Grandview Film Company’s first production, Blossom Time 歌侶情潮 (1933, also translated as Romance of the Songsters) was centered on Cantonese opera performers in America. Shot in San Francisco Chinatown, the film starred Wu Dip Ying 胡蝶影 and Kwan Tak-Hing 關德興, who later appeared in a series of popular Hong Kong movies as the kung fu character, Wong Fei-Hung 黃飛鴻.
Cantonese opera 粵劇 大戲 continued to play a key role in future Grandview productions. The artform was a vital cultural outlet for an earlier generation of Chinese American immigrants and Grandview’s films featured both actors and storylines that drew from the tradition.
Pictured below are just some of the Cantonese opera performers who collaborated with Grandview Film, most getting their start in the movies at the San Francisco studio. These stories, along with a treasure trove of images that chronicle extraordinary transpacific careers, are featured in Arthur Dong’s book-in-development, Grandview Films: Cinematic Crossings with Joseph Sunn Jue.