Hsi Hsih: The Beauty of Beauties (1965): The Grand Mirage of Taiwanese Cinema

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1

Cinema & Media Studies


Hsi Shih: The Beauty of Beauties (Xishi, 1965) is unlike any Taiwanese film before or since. Directed by the famed Li Han-hsiang (1926-96), who had left the Shaw Brothers to head the new Grand Motion Picture Company in 1963, the film had a budget and production values that were unprecedented for Taiwanese cinema up to that time, making it one of Li's most impressive films in an impressive career. It also marked a significant shift in Taiwanese cinema, which previously had been defined by government-run studios producing mostly propaganda works, and small private operators with limited resources producing low-budget Taiwanese-dialect films. Hsi Shih, by stark contrast, was meant to directly compete with the film industries of Hong Kong and Hollywood, which had dominated the Taiwanese market since World War II. [excerpt]


The chapter containing this book is available from the publisher's website.



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