Unruly Princess, Arrogant Husband
The 1920s and 30s saw Cantonese opera flourish in Hong Kong. The intense rivalry between Sit Kok-sin and Ma Si-tsang's respective troupes led to a large number of new plays, many of which were adapted from foreign literary works and films. One of those plays took the core story of Taming of the Shrew and transformed it into a comedy about an unruly princess and her arrogant husband starring Ma and Hung Sin Nui.
Ma and Hung also co-starred in The Spoiled Princess. Like Taming, the film is about a man who devises multiple schemes to ‘tame' his new unruly bride. However, instead of seeing the patriarchy win the day as Shakespeare had written, the film has both sides reaching a compromise to achieve family harmony.
Rather than crediting Shakespeare, Unruly Princess, Arrogant Husband was billed as an adaptation of Ma's Cantonese opera play in its promotion campaign. Here, Pak Suet-sin plays a wayward princess who marries a general. The film finds its drama in the battle of the sexes as well as the conflict between social classes, with the balance of power shifting constantly between husband and wife throughout the story. The film ends on a happy though, championing that love can overcome everything.
|7/7/2019 (Sun)||5:30pm||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive|
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