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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Man CHAN
陳文 | CHAN Man

Scriptwriters, like actors, work on illustrating the truth in life and to educate the audience through the activities of characters and the arrangement of plots. Each script should have its central intention.

There are good scripts and bad scripts. We must first understand the nature of a script. To evaluate a script, we should first look at its central intention and not get lost in whether the plots are bustling. The main thing is to see if its content has any educational value.

Excerpted from Sit Hou (ed.), The Golden Era of Hong Kong Cinema, Holdery Publishing Enterprises, 2000, p. 132.


Chan Man was born in Hong Kong in 1924. His family unable to afford his education, he started working after primary school. During the Japanese Occupation, he was involved in theater and came to know director Tso Kea, following the latter into the Cantonese film industry, first working as production assistant and continuity and later as assistant director.

In 1952, Chan joined a group of dedicated filmmakers to form the legendary company Union Film, which greatly improved the quality of Cantonese cinema and changed the course of Hong Kong film. In the same year, he also played an active role in the forming of the company Sun Luen, another important organization in the progress of Cantonese cinema, producing its inaugural work The Prodigal Son (1952), acclaimed as one of Hong Kong’s best and included in the Hong Kong Film Archive’s 100 Must- See Hong Kong Movies. Within a few years, Chan had joined with director Chun Kim to found the Singapore-based Kong Ngee and, with actor Cheung Ying, formed the company Hoover Film, directing its first work Resurrection (1955). Sun Luen, Union and Kong Ngee constitute three of the Big Four, the most important companies of Cantonese Cinema and Chan was a key figure in all three.

In 1961, Chan partnered with actors Patrick Tse Yin and Patsy Kar Ling to form Brothers Film, directing its initial project Plighted Love (1961). He also founded Lin Ngee in 1965, directing such films as the melodramas The Lovely Red Begonia (1965) and Right to Love (1968).

Although better known for his management role, Chan had directed a number of films and was highly versatile in his repertoire. He was as comfortable in family dramas as romances, comedies, opera films and crime stories. His action film The Dragnaught (1960) is one of the most accomplished Cantonese films of the 1960s. He had also directed several opera films in the Chaozhou (Teochew) dialect.

Chan remained active after the demise of Cantonese cinema, joining Sil-Metropole, reorganized from Sun Luen and other Mandarin film companies, as producer. There, he also made the crime film Duel of Death (1980), his last directorial effort.

After enjoying a highly fruitful career in film, Chan passed away in 2012.

Year Chinese name English name Directors
1980 《誓不兩立》
Duel of Death
1968 《情人不要忘記我》
Always in Your Heart
1968 《初歸新抱》
Right to Love
1968 《七彩難兄難弟》
Colourful Partners
1967 《住家男人》
Family Man
1967 《金鷗》
The Professionals
1966 《鐵膽》
The Dreadnaught
1966 《情賊黑牡丹》
Black Peony
1966 《彈劍江湖》
One Duel Too Many
1966 《彈劍江湖下集》
One Duel Too Many Part 2
1965 《愛情永遠在懷念中》
Sweetness of Love
1965 《黑色的假期》
Black Holidays
1965 《海棠紅》
The Lovely Red Begonia
1964 《追蹤》
Track of a Chase
1963 《金石盟》
The Eternal Vow
1963 《幸福新娘》
The Happy Bride
1963 《牡丹亭驚夢》
Dream in Peony Pavilion
1963 《紅梅記》
Story of Plum Blossom
1962 《胭脂賊》
Romantic Thief
1962 《苦海明珠》
Pearl in a Bitter Sea
1962 《神偷情賊》
1962 《神偷情賊續集大結局》
Adventurer II
1962 《瓊樓魔影》
1962 《釵頭鳳》
Phoenix Ornament
1961 《神童歷險記》
Adventures of Genius Boy
1961 《山盟海誓》
Plighted Lovers
1961 《良心》
Love a Splendid Thing
1960 《蜜月驚魂》
Honeymoon Panic
1960 《連理枝》
Deep in Love
1960 《雷雨之夜》
The Stormy Night
1960 《苦命女兒》
The Tears of Ah Chen
1959 《天倫情淚》
Parents' Love Tears
1959 《大廈情殺案》
Case in the Mansion
1959 《通心樹》
The Dope
1958 《神童捉賊記》
To Catch a Thief
1957 《唐山阿嫂》
She Married an Overseas Chinese
1957 《九九九海灘命案》
Murder on the Beach CHOR Yuen
1956 《手足情深》
1955 《復活》
Prince & Wild Cat
Tan San and Ngo Nian Part 2