Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Melody of Love with Danny Lee

The oddest thing about the innocuous 1977 comedy Melody of Love is that the director is Mau Dui-Fai, famed Category III pioneer. Not only that, but the guy may have directed stuff harder than Cat. III, according to this Bullets Over Chinatown post.

Melody of Love is harmless fun with Danny Lee in a starring role. The film was presumably made for the Taiwan market. I say that as the DVD only had a Mandarin language track and most other Shaw titles made after 1972 were released on DVD with both Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks. Additionally, this HKMDB link lists the country of production as Taiwan; it just doesn't feel like a local Hong Kong Shaws production for some reason.

Danny Lee is Dr. Xiao Erke and Liu Shang-chien and Liu Lu-Hua are two other doctors in this story of three young men romancing three young women.

I'm not going to try to make this sound like more than it is as it's basically "Three's Company"-level comedy for the 90-or-so-minutes of this thing.

I mean, I'm not spoiling anything by warning you that the same gag of a guy trapped on a car door as it pulls away is played out twice in this film. In fact, what this film calls to mind is not so much a sitcom but one of those live action Disney films from the 1970s. I half expected Tim Conway to show up at some point.

As for the three ladies in the film, former Shaw Brothers child star Niu Niu is appealing but I was more interested in Siu Yiu, star of 1977's Mighty Peking Man. The third lady is played by Chen Szu-Chia, who was in The Magic Blade (1976).

Melody of Love is hardly a masterpiece but it's a refreshing non-Wong Jing-style comedy that is a pleasant time-killer.

Add to that, it's further proof of the versatility of leading man Danny Lee; he really could do any genre of film. He's no Olivier but he is appealing in a very basic way.

You can order Melody of Love with Danny Lee on DVD here.