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My Dream Boat (1967)
"Chuan" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7 users  
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The film tells a complicated love story. Carmen with Ke, Xiang Yi and Jiyuan. They start as a friend, but somehow a love triangle occur, and the outcome is very tragic.

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(as Doe Ching)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: My Dream Boat (1967)

My Dream Boat (1967) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yanyan Chen ...
Tang's mother
Essie Lin Chia ...
Tu Chia-ling
Feng Chin ...
Hu Ju-wei
Han Chin ...
Chi Yuan
Li Ching ...
Cheng Hsiang-yi
Feng Erh
Yuen Fang ...
Model boat maker
Li Jen Ho
Lily Ho ...
Tang Ko-ching
Feng Tien ...
Chia-wen's debtor
Chung Shing Yan
Fan Yang ...
Tu Chia-wen
Chun Yen ...
Mr. Tu
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Storyline

The film tells a complicated love story. Carmen with Ke, Xiang Yi and Jiyuan. They start as a friend, but somehow a love triangle occur, and the outcome is very tragic.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

28 September 1967 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

My Dream Boat  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
MY DREAM BOAT – Turbulent contemporary melodrama from Hong Kong
4 January 2010 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

MY DREAM BOAT (1967) is the second Shaw Bros. melodrama I've seen based on a book by Chiung Yao, the popular Taiwanese romance novelist. The previous one was MIST OVER DREAM LAKE (1968, also reviewed on this site). This one is long by Shaw Bros. standards (125 min.) and longer than DREAM LAKE by 24 minutes. It's also much more over-the-top in its depiction of romantic trials and tribulations among a group of young Taiwanese and subsequent family dysfunction in modern Taipei. Be warned that the final 15-minute section contains a mind-boggling pileup of devastating tragedies.

Lily Ho is the lead here and she plays Ke Shin, a college student and longtime girlfriend of Jia Wen (Yang Fan), a young worker at a bank. Jia Wen's wayward college buddy, Kei Yuan (Chin Han), shows up out of the blue on Christmas and invites Jia Wen and his friends on a hunting trip in the mountains. There are six in all and they seem to have a great time on their adventure until Jia Wen gets wounded by a shotgun blast during the hunting. In the course of it, Ke Shin finds herself drawn to Kei Yuan, a more rugged man of action than Jia Wen. Despite initial rejection by Kei Yuan, she breaks her engagement with Jia Wen, who then falls into a spiral of dissipation until the sweet, devoted Shiang Yi (Ching Li) intervenes to help him get his life together. Also caught up in the mix are Jia Wen's sister, Jia Lin (Essie Lin Chia) and the devoted adoptive father who raised them, Uncle Du (Yen Chun).

Eventually, Ke Shin trots off back to the mountains to find Kei Yuan heading a road construction crew. She persuades him of her love and they get married. Jia Wen and Shiang Yi get married as well. Jia Lin has dumped the kind, if absent-minded young man who loved her, Yue Wai (Chin Feng), and embarked on a series of affairs. Jia Wen still carries a torch for Ke Shin and his despair leads him to gambling. When Shiang Yi gets pregnant, Ke Shin shows up to try to help her friend and she's there at a crucial moment. However, Jia Wen's gambling debts threaten what little stability the Du family has left and crises loom for all concerned as things get rough.

In an odd touch, there are three songs in the first half-hour and one at the 73-minute mark. The first is the soft and soulful title song, with the lyrics, "Li'l boat, oh little boat/The days of yore are gone/Through storms and crisis you're now loaded with many a suffering/When oh when can you unload this weighty cargo?" Later, while the six friends are on their mountain trek, a Taiwanese dialect phrase, "Lang-ni Lu-jia," translated as "Come on, friends, let's keep moving ahead," is turned into a rousing hiking song as they make their way to a remote campsite. They each get their own solo verses, filmed in a studio set with a mountain scene visible in rear projection behind them. Then, at night, at a campfire in the woods (recreated on a studio soundstage), a delightful number is created when the six break into song and dance around the fire while their native mountain guides (indigenous Taiwanese) play the drums. Still later, when we meet Kei Yuan on his road crew in the mountains, there is a montage of road-building action accompanied by an upbeat choral song about building roads. I like it when songs like these turn up in Shaw Bros. movies, but I'm not sure these particular sequences, as enjoyable to me as they are, match the tone of the rest of the movie. An audience watching this today would no doubt laugh heartily at such moments.

Ke Shin is the central character and one has to give her credit for staying true to her own ideals through it all and never lying to herself or anybody else. She's also very good at talking to the other characters and getting them to express their feelings (a quality she has in common with Yung Wei, the central character in MIST OVER DREAM LAKE). She's also big on letter-writing. It's the largest role I've seen essayed by Lily Ho, whom I know primarily from her Shaw Bros. action films and costume roles. This may be the first contemporary dramatic lead role I've seen her perform. She's quite amazing and, thanks to changes in wardrobe, makeup and hairstyle, and a shift in the way she moves and carries herself, she manages to convey her character's growing maturity over the few years marking the time span of the movie.

Ching Li as Shiang Yi, on the other hand, has a different set of acting challenges. As devoted as she is to Jia Wen, Shiang Yi sinks deeper into unhappiness as the marriage fails, placing all the blame on herself and not on Jia Wen's weak character. It's a sad spectacle to behold, thanks to Ching Li, who captures our sympathy early on and believably conveys Shiang Yi's gradual breakdown. In some scenes, she wears almost no makeup. This is a far cry from the fierce, elegant beauty the actress displayed in her later SB costume spectaculars (e.g. WEB OF DEATH, SWORDSMAN AND ENCHANTRESS).

If I had to choose the film's closest Hollywood counterparts, I'd cite the movies based on Fannie Hurst novels, the most famous being the 1959 film version of IMITATION OF LIFE, directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, John Gavin, Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner. Another adaptation worth citing is FOUR DAUGHTERS (1938), directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Claude Rains, Priscilla Lane and John Garfield, which was based on Hurst's novel, "Sister Act." And if you look hard in MY DREAM BOAT, you'll also find traces of another Douglas Sirk movie, WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956).


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