Raymond Chow

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Raymond Chow Man-Wai
Raymond Chow 2011.jpg
Raymond Chow at the 5th Asian Film Awards in 2011
Background information
Chinese name 鄒文懷 (traditional)
Chinese name 邹文怀 (simplified)
Pinyin Zōu Wénhuái (Mandarin)
Jyutping Zau1 Man4 Waai1 (Cantonese)
Born (1927-10-08)8 October 1927
British Hong Kong
Died 2 November 2018(2018-11-02) (aged 91)
Hong Kong, China
Origin Hong Kong
Occupation Film producer
Ancestry Dabu, Guangdong
Awards
Hong Kong Film Awards
Best Film
1986 Police Story
Lifetime Achievement Award
2008
Raymond Chow
Raymond Chow, Avenue of Stars.JPG
Chow's star on the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong
Traditional Chinese 鄒文懷
Simplified Chinese 邹文怀

Raymond Chow Man-Wai, OBE GBS (Chinese: 鄒文懷; 8 October 1927 – 2 November 2018) was a Hong Kong film producer, and presenter. He was responsible for successfully launching martial arts and the Hong Kong cinema onto the international stage. As the founder of Golden Harvest, he produced some of the biggest stars of the martial arts film genre, including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Tsui Hark.[1]

Early life

Of Hakka Han ethnicity, Chow attended Saint John's University, Shanghai,[2] and graduated with a B.A in journalism in 1949. In 1951 he joined the Voice of America office in Hong Kong.[3][4] He also studied martial arts under master Lam Sai-wing.[5]

Career

Chow's film career began in 1958. He was the head of publicity and the production chief of Shaw Brothers between 1958 and 1970. He leased Cathay's studio and contracted its exhibition chain of 104 cinema theatres in Southeast Asia.[6] At the time Cathay was a predominant force in the Malaysian film industry.[7][8]

When Cathay wanted to end the company's association in Hong Kong, Chow left Shaw Brothers to establish Golden Harvest in 1970. He capitalized on the shortcomings of Shaw Brothers, who had a system that limited creativity, and was able to lure Bruce Lee into Golden Harvest, making it a serious competitor to Shaw Brothers. Under Chow's leadership, Golden Harvest would become the cornerstone for Hong Kong cinema leading Hong Kong box office sales for two decades from the 1970s to 1980s.[2]

Whilst Chow is credited with producing many films, in the audio commentary for the UK release of Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain, Tsui Hark in a conversation with Bey Logan who asked the elementary question of Chow's role as a film producer, explained that this credit is mostly meaningless. Tsui stated that any producer's role at the studio was often nothing more than to greenlight and ensure funding of the project, and that producers such as Chow would rarely, if ever, set foot on the set during the making of the film.[9] Raymond Chow officially announced his retirement in Hong Kong on November 5, 2007.[10]

Chow died on November 2, 2018, in Hong Kong.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b "Raymond Chow, Hong Kong producer who found Bruce Lee, dies". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b Chu, Yingchi. [2003] (2003). Hong Kong Cinema: Coloniser, Motherland and Self. Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1746-3
  3. ^ "Raymond Chow, film producer behind Bruce Lee, dies at 91". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  4. ^ Boucher, Geoff; Pedersen, Erik. "Raymond Chow Dies: Iconic Hong Kong Producer Launched Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  5. ^ Williams, Trey. "Raymond Chow, 'Enter the Dragon' and 'Police Story' Producer, Dies at 91". MSN.com. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  6. ^ Teo, Stephen (2009). Chinese Martial Arts: The Wuxia Tradition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pg. 111.
  7. ^ Po-yin Chung, Stephanie (2009). A Chinese movie mogul and the transformation of his movie empire—the Loke Wan Tho family and the Cathay Organisation in Southern China and Southeast Asia (1915–2000). Springer-Verlag. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  8. ^ Suryadinata, Leo (2012). Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing/Institute of Southeast Asia Studies. ISBN 978-981-4345-22-4.
  9. ^ Tsui Hark and Bey Logan (2002). Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain, commentary track (DVD). Hong Kong Legends.
  10. ^ Chow announces retirement

External links

  • Raymond Chow at HKcinemagic
  • CineAsia 2007 Awards
Order of precedence
Preceded by
John Estmond Strickland
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
Succeeded by
Cheng Hon-kwan
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
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