Chicken (2002) and other great futures indicate that Hong Kong comedy has evolved and matured into something quite wonderful.

  • dragg's Avatar
    49,241 posts since Mar '05
    • his bro sam hui is really a fantastic song writer cum singer.


  • I-like-flings(m)'s Avatar
    17,715 posts since Feb '04
  • Rooney_07's Avatar
    627 posts since Oct '11
    • Originally posted by ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~:

      Well, I do not know their names... But I can only regconize them from their face...

      Got see b4 their shows but if u ask me to name some, I wont be able >__>

      wah lau eh ah boy, ricky hui also dunno who. u got watch 1985 mr vampire bo?

      perhaps not, as you were not born yet icon_lol.gif

  • Bus&Soccer l0v3r (VO3x 1)'s Avatar
    33,609 posts since May '09
  • cyberr1981's Avatar
    1,570 posts since Oct '06
    • I remember his movie "ji tong ya jiang" (chicken and duck talk). damn funny every moment, never a dull boring moment in that movie!


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