50 years ago, “22 Film Stars” were marked in 1962, endorsed by the Chinese government, and indicating the last of ‘star-making’ in the new Communist China prior to the Cultural Revolution. These 22 actors and actresses are the biggest names in cinema during that time, with each of them making a great contribution to Chinese cinema. That year, the oldest among them was 47 years old, and the youngest, 34. After being listed as THE 22 stars of the new regime, little did they know what would await them a few years later. Some of them were considered the greatest actors in modern China, with their works becoming known as some of the best classic Chinese films of all time. Many of them made their fame during the golden age of Chinese cinema, just like Zhao Dan’s early black and white work “Street Angel“, which ranked 11th best Chinese film of all time. If you are interested in early Chinese cinema, start with this list and their best films. As old and ‘outdated’ as these films may first appear, they may surprise you in their fabulousness.
Image courtesy of China National Film Museum.