Hong Kong Cinemagic
Version française English version
 Capsule Reviews   English Board   Facebook  
 Movie Studios
 Your Settings

HKCine Search
Switch to Google Search
>> Help

 Film directors

 Drama & Opera

 Shaw Brothers
 Film Industry
 Cultural & Societal

 DVD Tests
 HK Cinema Books
 Where to buy?

 OST & Music
 PDF & E-books
 VIP Guestbook

 Site Map
 Editos Archives
 Site History
 Visitor guestbook
 HKCinemagic 2

Statistics :
11630 Movies
19215 People
1448 Studios
29 Articles
73 Interviews
12 DVD Reviews
32452 Screenshots
3722 Videos
Doe Chin

Other names : 陶秦
Doe Ching
Qin Fuji
Tao Qin
Tiu Chun
To Kum
Birthdate : 1/1/1915
Date of death : 16/5/1969
Nationality : Hong Kong
Workplace : Hong Kong
Activities : Director (48), Writer (44), Lyricist (1)


Doe was a major filmmaker during the golden age of Hong Kong Mandarin cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. Both a specialist of "wenly" or "wen" melodrama (traditional Chinese drama) and comedy whether it is familial, romantic or musical, Doe Ching has filmed many classics for the Shaw And Sons, Ltd, the MP & GI Co Tth and the Shaw Brothers giving some of their best roles to the great stars of that time such as Lucilla Yu Ming, Linda Lin Dai, Peter Chen Ho, Betty Loh Ti and Kwan Shan.

Doe Ching was born Qing Fugi in 1915 in Zhejiang, a coastal province south of Shanghai. His first steps in the world of cinema date back to the early 1940s when after having graduated in Chinese literature he finds a job as a translator of scenarios and dialogues for movies. He already uses the name of Doe Ching, a pseudonym worthy of a student in literature as it associates his family name (Ching) with a kind of precious brand of china ('doe qui'). His skill in adapting a script from a western film attracts the attention of a well-known director: Zhang Shankun and Doe Ching becomes the lead scriptwriter for the Shanghai-based company China United Film (Hua Ying). His first screenplay is for the film Guiding Vessel/Renhai Cihang in 1942.

Doe Ching leaves the film industry at the end of WWII but it doesn't take him long to get back to it, as he writes six screenplays between 1945 and 1949, a period of turmoil for China with the fierce fighting between the nationalist and communist forces. In 1949 Zhang Shunkun invites Doe Ching to join him in Hong Kong and to work for the Great Wall Pictures Corporation. One of his first screenplays is The Awful Truth/ Shuohuang Shijie, a satirical comedy ctiticizing the ramping corruption and materialism in the last years of the nationalist regime by showing swindling speculators and crooks. Two years later Doe Ching make his directorial debut with Father Marries Again/Yi Jia Chun, for which he himself wrote the screenplay that deals with a topical subject. It's indeed the story of a family of Mandarin-speaking immigrants who have to adapt to a new life in their adoptive city, far from their native land; a narrative that evoked the situation of hundreds of thousands of HK refugees including Doe Ching himself.

After directing a few films Doe Ching joins the Shaw and Sons in 1953 where he quickly become one of the most substantial and prolific filmmakers of the studio with 14 films in 3 years. His favourite film genres are the romantic comedy as well as the wenly, that is to say a form of melodrama, although he also directs in 1954 Beyond The Grave/ Ren Gui lian, a ghost story extracted from the classical book Liaozhai Zhiyi and filmed in an enchanting expressionist style. He also writes an early draft of the screenplay of Princess Yang Kwei Fei, a Shaw and Sons/Japanese studio co-production, directed in 1955 by the master film maker Kenji Mizoguchi.

In 1956, Doe Ching leaves the Shaw studios to work for their newly establish MP & GI Co Ltd studios whose style, closer to the contemporary culture and society, better suits his themes. That's where he directs his first great classics such as Our Sister Hedy/Si Qianjin (1957), Little Darling and Calendar Girll/Longxiang Fengwu (1959), a musical shot in colour.

In 1959, Doe Ching gets a tempting offer from Run Run Shaw who is turning the Shaw and Sons into a more prestigious studio The Shaw Brothers , with the most luxurious film sets in all Hong Kong, with modern equipments and shining stars. He cannot resist such an opportunity and joins the new studio, he then starts the last stage of his career during which he makes another 20 films in a decade.

Now he has the means to direct Hollywood-style musicals as luxurious and lively as Belles/Qian Jiao Bai Mei (1961), Love Parade/ Hua Tuan Jin Cu (1962) and The Dancing MillionairessWan Hua Ying Chun (1964) starring the studio's great divas like Linda Lin Dai or Betty Loh Ti alongside actor Peter Chen Ho. Not only are those films shining popular hits but they're also regularly awarded in local film galas and pan-asian cinema festivals. For ten years, Doe Ching and his films won more accolades than any other Chinese film director except for Li Han Hsiang.

Because he made a few thrillers and detective films, Doe Ching is at time described rather wrongly as the 'Chinese Hitchcock' by the Shaw publicity department. Actually, the wenly remains his favourite genre. In 1961 he directs two of the genre's best examples, Golden Trumpet /Jin Laba, the Hong Kong version of the great Italian classic Le Voleur de bicyclette, one of the rare dramas of that time centred on a male protagonist and not a female one, as well as Love Without End/Bu Liao Qing, a tearful drama starring Linda Lin Dai and Kwan Shan that many consider as one of the best wenly ever made. Once again, those films will get Doe Ching and his actors numerous awards.

The tragic couple Linda Lin Dai and Kwan Shan is reunited for The Blue and The Black/Lan Yu Hei , the most ambitious film production ever made by Doe Ching as it was done in two parts, in colour and included many epic scale war set pieces . It will take him at least 3 years to complete the film (shown in 1966) whose production will be disturbed by the early death of his female lead in 1964. In 1967, Doe Ching directs My Dream Boat/Chuan, an adaptation of an eponymous best-seller by the Taiwanese novelist Qiong Yao which showcases the studio new rising young stars Lily Ho, Cheng Li, Yang Fan (1) and Essie Lin. The narrative takes the form of a romantic comedy in its first half then of a tearful melodrama in its second half. It is a huge success, both critical and popular. The film immediately launches Lily Ho among superstars.

Alas, My Dream Boat represents the swan song of the Shaw's wenly as the genre then starts losing speed compared to the Wu Xia Pian. Doe Ching's last couple of years are darkened by illness and by the populare decline of his favourite genre. As the wuxia pian asserts its domination, Shaw Brother's directors are pressured to contribute to the genre. Doe Ching himself reluctantly conceids and starts filming Twin Blades of Doom/Yinyang Dao in 1969. But his health gets worse and the film is completed by the director Griffin Yueh Feng. Doe Ching dies of stomach cancer on May 16, 1969 at the age of 54.

Doe Ching was a fine film craftsman with a refined visual style, an adept of numerous moviegenres who wrote most of his screenplays and who knew marvellously well how to direct actors. He created some of the most emotional comedies and wenly of his time. He is, with Li Han Hsiang, one of the most outstanding filmmakers not only of the Shaw Brothers but also of Hong Kong Mandarin cinema's heyday. Unfortunately, the decline of that cinema with the Shaw's sad policy of almost never reissuing their films have made Doe Ching name as well as his outstanding work fall little by little into limbo, occasionally remembred by only a few critics and film historians. With the recent DVD re-issue of the Shaw Bros and MP & GI Co Ltd films, many of Doe Ching's films are again within reach for the public and a new appreciation and assessment of his work is, at last, possible.

Written by Yves Gendron.
Sources: Hong Kong The Extra Dimension by Stephen Teo.
The Shaw Screen a Preliminary Study

 [ 1970 - 1960 - 1950 - 1940 ] 
 Alternate lists by alpha / genre / year
Title    ( HK -  All )  Year Activity
 Cause To Kill, A 1970 Writer
 Twin Blades Of Doom 1969 Director
 When The Clouds Roll By 1968 Director, Writer
 My Dream Boat 1967 Director, Writer
 Song Of Tomorrow 1967 Director, Writer
 That Tender Age 1967 Director
 Blue And The Black 2, The 1966 Director, Writer
 Blue And The Black, The 1966 Director, Writer
 Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore 1965 Director, Writer
 Between Tears And Laughter 1964 Director
 Dancing Millionairess, The 1964 Director, Writer
 Lady And The Thief, The 1963 Director
 Love Parade 1963 Director, Writer
 All the Best 1961 Director, Writer
 Belles, Les 1961 Director, Writer
 Golden Trumpet, The 1961 Director, Writer
 Love Without End 1961 Director, Writer
 Oh Boys ! Oh Girls ! 1961 Director, Writer
 How To Marry A Millionaire 1960 Director, Writer
 Torrents of Spring 1960 Director, Writer
 Twilight Hours 1960 Director, Writer
 Calendar Girl 1959 Director, Writer
 Darling Daughter 1959 Director, Writer
 Desire 1959 Director, Writer
 Tragedy of Love 1959 Director, Writer
 Wedding Bells For Hedy 1959 Director, Writer
 Beware of Pickpockets 1958 Director
 Little Darling 1958 Director
 Murder in the Night 1957 Director, Writer
 Our Sister Hedy 1957 Director, Writer
 Error, The 1956 Director
 Fruit Of Marriage 1956 Director, Writer
 Lonely Heart, A 1956 Director
 Married Woman's Secret, A 1956 Director, Writer
 Our Good Daughter 1956 Director, Writer
 Surprise 1956 Director, Writer
 Till We Meet Again 1956 Director, Writer
 Heart Break Well 1955 Director
 Princess Yang Kwei Fei 1955 Writer
 Tragedy Of Vendetta 1955 Director
 Beyond The Grave 1954 Director, Writer
 Girl In Transformation, A 1954 Director, Writer
 Shadow In Her Heart 1954 Director, Writer
 Third Life, The 1954 Director, Writer
 Aren't The Kids Lovely ? 1953 Director
 Bright Day 1953 Director, Writer
 Song To Remember, A 1953 Director, Writer
 Destroy ! 1952 Writer
 Father Marries Again 1952 Director, Writer
 Modern Red Chamber Dream 1952 Lyricist
 Respectable Family, A 1952 Director
 Tomorrow 1952 Director, Writer
 Night-Time Wife, A 1951 Writer
 Awful Truth, The 1950 Writer
 Flower Street, The 1950 Writer
 Unfaithful Woman, An 1949 Writer
 In the Sea Of Life En'isled 1948 Writer

 Article    Review    Poster/Gallery    DVD Captures    Trailer    DVD Captures/Trailer  

Article Links (French only)
 Secondary Article Links (French only)   (Show)

 Advertise with Google AdSense   Submit a review   Contact   FAQ   Terms of use   Disclaimer   Error Report  
copyright ©1998-2013 hkcinemagic.com