Wong Fei Hung’s Whip that Smacks the Candle

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School is hard. Going to school while doing part-time work at the school is harder. Living far away from the school to complete all these things is the hardest of them all. Not only did I miss screenings of Missing in Action 1 + 2 at the Mayfair this month due to education interfering, I’ve found myself unable to even find time to blog. How horrid!

I refuse to put a blog on hiatus, so I’m going to try and provide bite-size posts inbetween the longer more visual ones (i.e:good posts). I was previously working on a post involving a good overview of the action films selected by the Hong Kong Film Archive for their list of “100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies”. That list had some strange choices (Dirty Ho over The 36th Chamber of Shaolin) and several Wong-Kar Wai films, but no Chungking Express. It’s an interesting overview at least to see how Hong Kong film experts feel are the classics compared to us Western fans.

Back to the point, I worked on a blog post that began to become a pain as I continued to try and write it. To cut it short, I’ll write about the one interesting looking film that I’ve never heard of before. Let’s watch martial arts films from the 1940s with Wong Fei Hung’s Whip that Smacks the Candle (1949).

Don’t believe me? This film is actually making rounds theatrically at festivals:

No actual candle smacking in this clip

Compare the pacing in this film to this film to anything else from the 1940s, and this is lightning fast with surprisingly competent choreography. The film was directed by Wu Pang who was previously known for making melodramas. His Wong Fei Hung’s Whip that Smacks the Candle was a big hit in Hong Kong and received a followup with an equally boss title: Wong Fei Hung Burns the Tyrant’s Lair which was also a hit.

My own reseach doesn’t tell me what Wu Pang followed these up with, but I personally like to assume his later films still involved Wong Fei Hung doing more things: Wong Fei Hung goes to Shanghai or Wong Fei Hung builds his Dream Home. Probably not the case, but someone with a better knowledge of Hong Kong films before the 1960s can help you out with that.

This film does not seem to be available on YesAsia or Amazon, but the internet savy among you will find ways to watch this. I know I will.


3 Responses to Wong Fei Hung’s Whip that Smacks the Candle

  1. Chris says:

    I prefer Wong Fei Hung Must Be Destroyed.

  2. Sir Phobos says:

    That was cool to watch, although I don’t think I’d say the choreography was too great. I guess “competent” is pretty apt. There were certainly people punching and kicking.

    I have a great appreciation for old cinema. A lot of stuff was happening for the first time. Sure, it might look kind of crappy compared to what’s done nowadays, but I still like watching.

    My title contribution: Wong Fei Hung’s Cooking with Fire

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