The Beauty of Beauties

1965 [CHINESE]

Drama / History

2
IMDb Rating 6.7/10 10 51 51

Director

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.39 GB
1280*546
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 35 min
Seeds 4
2.58 GB
1920*818
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 35 min
Seeds 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by petersmovieposters-36377 8 / 10

An Epic Tale

My exposure to '60s Chinese films mostly consists of kung fu fights and clanging swords so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Hsi shih (The Beauty of Beauties) was neither. Truly a product of the early '60s, when they knew how to make an epic, director Han Hsiang Li has created a sweeping tale of 5th Century BCE royal intrigue that has more in common with David Lean or Ben Hur than Cheh Chang's chop-socky productions.

After their country is brought under the yoke of a rival king, the survivors vow to take revenge no matter how long it takes. While the new vassal king prepares his people for the upcoming war a contingent of beauties is assigned to work their oppressor from the inside of his palace. The plan works perfectly as Hsi Shih, (the radiant Chiang Ching) gradually becomes the wife of the despised Wu King (Chu Mu).

Using literally a cast of 100s with massive sets and elaborate set pieces it genuinely rivals the other big Cinemascope pictures of that time with seemingly no expense spared. Apparently it was originally two separate movies, the version I saw (a 2021 restoration) was an amalgamation of the pair that did reveal some rather jarring lapses in the story, especially towards the end when it seemed like they were really trying to wrap things up with less concern about any gaps in the story their cuts were creating. That said, never once during the two and half hour run time did I lose interest even considering all of the giant army maneuvers going on with only one eventual battle scene and instead focusing on the machinations of the various players. It's a quality film all the way and worth seeing.

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