Mr. Chang Cheh
(1923 - 2002)
Original name Chang Yi-yang, Chang Cheh was director and script-writer. Born in Hangzhou and educated in Shanghai, he started scripting for films in Shanghai. In 1949, he directed his first film “Happenings in Ali Shan” in Taiwan. In 1957, he was invited by actress Li Mei to script and direct “Wild Fire” (1958) in Hong Kong. In 1961, he joined MP & GI as writer for melodramas like “Song without Words” (1961) and “Her Pearly Tears” (1962). In 1962, he joined Shaw Brothers and gained fame with “One-Armed Swordsman” (1967) which won him the title of “Million Dollar Director”. This film established Chang as a leading director of costumed action movies and initiated the trend of “New Martial Arts Movies”. After that, his martial arts productions continued to be very popular: “The Golden Swallow” (1968), “The Heroic Ones” (1970), “Boxer from Shantung” (1972) and “The Blood Brothers” (1973), to name a few. His films uplifted a whole lot of martial arts actors like Jimmy Wang Yu, Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chan Koon-tai and Alexander Fu Sheng. With “Dead End” (1969) and “Young People” (1972) he further pushed his aesthetic of violence to films with contemporary setting. In 1974, he set up Chang’s Film Company in Taiwan with Shaw Brothers’ financial support. In 1976, he rejoined Shaw Brothers and continued his career in the Mainland after 1986. Chang was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hong Kong Film Critics Association in 1997. In 2002, he was awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hong Kong Film Awards.