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馬路小英雄 (1973)
Back Alley Princess

Reviewed by: cpardo
Date: 07/21/2005
Summary: It's ok--nothing more

The "Hot Pepper Kid," a tomboyish girl and her friend are homeless folks always trying to make money with fake fights and innocent scams. The two come across a family of street entertainers and become friends with them, while Pepper tricks a rich young man into staying in his home. One of the street folks girl's boyfriend tries to pimp her to a gangster, so Pepper and another female friend disguise themselves to get into the lair, free the other females and beat up everybody with Kung Fu....

This is a typical action adventure flick with an ensemble cast of Golden Harvest regulars pinned by Lo Wei, who directed Bruce Lee's first 2 films. It's got a plot about people struggling to make ends meet, and tacking on some intrigue with gangsters and plenty of kung fu battles. I like Polly Shang Kuan, but she's hardly recognizable as a "boy" with the short hair. It's an early role for Sam Hui, who was being made into an action star--a year before he joined his brothers for successful comedies. And you got Carter Wong and Angela Mao in there for support--always nice to see her. And it wouldn't be complete without a villain who's played by Hon Yin-kit, the Big Boss himself. It doesn't really add up to much, except if you want to see the stars in early roles and some fights. All involved have done better stuff, but it's cool to see these oldies.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 06/05/2002

This is possibly the film with the most unrealisticly exagerrated storyline. Okay, I can take that EVERYONE thinks Polly Kuan is a MAN throughout the film, but that's not really the most patheticly unrealistic scene. Sure, it's a movie, but come on, let's have SOME BELIEVABLE elements, okay?

Basically, Samuel Hui has been hanging around Polly Kuan for 3 years (and he still thinks she is a man). They are poor people who rely on stealing and role playing to get some money. They get away with EVERYTHING. No matter how ridiculous the situation is, everything always runs smoothly. In fact, they are usually rewarded for their action. So they encounter more adventures. Polly Kuan does not know her parents, but she sure knows kung fu, as does just about everyone in the film (which is, of course, a MUST in 70s kung fu movies). It's a very light movie, and only one person dies (I'll let you guess which one). This is also perhaps the only thing I've seen from this period in which the hero does not kill the villain at the end. How rare and how heroicly noble (no sarcasm either).

All right now, I mentioned how smoothly things go here. Indeed, there is absolutely no consequence for any action from anyone. It's very common in old school movies (which is a serious flaw) but I've never seen it worse than here. For instance, Polly Kuan steals a cop's ticket book -- you really think the cop is just going to do nothing when he finds out? Another girl is supposed to spend a night with a fat client who gave her money, but she runs out while he's taking a shower -- how smart; he is a regular client at your workplace and I am SURE he is just going to do nothing when he comes out of that shower. Uhh more, Polly Kuan steals Lau Wing's wallet (let's not even think why). Not only does he act so friendly after 2 questions, he just gives her the money. Their conversation in the movie was like this:

Polly Kuan, "Please let me go, sir, I'm not a thief."

Lau Wing, "But you've stolen my wallet."

"I didn't steal it... I ONLY took $200 and was giving your wallet back to you" (which is true)

Lau Wing looks at his wallet, "Giving it back to me?" (now how stupid do you have to be to ask this?)

"Yeah, I only needed $200, and i would have felt really bad if I took the rest."

Lau WIng, "then why did you take my wallet?"

And then Polly Kuan makes up a pathetic story and cries.

Lau Wing, "okay okay stop crying. are you sure $200 is all you need?"

and of course from then on they become friends, and later he invites her to live in his "3-times-larger-than-the-white-house" mansion.

See how realistic that was?