Mischievous, yet lovely Yue-Ying works in her parents’ flower shop, known to the locals as the “flower princess.” She has a crush on a young man, Fang, who is an office clerk, but Fang falls for charming singer and social butterfly Ai-Ling. His obsession with her leading him to exh...(Read more)
Mischievous, yet lovely Yue-Ying works in her parents’ flower shop, known to the locals as the “flower princess.” She has a crush on a young man, Fang, who is an office clerk, but Fang falls for charming singer and social butterfly Ai-Ling. His obsession with her leading him to exhaust his money in courtship. The jealous, but kind Yue-Ying helps him out, even loaning him money. However, the materialistic Ai-Ling’s contempt for the poor leaves him with his love unrequited, and he hides away in bed. Then one of Fang’s friends realizes that Yue-Ying looks a lot like Ai-Ling and makes her dress up as Ai-Ling…
In 1956, Hong Kong’s New China Film Company made a low-budget overnight blockbuster musical entitled Peach Blossom River, which launched a golden age for Chinese musicals from the mid-50s to the 1960s. Leading actress Chung Ching was one of the top musical actresses of the time, and despite knowing nothing about singing and having her songs dubbed by backstage singers like Yao Lee, her charm on screen remains. This film is a romantic comedy and a classic musical: the narrative is all focused on a “successful performance” or the “birth of a star.” Yue-Ying sings to amuse herself, but after a series of coincidences she becomes a TV singer.
This film implicitly pays homage to Singing in the Rain (1952) in several different aspects, such as its musical sequence in a studio set, an unsung heroine of song dubbing who later ascends to stardom, and the romance of a seemingly-mismatched couple. In this film Chung Ching plays two roles, Yue-Ying and Ai-Ling, satisfying the paradoxical male desire for both sweet and innocent girls and sophisticated femmes fatale. It is also a showcase for Chung’s acting, as she goes smoothly between the two radically different female roles. This switching of roles is symbolic of women’s rapid role change in the course of modernization and urbanization: from a rural girl who rides a bike and sings on a country road to a modern woman who drives a Porsche in the city, knowing well how to attract all the white-collar men in an office, holding cocktail parties and catching the eyes of her suitors, and dating men in trendy cafés. Furthermore, Yue-Ying “imitating” and then “becoming” Ai-Ling suggests not only a sort of female initiation but also an implicit education in how to play a “real woman.”
DVD source：Taiwan Cinema Toolkit, Ministry of Culture, R.O.C.
|Actors：||CHUNG Ching, JIN Feng|
The royalty period of this film has expired. Taiwan Cinema Toolkit could no longer authorize screenings.
Howard Yang, Taiwan Film Institute