12:09 am - 01/07/2014

Run Run Shaw dies at 107

Pioneering Hong Kong movie producer Run Run Shaw, whose studio popularized the kung fu genre that influenced Quentin Tarantino and other Hollywood directors, died Tuesday.

He was 107.

No cause of death was given in a statement from Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), which Shaw helped found in 1967.

His Shaw Brothers Studios, once among the world's largest, helped launch the careers of powerhouses including director John Woo and churned out nearly 1,000 movies. His television empire helped actors including Chow Yun-fat rise to fame. He also produced a handful of U.S. films, including the 1982 sci-fi classic "Blade Runner."

Other stars rose to fame through Shaw's television station TVB, which remains a dominant force in Hong Kong. Wong Kar-wai, the director behind critically acclaimed art-house movies like "Chungking Express" and "In the Mood for Love," got his start through a TVB training course and worked at the station briefly as a production assistant.

Ironically, one actor who slipped through Shaw's grasp, Bruce Lee, went on to become the world's biggest kung fu star.

Shaw produced a handful of U.S. films, including "Blade Runner" and 1979 disaster thriller "Meteor." He led Hong Kong's Television Broadcasts Ltd. until retiring as chairman in December 2011 at the age of 104.

Shaw was born near Shanghai to a wealthy textile merchant. One of his six siblings, elder brother Runme Shaw, set up a silent film studio, Unique Film Production Co. Shaw and a third brother, Runje, went to Singapore in 1923 to market films to southeast Asia's Chinese community and eventually opened 139 movie theatres across the region.

After surviving World War II, the company was faced with growing competition from rivals in Hong Kong and Singapore, so Shaw moved to Hong Kong in the late 1950s to modernize the company. He shifted focus from exhibiting films to producing them and renamed the company Shaw Brothers.

His path to Asian moviemaking dominance began in earnest in 1961 when he opened Movie Town, a vast, state-of-the-art studio in Hong Kong's rural Clearwater Bay. With 1,500 staff working on 10 soundstages, Movie Town was reputed to be the most productive studio in the world. At its busiest, actors and directors churned out 40 movies a year, most of them featuring kung fu, sword fighting or Asian gangsters known as triads.

The result was a library of nearly 1,000 movies such as "The One Armed Swordsman" and "The Five Fingers of Death," the latter being one of Shaw's most successful in the United States.

The studio's logo - the initials SB on a shield - was inspired by the Warner Brothers emblem, in a nod to its Hollywood aspirations. It came full circle when Tarantino appropriated the Shaw Brothers logo for use in his two "Kill Bill" movies, which were in homage to the studio and other Hong Kong martial arts movies.

"For a year, I'd watch one old Shaw Brothers movie a day — if not three," Tarantino told the Los Angeles Daily News in 2003, discussing his preparation for filming.

Films were produced with assembly-line methods and stars and technical staff lived in dorms on site. Budgets were low and production schedules were quick — 35 days to three months, according to a 1976 Time magazine report.


I grew up on his movies and television dramas, although TVB's work seriously sucks now.
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rebeljean 7th-Jan-2014 05:11 am (UTC)
At least he lived a long life. RIP.
disco_friends 7th-Jan-2014 05:12 am (UTC)
Wow 107! At least he lived a long and happy life. RIP.
leonardy 7th-Jan-2014 05:12 am (UTC)
He was 107.

No cause of death was given...

In this case I don't think it's a mystery

tippythepoodle 7th-Jan-2014 05:14 am (UTC)
Lol! Came here to say this!
Cause of death....
Old as fuck!
alaynestone 7th-Jan-2014 05:15 am (UTC)
I was gonna say... that's a VERY long life. Few are so lucky, tbh.

mario_06 Ontd cracks the case once again!7th-Jan-2014 05:35 am (UTC)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
swissbeauty23 Re: Ontd cracks the case once again!7th-Jan-2014 05:45 am (UTC)
reginageorge 7th-Jan-2014 05:13 am (UTC)
"no cause of death given"

uhhhhh how about old fucking age
superdogbiter 7th-Jan-2014 05:13 am (UTC)
damn he was born before airplanes were invented
yurasama_love 7th-Jan-2014 05:35 am (UTC)
He was born in a world where cars were new and went died in a world where he could talk to anyone around the world at the push of a button. Amazing.
ladysherlock 7th-Jan-2014 05:51 am (UTC)
One of my favourite Mad Men lines is about that very idea

"She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the thirty-seventh floor of a skyscraper. She's an astronaut."
anterrabre 7th-Jan-2014 05:13 am (UTC)
RIP, he lived a long and full life.
cleopatrick93 7th-Jan-2014 05:14 am (UTC)
1 0 7!!! goddamn!
lala_vava 7th-Jan-2014 05:14 am (UTC)
bert_macklin 7th-Jan-2014 05:17 am (UTC)
guess he finally stopped run run running
0sleep2dream0 7th-Jan-2014 05:17 am (UTC)
brogitsune 7th-Jan-2014 05:24 am (UTC)
ladysherlock 7th-Jan-2014 05:51 am (UTC)
Macklin, you son of a bitch
eatmydustbinns 7th-Jan-2014 06:52 am (UTC)
mary_pickforded 7th-Jan-2014 07:14 am (UTC)
0sleep2dream0 7th-Jan-2014 05:17 am (UTC)
I grew up on his shows.
baboona 7th-Jan-2014 05:17 am (UTC)
at least he made it to 2014

sparklekittens 7th-Jan-2014 05:24 am (UTC)
swissbeauty23 7th-Jan-2014 05:45 am (UTC)
omg lol
treradical 7th-Jan-2014 05:17 am (UTC)
wow 107. RIP
lucifersam 7th-Jan-2014 05:19 am (UTC)
rip. talk about a long and full life.
opusdeihohoho 7th-Jan-2014 05:20 am (UTC)
holy shit. damn. 107. i wonder if he outlived his kids if he had any.
evett 7th-Jan-2014 05:29 am (UTC)
His kids are still alive but he outlived all his siblings and his first wife/mother of his kids.
opusdeihohoho 7th-Jan-2014 05:35 am (UTC)
ah ty.
i just read this recent reddit ama with a woman who's 106 yo saying she outlived all her sons!
gillette 7th-Jan-2014 05:21 am (UTC)
Damn, 107!

I'm only 27 and sometimes I feel like my life is over. Guess not!
secura 7th-Jan-2014 05:41 am (UTC)
same, i need to shut the fuck up lmao
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