Sons of Good Earth

Generally considered The Story of Sue San (1964) is the first film directed by King Hu, but it is a co-work with Li Han-hsiang, another famous and important Chinese director. For the real, the first directed movie of King Hu should be Sons of Good Earth (1964), because he is the director, screenwriter, and co-starred in it. Since King Hu has an extraordinary achievement in martial arts film, so this Chinese anti-Japanese film didn’t get an attention from the worldwide.


The film tells the story of North China’s county invaded by Japanese. Beginning with an advertising Art Yu Rui (Chen Hou) accidentally saved an unwilling prostitute He Hua (Le Di) who escaped from the villains, by the support of the police officer and villagers, they finally became a couple. Soon the Japanese invasion in China continent, the villains refuge Japanese, so finally Yu Rui joined the guerrillas fight with the enemy.

Since the film box office in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia is very poor, resulting in King Hu had to use the same props and clothing to shoot the second same theme movie, but the program was forced to terminate because of the poor box office. King Hu said in the interview indicates Shaw company asked him to “avoid the anti-Japanese sentiment and current issues, making a more commercial movies”, this made King Hu finally came out the second film of high commercial martial arts which is Come Drink with Me (1966).

For the films career of King Hu, Sons of Good Earth has an important historical coincidence. It is King Hu’s first directing work, also it is the last one he starring work. Therefore, it can be said that Sons of Good Earth is an intersection point of King Hu’s career in actor and director. After this, King Hu farewell acting career and became a famous martial arts director.


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