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The Great Devotion

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the great devotion by chor yuen

The Great Devotion (1960)

98 min - Drama - 7 April 1960
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At Chinese New Year, schoolteacher Chan Chi-hong (Cheung Wood-yau), his wife (Pak Yin) and their children are evicted from their old city home and move out to a village. Not long after, financial woes hit hard when Mr Chan loses his job. Home bills rise immediately when a son injures himself and soon the parents face having to take their gifted children out of school while Dad’s out of work. The kids catch on that the family is broke but even their attempts at begging are no use and the parents consider selling a daughter and visiting a loanshark to help make ends meet. The father tries his hand at writing and it’s only when he gets a chance produce a novel that things start to look up. Opening with the statement “Dedicated to all parents”, Chor Yuen’s neo-realist The Great Devotion piles on the melodrama surrounding the lower class family’s plight. The initial run of bad luck that sets a cycle of misery in motion is beyond the family’s control - their old home was slated for demolition and the father lost his job because the school principal wanted a relative to take over the post. From then on the family faces indifference from people with the resources to help, and the scenario takes difference between rich and poor to an extreme. Peripheral characters broaden the story and its record of society at the time, from helpful neighbours to an ex-student (Chor Yuen) who turns to robbery to support his father. Each stumbling block comes with floods of tears as The Great Devotion develops its characters, and lead actors Cheung Wood-yau and Pak Yin hold the production together with suitably steady performances. Tim Youngs

Director:  Chor Yuen

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Storyline

At Chinese New Year, schoolteacher Chan Chi-hong (Cheung Wood-yau), his wife (Pak Yin) and their children are evicted from their old city home and move out to a village. Not long after, financial woes hit hard when Mr Chan loses his job. Home bills rise immediately when a son injures himself and soon the parents face having to take their gifted children out of school while Dad’s out of work. The kids catch on that the family is broke but even their attempts at begging are no use and the parents consider selling a daughter and visiting a loanshark to help make ends meet. The father tries his hand at writing and it’s only when he gets a chance produce a novel that things start to look up. Opening with the statement “Dedicated to all parents”, Chor Yuen’s neo-realist The Great Devotion piles on the melodrama surrounding the lower class family’s plight. The initial run of bad luck that sets a cycle of misery in motion is beyond the family’s control - their old home was slated for demolition and the father lost his job because the school principal wanted a relative to take over the post. From then on the family faces indifference from people with the resources to help, and the scenario takes difference between rich and poor to an extreme. Peripheral characters broaden the story and its record of society at the time, from helpful neighbours to an ex-student (Chor Yuen) who turns to robbery to support his father. Each stumbling block comes with floods of tears as The Great Devotion develops its characters, and lead actors Cheung Wood-yau and Pak Yin hold the production together with suitably steady performances. Tim Youngs


Collections: Chor Yuen

Genres: Drama

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   Hong Kong
Language:  Cantonese
Release Date:  7 April 1960

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Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 38 min

At Chinese New Year, schoolteacher Chan Chi-hong (Cheung Wood-yau), his wife (Pak Yin) and their children are evicted from their old city home and move out to a village.

Not long after, financial woes hit hard when Mr Chan loses his job.

Home bills rise immediately when a son injures himself and soon the parents face having to take their gifted children out of school while Dad’s out of work.

The kids catch on that the family is broke but even their attempts at begging are no use and the parents consider selling a daughter and visiting a loanshark to help make ends meet.

The father tries his hand at writing and it’s only when he gets a chance produce a novel that things start to look up.

Opening with the statement “Dedicated to all parents”, Chor Yuen’s neo-realist The Great Devotion piles on the melodrama surrounding the lower class family’s plight.

The initial run of bad luck that sets a cycle of misery in motion is beyond the family’s control – their old home was slated for demolition and the father lost his job because the school principal wanted a relative to take over the post.

From then on the family faces indifference from people with the resources to help, and the scenario takes difference between rich and poor to an extreme. Peripheral characters broaden the story and its record of society at the time, from helpful neighbours to an ex-student (Chor Yuen) who turns to robbery to support his father.

Each stumbling block comes with floods of tears as The Great Devotion develops its characters, and lead actors Cheung Wood-yau and Pak Yin hold the production together with suitably steady performances.

Tim Youngs