胡小峰 | HU Siao Fung
 Introduction

The decisions one makes while shooting a film in Hong Kong are guided by box office prospects, not personal interest. Commercial interest trumps everything else. Trends change constantly, so does the tastes of the audience. In recent years, whenever a certain kind of film was selling well, we tended to imitate and rode on others’ coattails. When you become a follower, you will always be one step behind. Just when you think you have caught up with the flavor of month, the audience has already moved on to the next big thing. Under such circumstances, I had to shoot any kind of film and hence I never developed any so-called personal style.

(Excerpted from Hong Kong Here I Come, Monographs of Hong Kong Film Veterans, Hong Kong Film Archive, 2001.)

 Biography

Hu Siao Fung was born to a wealthy family in Shanghai in 1925. He dropped out of sixth grade because of World War II and was nearly killed during the infamous Nanking Massacre. Young Hu escaped to Shanghai by the skin of his teeth and spent his life on the streets during the war years. Later he became an actor after joining a drama company. In 1946, he moved to Hong Kong and worked as actor at various Mandarin film companies. His credits spanned over twenty films, including An All-consuming Love (1947), Harmony Reigns (1948), A Peasant’s Tragedy (1949), Map of Hundred Treasures (1953) and House Removal Greeting (1954). Working under Liu Qiong and Zhu Shilin, he learned the duties of a director.

In 1952, Hu was serving as Liu’s assistant director on Ode to Youth (1953) when the director was deported by the Hong Kong government in a purge of pro-China or left-leaning citizens. Hu was left to finish the shoot—thus marking his first foray at the helm. Hu then joined Great Wall Movie Enterprise as a screenwriter and director in 1951. His first film for the company was Love of the Youngsters (1955), a co-directed effort with Su Cheng-shou that starred his future wife Li Chang.

As a director, Hu had worked in various genres, including the adaptation of playwright Cao Yu’s Sunrise (1956); the comedies Bachelor’s Son (1959), Gentleman Who Steals (1963), The Gold Diggers (1963); the Yueju operas Bride Hunter (1960), My Darling Princess (1964); the social realist dramas The Hut on Hilltop (1970), A Family in Thousands (1975); and the stylistically adventurous Pound of Flesh (1976). His thirty-plus-film oeuvre made him one of Great Wall’s most prolific directors. One of his career highlights was Gentleman Who Steals breaking the thenbox office record for a black-and-white film. The last film he directed was the 1985 comedy Shanghai Adventure.

After his retirement, Hu became a consultant and took on other roles for the South China Film Industry Workers Union. He also assisted in the opening of training programs for film students and took part in mentoring the next generation of filmmakers. He died on October 3rd, 2009, at the age of 84.

 Filmography
Year Chinese name English name Directors
1985 《瘋狂上海灘》
Shanghai Adventure
1982 《夜上海》
A Lady from Shanghai
1980 《蘇杭姻緣一線牽》
Romance In China
1978 《情不自禁》
Young and Loveable
1976 《一磅肉》
Pound of Flesh
1975 《萬戶人家》
A Family in Thousands
1973 《彝族之鷹》
The Hawk of the Yis
1973 《阿蘭的假期》
It's Ah Lan's Holiday
1970 《屋》
The Hut on Hilltop
1969 《我的一家》
My Home, But Not Sweet
1968 《珍珠風雲》
Stormy Pearls
1967 《飛龍英雄傳》
Flying Dragon Heroes
1967 《春雷》
Spring Thunder
1966 《胭脂魂》
Scarlet Shadow
1966 《連陞三級》
Unexpected Promotion
1965 《黃金萬両》
The Gold Diggers
1964 《金枝玉葉》
My Darling Princess
1964 《男男女女》
Men and Women LEE Tit TANG Lung
1963 《樑上君子》
Gentleman Who Steals
1962 《紅蝙蝠公寓》
Red Bat Apartment
1961 《鴛夢重溫》
The Unseperated
1960 《王老虎搶親》
Bride Hunter
1960 《十七歲》
Seventeen
1959 《錦上添花》
Flowers and Cheers
1959 《血染少女心》
The Young Heiress
1959 《春到海濱》
A Seaside Village
1959 《午夜琴聲》
A Million for Me
1959 《王老五添丁》
Bachelor's Son
1958 《眼兒媚》
Those Bewitching Eyes
1957 《紅燈籠》
The Brigands
1957 《中國民間藝術》
The Arts of Chinese Folk Arts
1956 《中國民間藝術》
The Arts of Chinese Folk Arts
1956 《日出》
Sunrise
1955 《大兒女經》
Love of the Youngsters
1955 《鑽花竊賊》
Diamond Thief
1953 《青春頌》
Ode to Youth