12 July 2011 | sccoverton
Typically variable Wong Jing fare, but a nice screwball comedy nonetheless
Two hopeless housebreaker brothers, Ah Chi and Fatty (Nat Chen and Wong Jing), steal a diamond that had already been earmarked by a criminal gang. Through a series of unfortunate and - frankly - unlikely events, the diamond ends up in the shoe of a rising star TV actress Cheung Man Ju (Maggie Cheung). They pursue her all over Hong Kong until finally tracking her down at a charity ball where (you guessed it) she must leave by midnight, and accidentally loses a shoe in the process.
This is a genuinely funny film that has stood the test of time. There's plenty of slapstick, comic book violence, wordplay gags (that even work in translation), and sexual and romantic comedy. It is, even at 89 minutes, about 5 or 10 minutes too long, with a beach section near the end that could easily have been excised. Still, the plot is engaging and complex without being confusing, and it builds to a nice climax.
Girl With the Diamond Slipper, was released in 1985 making it one of the last Shaw Bros productions before they effectively shut up shop. It showcases two of the Hong Kong movie industry's titans early in their careers: Maggie Cheung, all chubby-faced and buck-toothed, but still astoundingly beautiful, and Wong Jing, directing and acting. Wong Jing is famously prolific, and while there is always something new and interesting (and often surprising or even shocking) in each of his films, he very much works to a formula and its not hard to tell that he was producing several films and TV series every year at this time. But this film stands up for the most part and doesn't feel too much like hack work.
It's worth a watch if you're a Maggie Cheung or Wong Jing fan, but there are better 80s HK stupid crook films out there.