Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028 Map
Thu, Jun 28, 2018 - Sat, Jun 30, 2018
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THE WORLD OF THE SHAW BROTHERS

In the mid-1920s, brothers Runje, Runde and Runme Shaw were theater owners in Shanghai; when they decided to film a hit play running at their venue, they became hooked on movies. With a distribution arm in Singapore (another brother, Run Run Shaw, helped operate that) and a growing chain of their own cinemas, the Shaw movie empire quickly spread throughout South East Asia. In the following decade, the siblings moved their studio to Hong Kong after a Nationalist government ban on martial arts films.

Though the Shaw Brothers’ 1,000 or so films include drama, romance and other genres, it’s the martial arts and exploitation titles that are best remembered in the West. By the mid 1960s, the company was the largest privately owned studio in the world, and kung-fu films were an increasing focus of production. With a logo patterned after that of Warner Bros., the Shaw Brothers employed a business model straight out of Golden Age Hollywood - put talent under exclusive contracts and when something works, make a sequel. Chang Cheh was one of the studio’s most reliable directors, and after his FIVE DEADLY VENOMS became a box office hit, he was teamed with the same group of actors (known as “the Venom Mob”) for such action-packed follow-ups as CRIPPLED AVENGERS and MASKED AVENGERS.

New elements were continually added to keep the formulas fresh. Horror was popular during the Shaws’ heyday, and ever-more-outrageous twists were used to spice up supernatural sagas including BLACK MAGIC 2 (skull-nailed zombies), HUMAN LANTERNS (skin-peeling psychos) and THE BOXER’S OMEN (killer bats, dismembered heads and much, much more). These films left indelible memories among millions of viewers before the studio shifted to television in 1986; among the many fans influenced by the world of the Shaw Brothers are hip-hoppers the Beastie Boys and the Wu-Tang Clan (which named their debut album after THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN).

Series compiled by Grant Moninger, William Morris and Jim Branscome. Program notes by John Hagelston.

Egyptian TheatreThu, Jun 28, 2018 - Sat, Jun 30, 2018
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Films in this Series at the Egyptian

Thu, Jun 28, 2018 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Fri, Jun 29, 2018 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Sat, Jun 30, 2018 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre