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The HUI Brothers saga
A successful trio 1/1 - Page 2
Author(s) : Laurent Henry
Thomas Podvin
Date : 1/11/1999
Type(s) : Information
 Intext Links  
People :
Ricky Hui Kun Ying
Movies :
The Contract
The Private Eyes
Security Unlimited
< Previous
Page 1 : Start of the Hui Bros
Next >
Page 3 : The trio splits

Success for the trio and its recipe

At that time, Ricky Hui, the third brother, was a correspondent for the French Press Agency (AFP) in HK. He joined his brothers and made with them The Private Eyes in 1976, the story of a tight and grumpy private detective who investigates various adultery cases. The film was again written and directed by Michael, the brain of the trio, and it was a huge success all over Asia and in Japan in particular. To achieve this result, Michael polished the most typical aspects of the Cantonese humour and made mostly visual gags, which were more universal. The trio made another couple of movies together, The Contract (the trio in cheesy TV shows, 1978) and Security Unlimited (the trio in a security company, 1981).


The Private Eyes, The Contract and Security Unlimited


The recipe was the same for the three movies. There was no a real story, gags were numerous and followed on one after another, and the Hui Bros. denounced the HK society shortcomings.

On top of that, each one played very typical characters. With his handsome face and force, Sam was the playboy and the man of action. Ricky always in a daze was usually the scapegoat ending up the laughing stock, but he sometimes could energetically rebel. Ricky was more of a second role compared to his brothers. As for Michael, he portrayed an egoistic and cunning guy whose tactics to get what he wants weren't very honest and sometimes backfired on him.

The marketing was already very sophisticated, since before each film release they launched the movie soundtrack with the theme song generally performed by Sam Hui. The audience knew already the songs by heart before watching the movies. The Hui Brothers were soon considered as the 'fathers of comedy', and Sam the 'father' of Canto-pop mixing western Pop to lyrics inspired of life in HK.

To understand the success of the Hui Brothers first three movies, let's refer to Michael Hui's theory about comedy based on the frequency of gags: "In general, in current comedy people don't laugh a lot. In my movies, I try to have a really funny gag every minute. The story is only there to tie them together."


A Bruce Lee impersonation in The Private Eyes


Mr Boo

These three movies together were huge hits, especially in Japan where they were gathered with other Michael's comedies under the 'Mr Boo' series. Mr Boo was the Japanese name of the deadpan character portrayed by Michael Hui. But these movies aren't actually sequels at all of The Private Eyes, and Michael Hui's characters are different from a movie to another.

Page :  1  2   3  Top
Previous :
Page 1 : Start of the Hui Bros
Next :
Page 3 : The trio splits

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