Monday, July 06, 2009

Shek Kin – Thank you for the memories


I dare say, practically every (Chinese) male of my generation knows who is Shek Kin (石坚). Together with Kwan Tak Hing, he starred in more than 80 Wong Fei Hong movies. So strong was their impact on my memories that one of the very first articles that I wrote in this blog back in September 2005 was about going to the South Country Theatre in Kampong San Teng to watch these movies.

Last week the legendary Shek Kin passed away at the ripe old age of 96. Together with Kwan Tak Hing, Cho Tat Wah, Sai Kwa Pow (the buck tooth guy who acted as Ngar Chart So) and many others, they gave us kids many wonderful hours of leisure at a time when there were no televisions or PC’s. Memories of watching Wong Fei Hong movies in open air cinemas will always be an indelible part of our childhood memories.

Links:

1) News report of Shek Kin’s passing
2) Chinese news report of Shek Kin’s passing. You can see short video clip of Shek Kin in action against Kwan Tak Hing here. Kwan’s favourite weapon is the long wooden staff.
3) To the movies

18 comments:

Victor said...

I was surprised that 2 icons of kung fu shows passed away so close to each other - the star of Chinese kung fu shows Shek Kin and the star of the Western Kung Fu show, David Carradine. Mere coincidence, perhaps.

peter said...

I loved those black & white Cantonese movies. Without fail I will turn on the TVB after am to watch those Sek Kin movies. The last time I saw it in Singapore must have been in the 1980s when there had "Man in the net" (Mong Chung Yan. Thanks to this government, I lost my touch of Cantonese.

Icemoon said...

> Kwan’s favourite weapon is the long wooden staff.

Kwan must be Master Wong right? Eh, I remember in the modern version, Master Wong famous for his shadowless kick. lol

Anonymous said...

I remember Shek Kin as the consummate bad guy in most of the movies! Thoroughly enjoyed those old movies in their original form - no dubbing in mandarin, please!

And thanks, I almost forgot Sai Kwa Pow - his roles generally make you feel for him - bullied often by others but he is adorable and you pull for him.

Thanks for bringing back memories, Lam.

Zen said...

Shek Kin had probably no choice except to play bad guy in most of his films because he was borned with a bad guy look. Many movie stars of his generation like Kwan Tak Hing and Cho Tak Wah had solid kung fu foundation so 'don't pray pray' with them. It was reported that even action film icon Bruce Lee pleaded with uncle Kin to 'soften' his blows during sparring sessions before the actual film take.

yg said...

shek kin always played the role of a villian, so when i was young, i did not quite like him at all.

Lam Chun See said...

When my brothers and I were older, we used to sympathize with the Shek Kin character. At the end of the show, after he had been defeated by the hero, invariably the poor chap had to endure a lengthy 'sermon' urging him to turn over a new leaf. These sermons often began with; "Yat kor yan ah ...." (一个人啊 ...).

Roughly translated and paraphrased, he is saying; "In life, a person should/must blah blah blah ..."

At home, whenever our father began to nag us, we would preempt him by saying these same words (一个人啊 ...). Even in our adult life, after he became a grandfather, we continued remind him of these famous words.

Anonymous said...

Another famous saying by Sek, "Hei Yau Chi..." when he was angry with somebody

Car Reviews said...

I have read this post and found it very interesting.

fr said...

Just thought of another two actors with the bad guy look and who usually acted the bad guys too - Lau Hak Suen and Keong Chung Peng.

fr said...

Someone said Shek Kin "only acted once in a nice guy role in his over 300 over movies."

unk Dicko said...

Growing up as a kid in the early fifties, it was my late father who introduced me to the world of "Wong Fei Hung" alias Kwan Tak Hing. I was positively influenced in many ways.Invariably, all of us kampong folks got to know every character in the cast especially Shek Kin perenially cast as the baddie.
One day, while I was at the old Happy World ( later renamed Gay World)with my father in the late 50's, my father related that the cast of Wong Fei Hung came to Singapore and was at Happy World. He was there too.When the emcee introduced all the "Good guys" like KTH,CTW, NCS there was wild clappings. But when poor Shek Kin was introduced...they pelted him with tomatoes !!
He intoned the crowd and pleaded for their understanding saying he was actually a Good guy too, and only in movies was he a bad guy.
Bless you Sifu Shek Kin.
RIP

Lam Chun See said...

Eh ... Unk Dicko. Was our friend YG among the group of tomato throwers?

Thimbuktu said...

I enjoyed watching the b/w Wong Fei Hong movies at Atlantic Theatre in Great World as a kid and learnt to speak some Cantonese phrases.

It makes me smile when I recollect a funny scene when Wong Sifu kicked the staircase during a fight; and the wooden frame pasted with colored paper fell off in full view of the audience.

The stage props used in those days were constructed with simple material and design, compared to the sophisticated, hi-tech stuff we see in modern 'kungfu' film :)

unk Dicko said...

Was YG one of the tomato throwers? Haha. Possibly, maybe..if he somehow managed to smuggle himself inside Happy World stadium as a teenie weenie boy!
Talking about smuggling oneself inside...that's a story for another day I would relate.

yg said...

hey, i would not have done such a thing...throw tomatoes. i would have thrown rotten eggs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lam, Lately I've been surfing the Youtube trying to get clips of KwanTak Hing & Sek Ki without much success.As a fan of genuine Kung Fu actors like the late Sek Kin who was said to be trained by more than a dozen sifus I would be grateful if you could let me know where to get old movies starring the two legendary actors.Thanks.

Tony Lau, achanmuay@yahoo.com.com

Lam Chun See said...

Hi Tony. I am afraid too do not know where to find such videos. If you do come across them, pls share the info with us here at GMY.

Maybe my fellow blogger, Frannxis is able to advice. He seems to be quite familiar with the video shops in Chinatown which sell old HK b&w movies vcds.