HK Cinema - 1974

Michael Hui had acted in a few comedies in the early 1970ís (The Warlord, Scandal, Sinful Confessions) for the Shaw Brothers, but was best known as a TV personality. He was in a sitcom and also the host of a variety show. In 1974 though he signed a contract with Golden Harvest to write, direct and act in his own films. His first film was Games Gamblers Play and it was a huge success at the box office.

The film starred Michael and his brother Sam (a popular singer) as two ex-convicts who live together with Michaelís family and spend much of their time trying to con or cheat their way through life. According to Teo, this film is important for a few reasons.

One is that it is the first teaming up of two of the Hui Brothers Ė Ricky was to follow in a later film - and their type of comedy was to become vastly popular for the next ten years. It is fast paced, zany and full of slapstick . It is also often about two friends getting in over their heads, but somehow working things out.

Secondly, Hui was the first local star of his generation to become a big success. He brought with him an attitude of innovation and irreverence.

Finally, Huiís success brought back Cantonese as a viable cinema language. With the Mandarin focus of the Shaw films and much of TV being done in Mandarin, Cantonese had fallen into disfavor. Hui loved using the Cantonese language for comedic effect.

Hui continued to have success through the seventies Ė in particular what is sometimes referred to as The Mr. Boo series -  but by the mid eighties his style of comedy had lost some of itís appeal.