7.4/10
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7 user 19 critic

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972)

Ai nu (original title)
The Four Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude, prostitution, and torture at ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily Ho ...
Ai Nu
Hua Yueh ...
Chi Te
Betty Pei Ti ...
Chun Yi
Lin Tung ...
Pao Hu
Chung Shan Wan ...
Yeh Shun-tzu
Mei Sheng Fan ...
Wu Hua-tien
Wen Chung Ku ...
Chao Wen-chien
Shen Chan ...
Li Chang-an
Mien Fang ...
Wei Chien-chung
Hao Chen ...
Liao Kuo-kuang
Hao Li ...
Chou Hai
Ching Ho Wang
Peng Peng
Ling Chiang
Kang Ho
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Storyline

The Four Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude, prostitution, and torture at this brothel. Ai Nu, an honest, but poor family's only daughter, is one of the newest girls that was recently kidnapped and sold to Lady Chun. To complicate matters even more, Lady Chun is a lesbian and quickly falls in love with the virginal Ai Nu, who will not let her spirit be broken and tries to escape again and again. This causes Lady Chun to use all of her resources to break her, including auctioning off Ai Nu's virginity to a group of wealthy businessmen. She eventually entrusts Ai Nu with a number of ancient kung-fu secrets like the Ghost Hands, which allows you to thrust your fists into an opponent's chest. Soon after murder erupts within the brothel. A diligent detective, Chi Te, visits the brothel and becomes increasingly involved in the murder investigation. He realizes he must do ... Written by GRAYnonstop

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Genres:

Action | Drama

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Release Date:

9 July 1972 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Body and Sword  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(PAL DVD) | (1974)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Cinema Hong Kong: The Beauties of the Shaw Studio (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Heart Beat, Pig Meat
Written by Roger Waters, Richard Wright, Nick Mason and David Gilmour
Performed by Pink Floyd
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User Reviews

 
All the makings of a cult classic
28 April 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

18 year old Ainu (Lily Ho) is kidnapped and sold to a brothel. Her good looks and wild personality make her very popular with the lustful clients, but also draws the lesbian attentions of brothel madam Betty Tei Pei. Betty teaches Ainu the ways of lust and the ways of kung fu, and Ainu becomes more and more similar to her captor. But rage at her treatment is still burning inside her.

INTIMATE CONFESSIONS... ("Ainu" is the Chinese title) is another wu xia film from ace director Chor Yuen, but this time the exploitation angle often present in his films is brought right into centre stage. Chor Yuen seems to have been fascinated by lesbians, but this is the only film of his that I've seen where he gives them the starring roles. Both Lily Ho and Betty Tei Pei give sterling performances as the beautiful but vicious martial arts hookers, and they're joined by a cast of Shaws starlets in the nude to create a pre-Cat III film that balances action, intrigue and eroticism surprisingly well. The film is the acknowledged inspiration for Clarence Fok's NAKED KILLER, the ultimate Cat III classic.

As with all Chor Yuen's films, AINU is filmed entirely on Shaw Brothers sound stages, and features his trademark opulent art direction and cinematography. The plot is less labyrinthine than in many of his wu xia works, probably because Gu Long was in no way involved. In fact, the plot is probably too straight forward - the film runs less than 90 minutes, and doesn't develop its characters or situations as much as I would have liked. It still has a certain amount of depth and sophistication that is exceptionally unusual in a film centred around sex.

Yueh Hua has a small role as a hapless police officer, but it's undoubtedly the women that are the stars of the film. Even in the action scenes, which are not the main focus but are a pleasant bonus, it's Lily Ho and especially Betty Tei Pei that dominate. Given that neither of the ladies are martial artists they do a good job in the fights, with stunt doubles being noticable but not distracting. Ultimately its the characters and the situations that make the film interesting, and the art direction, cinematography and naked flesh that make it compelling. I enjoyed the film on a number of levels, and even my girlfriend was positively disposed towards it. I just wish it had been about 30 minutes longer, and spent a bit more time developing its story.

Definitely recommended.


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