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The Hui’s Brothers On Bruce Lee

October 5 2016 at 5:30 AM
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Response to Anymore TVB footage between 1970-1973?

 
The following are excerpts from Michael Hui’s article in Netease (dated 10th Oct 2015) and Sam Hui’s article in Tecent News (dated 27th June 2016)

Michael Hui on Bruce Lee
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Q1: You studied in La Salle College, the same school and same grade as Bruce Lee. So, have you ever met him in the campus?

MH: Of course, he always beat me up (laugh). Actually, we weren’t from the same grade as I was 2 years younger than him. Bruce was very good in dancing and I always saw him danced. He later won the HK Cha Cha Championship at the age of 18. I also participated in that same competition but only achieved 8th position. Bruce was really good in Cha Cha. Later, he incorporated the Cha Cha moves and footsteps into his Kung Fu, that’s why his Kung Fu looked so powerful and graceful. Just like many female action stars with Ballet’s background, they not only can dance very well but also are able to perform Kung Fu brilliantly. During the school days, I loved singing and dancing, Bruce loved fighting and most of the time he was learning how to fight and how to beat his opponents (laugh).


Q2: Can you show us some of his moves which you said Bruce incorporated into his Kung Fu?

MH: Sure, let me show you (Laugh) (Michael Hui mimicked some signature moves of Bruce with some exaggerating gestures and a cat yell which made the reporters chuckled).


Q3: When Bruce returned to HK in 1970 and first appeared in TVB’s “Enjoy Yourself Tonight” show, coincidentally, you were the host that interviewed him, so, what happened when you met Bruce again?

MH: Bruce was very popular by the time he returned to HK in 1970 because the HK audience was watching “The Kato Show” (The Green Hornet) and became very familiar with him. I was very happy to see him again after haven’t meet for so many years. Bruce was also flabbergasted and delighted to see me at the TVB station. We chatted quite a while. Bruce said he would return to HK to make action films if the time and opportunity are right. Bruce also knew many of the staff in TVB, like Yu Meng (his cousin’s husband), Leung Sing-Po, Cheung Ying (both his former Cantonese films’ colleagues) and Sam Sam (Robert Lee’s girlfriend then) etc. Bruce was very easy going and pleasant to get along with. I remembered that evening, he appeared in my show and demonstrated his two-fingers push up and one-inch punch that stunned the audience. Okinawa Goiuryu Karate Master Larry Lee Gam-Kwan and his 2 students also appeared along with Bruce. The show received overwhelming response and Bruce was mobbed wherever he went after his TV appearances. There’re some footage that show his appearances in this TVB’s EYT show and the RTV’s “Golden Harvest Hour” show, which I believed most of you have watched them by now.


Q4: Yes, we did. Do you have any idea where have all the footage of Bruce’s TVB appearances gone to? Do you believe they are destroyed as claimed by some U.S. and U.K. BL’s experts?

MH: Only God knows! How would I know?! (Laugh) “The Hui’s Brothers’ Show” (71-73) footage are well stored by TVB and have been re-mastered on DVD for sales. Tell me, do you really believe the rumor that all Bruce’s footage have been destroyed?! (Michael put on a cheeky smile)


Q5: After your quitted TVB in 1973, you moved on to make films for Shaw and then Golden Harvest. Why did you make such a switch in your career move? Have you ever thought that your comedy films would later break Bruce’s film box office records and topped the HK’s movie billboard chart from 1974-1981?

MH: Actually, I had made several movies before quitting TVB. My first movie was “The Warlord” which received both good response and box office record. It helped to open up the path to my movie career. People move on for a better future. There’s prospect to make movies then and so naturally, I went along with my heart. No, I just wanted to put all the HK local flavors into my comedies and make the HK audience had some great laugh. Never did I expect my films would become so popular that they smashed the box office records one after another for 7 straight years. Anyway, Bruce had already passed away when I broke his top grossing film’s record, so, there’s nothing to be proud of. You know, actually, my younger brother, Sam Hui was signed to GH to become a star but because Bruce came along and became so popular that GH had almost forgotten Sam (Laugh). Later, I told Sam to work with me in the film, “Game Gamblers Play” (a cinema version of “The Hui’s Brothers Show”) and it was a hit when it released. Subsequently, we continue to team up again in a few more comedies together with my third younger brother Ricky Hui. The HK audience just loved our trio’s performances. Bruce’s films brought immense actions excitement to the audience while my comedies let the audience relieved their pressure and stay happy. In the hearts of the HK audience, Bruce is forever a hero while the Hui’s brothers are always the grassroots or commoners whom they recognized with and felt a sense of closeness to. Although Bruce and I were different kinds of actors but we all have a common goal in making movie, i.e. Quality and creativity, which are the keys to movie’s success.



Sam Hui on Bruce Lee
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Q1: How did you get to know Bruce?

SH: My elder brother Michael Hui was Bruce’s former schoolmate in La Salle College. They knew each other quite well when they were kids. When Bruce returned to HK to develop his movie career, they met again. Michael then introduced Bruce to me. Actually, I studied in St. Francis Xavier's College in the early 60s, the same school which Bruce last been to until ’59 he left for the U.S. So, we some sort have a common background and connection.


Q2: From the photos we saw you posing with Bruce, it seems that Bruce liked you a lot. How did your friendship grow after knowing each other?

SH: Maybe it was our straightforward and frank personalities that made us good friends. Our wives are Americans. We both spoke English and Cantonese. I was the same age as his younger brother, Robert Lee whom I knew in the 60s. Robert and his singing group, Thunderbirds used to perform in TVB and mine, The Lotus, shared the same stage as his. We all sang English songs then. Maybe because of all these, it drew my relationship with Bruce closer. I remembered during our initial meet-up, I gave some of my English song albums to Bruce as gifts. Bruce appreciated and after listening to the songs, he said he liked my voice and the songs I sang. He also wished he had a great vocal like me as he loved to sing but his vocal was “terrible” (laugh). Then, he showed me his Cha Cha dance which was really, really spectacular. I tried to learn some of his steps and moves but didn’t look as good as him. Of course, Bruce loved to show off his muscles and Kung Fu, which sort of aroused my interest and inspired me to learn martial arts. I later got my 3rd dan in Karate Black Belt and became the President of the Kowloon Karate Society until today. Anyway, when I was signed to GH, both Bruce and I became colleagues and our friendship further deepened as we would see each other quite often in the company.


Q3: Did Bruce teach you any special Kung Fu techniques?

SH: Bruce liked to talk about the philosophical part of Kung Fu and did teach me some simple yet effective techniques. My wife and I used to visit his house in Kowloon called the “Crane Nest.” There was a gym on the 2nd storey, which was full of training equipments and Bruce would show me how to use them. He also liked to show some of his newly learnt techniques to his close friends. I was fortunate enough to witness his Non-Telegraphic Shadowless Punch, Jing Mo Finger, Whirlwind 3 Kicks and Whip Leg Kung Fu. In fact, my brother, Michael and I’ve imitated Bruce many times in our comedy movies. There’s one movie scene which I kicked a cake off the table using the Whip leg (for movie, not real). This idea was copied directly from Bruce’s special skill. Another movie scene where Michael was forced to use large hot-dogs as nunchaku to fight against the bad guys. This was of course, a comical scene of imitating Bruce’s nunchaku fighting skill. Bruce was serious and in contrast, Michael and I were funny.


Q4: We saw a photo of you and Polly Shang Kwan with Bruce at his Game of Death’s shooting location. Can you tell us more about the story behind it?

SH: Both Polly and I were shooting “Back Alley Princess” just next to the studio where Bruce was filming his G.O.D. at the same time, probably in late September 1972. As we were good friends of Bruce, thus, we used to go over to the studio and chat with him during the breaks and vice-versa, Bruce also came over to our studio to watch us film sometimes. (Note: Initially, “Back Alley Princess” was called “Shanghai Street” (aka City Street Hero) which was written for Bruce but he had a fall out with director, Lo Wei and thus, turned down both “Cold Faced Tiger” and “Shanghai Street.” Bruce then went on to film WOTD and G.O.D.). It was fun to watch Bruce choreographing his fights in G.O.D. Polly was mischievous and liked to play prank in the studio. Hence, you can find a photo of her teasing behind Bruce when he was rehearsing the fight with Dan Inosanto (Laugh). Also, G.O.D. was originally called “Song of the Dark Night” and then changed to “Yellow Faced Tiger” before Bruce settled down with the title, G.O.D. He told me to write him a theme song for G.O.D. which I agreed but later, the film was unable to complete due to his untimely passing. Another popular HK singer, Roman Tam sang the ’78 G.O.D. theme song (Chinese version) written by James Wong and composed by Joseph Koo.


Q5: As the “God of Cantonese Pop” in HK, how do you perceive Bruce Lee, the “King of Kung Fu”? Also, why did you invite Shannon to be your guest-of-honor in your singing concerts both in Fo Shan and Shanghai respectively?

SH: Those titles you mentioned are just illusions as Bruce once said. I only look upon myself as an ordinary human being and treated Bruce as my good buddy. Yes, Shannon was my guest-of-honor for my 2010’s concert in Fo Shan as well as my 2014’s concert in Shanghai. Actually, my family and Bruce’s family are very close. I, my wife - Rebecca (Rebu) and my children (Ryan and Scott) maintain regular contact with Linda and Shannon after Bruce’s passing. Shannon was singing with her “Medicine” Group in the U.S. previously and she definitely has a great vocal and talent in that field. In my concert, I invited her to sing together with me 2 English songs and a Cantonese song which I taught her personally. It took Shannon about 5-6 months to prepare this Cantonese song since she doesn’t speak Cantonese at all. On stage, I imitated Bruce by wearing his long brown leather jacket, big sunglass and of course, a mop-hair’s wig. Then, I sang a song with Shannon. It was just as if her father, Bruce had travelled back to the earth 4 decades later and sang together with his daughter. There’s a big screen on the stage which displayed Bruce’s images while we sang. The audience was enchanted to see this touching scene and gave us several rounds of big applause after our song. I was glad to see that the audience appreciated our performance and to see us paying tribute to the legendary Bruce Lee, my dear friend forever.


Bruce & The Hui’s brothers’ photos: https://postimg.org/image/gg2kpb2qd/



 
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Responses

  • Re: The Hui’s Brothers On Bruce Lee - Nick Clarke on Oct 5, 2016, 9:40 AM
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  • About Bruce's Cha Cha teacher - Chris on Oct 5, 2016, 10:43 AM
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  • Great info as usual! Thanks! :-) nt - Fred on Oct 5, 2016, 3:26 PM
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  • Any interview from RTV host? - Hiro on Oct 18, 2016, 11:33 AM
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