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Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan

3.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

She's got a killer secret! In one of the most outrageous and taboo-smashing Shaw Brothers classics, sweet young Ainu (Lily Ho, Water Margin) is abducted and sold off to the popular Four Seasons brothel run by lusty madam (Betty Pei Ti, Clans of Intrigue), who falls for her nubile charge and entrusts her with a number of martial arts secrets like "Ghost Hands," which allows a fighter to plunge into an opponent's chest. Soon murder erupts within the brothel, and a policeman must race against time to prevent a vicious revenge plot from reaching its blood-spattered conclusion. The basis for modern Hong Kong sexy-action favorites like Naked Killer, this erotic, eye-scorching cult classic remains one of the wildest martial arts films ever made!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lily Ho, Hua Yueh, Betty Pei Ti, Lin Tung, Chung Shan Wan
  • Directors: Yuen Chor
  • Writers: Kang Chien Chiu
  • Producers: Runme Shaw
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012EBV9M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,162 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James H. Wallace Jr. on April 19, 2008
Format: DVD
For years, I have always loved movies from the Shaw Brothers Studio Company. And it 2002 when Celestial Pictures, a hong kong based company, bought the rights to the movies, 750 out of 1,000 of them, and were going to get full restoration treatment, I was overjoyed. The problem? The movies would only be released in the Asia market, with no American distribution in sight. The only recourse was buying VCD versions just to be able to view the movies. (Asian DVD movies are encoded in R3, not playable on US DVD players.) But, in the last year Shaw movies have been getting US releases, although too few for my taste. Thank you, Image Entertainment. Thank you, Dragon Dynasty. And now, Tokyo Shock has gotten into the fold. As for "Intimate Confession of a Chinese Courtesan" this was a movie I have long waited for. As Celestial dug up various movies, this was one of hundred I discovered. With the cover, showing two women embracing only told you what kind of movie it is. But unlike erotic Asian movies, this one is fairly tame. Unlike another Shaw exploitation movie called, "Bamboo House of Dolls." There are a couple girl to girl kissing scenes, and various naked girls with ugly dudes, but nothing at the level of movies today.

The plot is basically about a corrupt brothel who steals women and sells them into prostitution. The madam, played by the beautiful Lily Ho, prefers only women for intimacy and comes across a fiery girl, played by Betty Pei Ti, as she grows quite fond of her. Betty on the other hand fights against the system, trying to retain her freedom. But when a failed escape arises and a male servant is killed in the process, Betty conforms as Lily's lover and a call girl at the brothel.
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Format: DVD
This is a very different type of Shaw Brothers martial arts film. It reminded me of Lady Snowblood, so if you liked that, then I would definitely recommend this. Betty Tei Pei plays a brothel owner, and she is a very evil woman. She could care less about men, and only loves women. When she gets in a new batch of prostitutes, she meets one that she likes. Lily Ho plays the prostitute, and she's a tough little woman, which is why the Madam likes her so much. Yes, they do makeout, and it is awesome. The story has Lily Ho taking revenge on all the men she had to sleep with when she first came to the brothel, and it's a pretty simple story. The acting from Betty Tei Pei is AMAZING, and it is a good overall movie, and has an amazing ending. It's directed by Chor Yuen, and as exepcted, it is a beautiful film to look at. Chor Yuen worked very hard and put in a lot of detail to make sure that his movies had a unique look.

The swordplay is quite good for 1972, and it gets pretty bloody.

Rating- 4/5

The picture quality on the Image DVD is pretty much perfect, and both the English and Chinese language tracks sound great. Image Entertaiment has included the English dub on their last 3 Shaw Brothers releases. I sure hope they continue this trend.
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Format: DVD
One of director Chu Yuan's greatest films. His tempo with the storyline not at all convoluted, the seemless choreographed fighting, the intricate plot matched with the ultra-stylish sets. A masterpiece of cinematic presentation. A very high class brothel is run by a matchless female fighter (Betty Pei Ti) who's 'fingering technique' is instantly lethal. She falls in love with her latest addition (Lily Ho) to the brothel, and teaches her this deadly style of martial arts, but she spells the downfall of this matchless female fighter/brothel operator. Yueh Hua is an inspector trying to solve the mysterious murders possibly connected to the brothel. There's plenty of blood, nudity, and violence, as well as ground breaking (what was then very taboo) lesbian issues considered. An incredibly beautifully filmed story. A unique masterpiece of martial art cinema strikingly remastered.
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This was shown in fairly complete well-dubbed form as a memorable supporting feature in a few British cinemas when it was still quite new. It caused quite a stir in China because its lesbian angle was tricky and controversial at the time. The splendid Lily Ho in fact swings both ways, using sex as a weapon to destroy the brothel into which she was forcibly abducted. Director Chu Yuan was able to pull it off by dressing it up as a tale of olden times and using familiar surreal Pekin Opera style touches. Indeed his handling of this heady mixture of softcore sex and martial arts is sensitive and sure. It almost qualifies as an art movie in the tradition of Japanese master Kenji Mizoguchi, in some quarters, but in the end best enjoyed as a Shaw Brothers top-notch exploitation drama.
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I don't even know where to start with this one. The Chinese title is AI NU, the name of the main character, whose name is mentioned in the pre-credit sequence, set at the scene of a murder. Was the victim alone? Yes...well, no. Ai Nu was here....

The story of a young girl abducted and sold into prostitution, this is exploitation cinema pushed to the level of High Art. Ai Nu's early time at the brothel is hellish, and we see the seediness and brutality behind the scenes - so often in wuxia, the brothel, as a concept, serves as an elegant dreamland, an escape from the dreary outside world and a rest from the brutality of the "jiang hu." Here, we see it all from the back, and it looks like a meat grinder. Ai Nu becomes increasingly hopeless and broken, until an act of kindness from an unexpected party offers her the chance for escape and maybe even revenge.

Even that turns out to be an illusion - yet another cliche' turned on its head by this groundbreaking film. After Ai Nu's failed escape, she seemingly realizes the futility of it all, and the power and wealth she could achieve if she simply goes along with the Madam, played by the equally gorgeous and sinister Betty Pei Ti. And then all hell breaks loose - slowly at first, then with increasing intensity until the jaw-dropping finale at the brothel, where all accounts get SETTLED. I've seen a whole lotta wuxia, and this is definitely top three for the intensity and power of its finale.

The romantic relationship between Lily Ho's Ai Nu and Betty Pei Ti's Chun Yi, and the friendship that begins to bloom between Ai Nu and the officer Chi Te (the always likable Yueh Hua) bring a human warmth to what would otherwise be an inhuman (though thrilling) film.
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