Money/Long Live Money

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 May, 2011, 12:00am


Morality tales were at the core of Union Film Enterprise's output during its brief life from 1952 to 1964, and its messages were conveyed mostly through period pieces, solemn dramas or menacing thrillers. Director Ng Wui showed the studio was also capable of bringing humour to the screen, with two brilliant satires about how Mammon brings out the worst in people.

Money's leading character is a bag of cash. As the film, released in 1959, charts its journey from one setting to another, men and women are revealed as the basest of creatures - most literally in one of its most hilarious scenes, when a crude old man (played by Lam Kwan-shan, below with Wong Man-lei) goes to the most beastly lengths to try to scare a dog away from guarding the dough.

Two years later, Ng directed Long Live Money. Here, Lam is allowed even more screen time as a miserly tycoon whose control-freakery over his vast wealth is countered by his eight wives' schemes to relieve him of the cash he irons and then places into his safe. Both films are as critical to Union Film's legacy as, say, the Family-Spring-Autumn trilogy or In the Face of Demolition. Money: May 10, 2pm; Long Live Money: May 10, 7pm. Film Archive.