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Yuen Clan : father and sons
Father & Sons 1/1 - Page 1
Info
Author(s) : Pieter Klein
Yves Gendron
Date : 1/11/2005
Type(s) : Information
 
 Intext Links  
People :
Hwang Jang Lee
Ng See Yuen
Donnie Yen Chi Tan
Yu Jim Yuen
Yuen Biao
Brandy Yuen Jan Yeung
Yuen Cheung Yan
Corey Yuen Kwai
Yuen Lung Chu
Yuen Mao
Yuen Shun Yee
Simon Yuen Siu Tien
Yuen Wah
Yuen Woo Ping
Yuen Yat Chor
Yuen Yat Chor
Movies :
The Buddhist Fist
Dance Of The Drunk Mantis
Dreadnaught
Drunken Master
Drunken Tai Chi
In The Line Of Duty 4
Instant Kung Fu Man
Legend Of A Fighter
The Miracle Fighters
Shaolin Drunkard
Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow
Taoism Drunkard
Companies :
Shaw Brothers
Lexic :
Yuen Clan
Taekwondo
 
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Page 2 : Yuen Films


The Yuen Clan consists of the five sons of Yuen Siu Tien (Yuan Xiao Tian). Their names are (as they are normally written, with pinyin between brackets) Woo Ping (He Ping), Cheung Yan (Xiang Ren), Shun Yi (Xin Yi), Chun Yeung (Zhen Yang) and Yat Chor (Ri Chu). On one occasion the clan is credited as 'The Peace Group' or to say it better, as the 'Woo-Ping group' as 'Woo Ping' actually means 'peace' in cantonese. His production company is called 'Peace' or 'Woo-Ping  Film Production Company'. The activities of the brothers varied from extra and stunt double to scriptwriter, director and producer, though it's difficult soemtimes to say who was responsible for what, when the collective tag "Yuen Clan" is used.

simon yuen siu tien : the father

Simon Yuen Siu Tien was born in Beijing in 1912. He was a Beijing Opera performer and teacher who moved to Hong Kong around 1940. He played small roles in dozens of films during the fifties and sixties and one can see him also in some Shaw Brothers movies of the seventies, but he didn't become famous until late in his career when he had co-starring roles in 'Snake in the Eagle's Shadow' (1978), 'Drunken Master' (1978) and 'Dance of the Drunken Mantis' (1979). These films were directed by his son Yuen Woo Ping.

 
yuen woo ping : the prodigal son

Yuen Woo Ping is the eldest son of Yuen Siu Tien and was born in 1945 (hence his name meaning 'Peace'). He and his brothers were trained by their father to become Chinese Opera actors. They worked as martial arts extras in numerous of Shaw films from the late sixties to the mid seventies. Yuen Woo Ping's direction debut was 'Snake in the Eagle's Shadow' for producer Ng See Yuen. This film and 'Drunken Master', also for Ng See Yuen, also made a star of Jackie Chan, who played the role of the young hero, while Yuen Siu Tien played the old drunken kung fu master. Both films also star Tae Kwon Do master, Hwang Jang Lee (Huang Zheng Li), who was in those days Ng See Yuen's 'hot property'. Some of Woo Ping's brothers had a part in those films too. In 'Dance of the drunken mantis' (again for Ng See Yuen and with Hwang Jang Lee) Jackie was replaced by Yuen Shun Yi, which makes it virtually the first real 'Yuen-clan movie' as Yuen Siu Tien played again the drunken master role. Thus father and son are teamed up together and it certainly gives the film a special interest. There's a small role for Yuen Chun Yeung in the opening of this film.

 
yuen cheung yan : the second son

Yuen Siu Tien's second son, Yuen Cheung Yan, played very remarkable and absurd roles in 'Miracle Fighters' (1982), 'Shaolin Drunkard' (1983), 'Drunken Tai Chi' (1984) and 'Taoism Drunkard' (1984).

In 'Miracle fighters' he plays the old witch and neighbor of Leung Kar Yan (Liang Jia Ren), who is the wizard. They have a love-hate relationship, are quarreling incessantly and victimizing their pupil Yuen Yat Chor on the way. In this wild comedy Yuen Shun Yi is the evil wizard and there's even a role for Yuen Chun Yeung as the boy in the wine jar. It may be mentioned that Leung Kar Yan gave an especially fine performance in this film. In 'Drunken Tai Chi' and 'Taoism Drunkard' Cheung Yan plays a wacky drunken master role with great verve. He plays both characters, the old witch and the wacky drunken master, in 'Shaolin Drunkard', where Yuen Yat Chor plays the other leading role.

 
the other sons


Sunny Yuen Shun Yi, the third son, is a very versatile talented actor, who can play frightening killers ('Drunken Tai Chi' (1984) and 'Dreadnaught' (1981), in which he hunts after the poor Yuen Biao), as well as endearing young unexperienced heroes ('Dance of the Drunken Mantis' and 'The Buddhist Fist' (1979)).

 

Yuen Yat Chor first appeared in an amusing supporting role in 'The Instant Kung Fu Man' (1978) in wich he and his newly wed wife had a fight against Hwang Jang Lee. But his roles were more important in the already mentioned 'Miracle Fighters', 'Shaolin Drunkard', 'Taoism Drunkard' and in a rather different movie 'In the Line of Duty IV' (1989), a contemporary police-thriller with Donnie Yen (Zhen Zi Dan).

 


Yuen Chun Yeung, or Brandy Yuen as he is often called, is less known then his brothers, but certainly not less important to the clan. His 'bigger' roles are those in 'The Buddhist Fist' as the beancurd seller and in 'Legend of a Fighter' (1982) as 'Bucktooth'. He's a stuntdouble (especially for his father) in many Yuen films.

 
Other family members
Furthermore there are three sisters and three other brothers of wich only Yuen Lung Chu (Yuan Long Yu) is known as actor.

I would like to point out that other known actors with the surname Yuen, like Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, Yuen Miu and Corey Yuen Kwai, are no relatives of the Yuens. Although they may appear in Yuen-clan films, thier 'Yuen' is a completely different Chinese character. (It seems that there are 78 Chinese characters that are romanized with Yuen) They have adopted 'Yuen' as a surname from the name of their own Chinese opera teacher Yu Jim Yuen (Yu Zhan Yuan).

 
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