Film Archive's "Morning Matinee" to feature Jimmy Lin's dazzling charm

     Jimmy Lin was dubbed the "Diamond Divo" for his portrayal of the diamond thief in "The Singing Thief" (1969), the film which established him as a movie star. The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present "Jimmy Lin, the Diamond Divo" in January and February next year, screening six films featuring Lin in the "Morning Matinee" series at 11am on Fridays. In addition, Lin will meet the audiences on January 5 and 12 at the HKFA.
     Jimmy Lin, originally named Lin Hsi-hsien, was born into a notable family of Chinese and Japanese descent in Tainan. From a young age Lin was enthusiastic about performing arts, but faced great opposition from his father and was sent to study in Japan, where he by chance served as an interpreter for a Hong Kong-Japan co-produced stage musical during his time at university. Lin's dashing looks and impeccable dancing skills landed him a significant role in the musical and catapulted him to fame as Toho's new and rising star. Throughout his five-year stay in Japan, Lin remained extremely active in showbiz, even recording an album and developing a singing career. In 1967, after being crowned champion at the first Asian Singing Contest, Lin appeared in three musicals tailor-made for him by Shaw Brothers, making him an immediate household name in Hong Kong and southeast Asia.
     In the 1960s, Motion Picture & General Investment Co Ltd (MP & GI) and Toho co-produced a series of films in Hong Kong, including "Star of Hong Kong" (1963). In the film, young Hong Kong starlet Lucilla You Min and handsome Japanese actor Akira Takarada are attracted to each other, but You decides to give up her love in pursuit of her father's desire for her to be a doctor. Despite his brief appearance, the righteous youth played by Lin is a key figure in leading You to make up her mind. A post-screening talk will be held with Lin and film researcher Karen So as speakers.
     Another MP & GI and Toho co-production, "Honolulu, Tokyo, Hong Kong" (1963), centres on Lin and You's romance, who have been engaged since childhood. The duo is then split apart as You has to follow her Hawaiian adoptive parents. You later falls in love with Akira, the brother of Yau’s classmate, when they visit Tokyo; however, when she returns to Hong Kong, she meets her long-lost fiancé Lin again.
     Director Chang Cheh's "The Singing Thief", regarded as Lin's most representative work, is a musical action movie starring Lin as a former diamond thief who is framed for a series of high-profile crimes. He is paired with it girl Lily Ho, and the theme song he recorded for the film became a hit. The screening will be followed by a talk hosted by Lin and film researcher Karen So as well.
     Lin is invited to instruct and perform the "wild native" routine with the female lead, Maria Ye Kwong, in "Woman in Danger" (1967), which allowed him to display his indigenous folk dancing techniques. The film tells of a dancer played by Ye who becomes unexpectedly involved in a mysterious murder. Followed and threatened by gangsters, her life becomes at risk.
     Lin's singing and dancing talents are fully unleashed in "The Singing Escort" (1969), in which he performs a musical dancing sequence with his partner Betty Ting Pei, and records over 10 songs written by a young Joseph Koo, who went on to become one of Hong Kong’s most important composers. In the film, Lin features as the guitar-toting singer of a band touring Japan while also searching for the daughter for his boss, and is aggressively pursued by five young women.
     In "Tropicana Interlude" (1969), Lin plays a rich Singaporean heir who works as a tour guide despite his family fortune. However, he draws the unwanted attention of one of his clients - a young girl from Hong Kong - and is then misunderstood by his girlfriend Lily Ho, leading to a crisis in their relationship. With costumes based on the latest Japanese fashion trends of the time, Lin showcases his great sense of style in the film.       
     "Star of Hong Kong" and "Honolulu, Tokyo, Hong Kong" are in Mandarin, English and Japanese and the other films are in Mandarin. "Star of Hong Kong" is with Chinese subtitles; "Woman in Danger" is without subtitles and the other films are with Chinese and English subtitles.
    Tickets priced at $30 are now available at URBTIX ( For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For programme details, please visit or call 2739 2139.

Ends/Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:50