A Maid from Heaven
(Qi xian nu)
Paul Fonoroff is an expert on Chinese cinema who lived for years in Hong Kong and is currently based in Bangkok.
Ivy Ling Bo, Fang Ying, Julia Hsia, Pan Yin-tze,
A fairy from heaven descends to Earth and finds love with a mill owner’s servant in this blend of fantasy film and Chinese huangmei diao musical opera. The film was originally begun by The Love Eterne’s Li Han-hsiang, until he left it (and Shaw Brothers) to start a new company in Taiwan. (Its first film? A different version of the same story.) The Love Eterne’s Ivy Ling Bo fortunately stayed around, starring (yet again) as the male lead, here forced to deal with a whimsical, celestial princess on one hand and a tyrannical boss on the other. Fanciful Wizard of Oz–level special effects add to the film’s all-ages, goofy charm.