Friday, February 15, 2013

The Young Master - Jackie Chan (1980) - Nr Wong Cheuk Yeung, Sai Kung

The finale of The Young Master takes place on a hillside for which we are given a few clues as to the true location. The first clue is the unmistakable view of the West Dam of High Island reservoir in the background of many angles. Here are a few for starters:


The dam wall pretty much faces a westerly direction so we can assume this location is somewhere NW. Next we can see the hillsides behind some of the closeups of Whang in Sik. Anyone who is familiar with Sai Kung's ridgelines will perhaps recognise some familiar shapes here in the form of Pyramid Hill and Bendy Hill (Wan/Kau Kuk Shan).

 Pyramid Hill is to the left of Whang in Sik
In the above shot we see the pointy bit of
Bendy Hill and (just) Ma On Shan to the right

Speaking of Ma On Shan, here is a shot of it from the angle of Sai Kung. Of course this gives us a fairly decent triangulation of where this scene was filmed. However, since I haven't walked up this particular hill (yet) I can only give an approximation of where it is.


Coupled with a few more shots that give us glimpses over the hills to the Tolo Channel away to the north (and even a brief view of Pat Sin Leng), it appears that JC and his crew traipsed up to a small area called Wong Chuk Yeung. At the top of Chuk Yeung Road the hillside flattens out considerably and the clues in the picture point to somewhere to the east of the village - near to the fire lookout. Possibly close to where Stage 4 of the Maclehose Trail passes. The proximity of the road means the film crew would have had no problem driving all their equipment and actors up there on a daily basis (this scene undoubtedly took a long time to shoot).

The scene of course ends with JC turning superhuman thanks to the wonderful anaesthetic powers of bong water.

8 comments:

  1. hey phil. when i was in hk i tried to find this location and i went to the aforementioned fire lookout. i am quite sure, that the fire lookout is built on the location...because of the limited access and the vegetation it was hard to take any meaningful pictures....oh by the way: u have to check out the shaw brothers classic HEROES TWO. the final fight also takes place at the same hill with better camera angles (u can even see pat sin leng) and they had no cloud in sky....cheers andi

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    1. Andi - you could be right, it's definitely within that vicinity. I'll have to try and find out when the lookout was built. I have no idea how old it is. Cheers, Phil

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  2. when i was standing in front of the fire lookout i also tried to find out when it was built. i asked the two staid gentlemen who seemed to work there, but unfortunatly they were not able to understand my anglo-saxon gibberish...they were very kind, they even allowed me to enter the station and made a phonecall for me, but the englishspeaking person on the phone told me that it's not possible to give any informations...the lookout has a kind of tower and i asked if i can climb up and make some panorama-pics, but of course it was beyond the feasibility...i was very dissatisfied that day, because it's one of the most legendary filminglocations and i was not able to make at least one useful photo...i will definitly revisit the place when i come back to hk (hopefully next christmas/winter).
    oh by the way the last film that used the location (at least that i know of) is MR. VAMPIRE (1985)...cheers andi

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    1. ah, such a shame - well at least they were friendly. I'll pop off an email to the AFCD and see if they have any info. I remember the scene from Mr Vampire - it's the burial scene right? I'll have a another look at it. As you know, the problem with many of these sights these days is that the trees often now obscure previously flat areas which makes it hard to get any point of reference.

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  3. Here is a reasonably good shot taken from the vicinity of the Fire Lookout courtesy of the "Hiking in HK" website (http://mbon.s214.sureserver.com/index.htm)

    http://mbon.s214.sureserver.com/images/Wong%20Chuk%20Yeung/Wong%20Chuk%20Yeung%2008.JPG

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  4. Okay, some nice person at the AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries, Conservation Dept of HK - the ones who look after this kind of stuff) got back to me and have said the Wong Chuk Yeung fire lookout was built in 1979. This means it should have been there when The Young Master was filmed and confirms my gut feeling that this scene was a little bit further away )though not so far from the road to make it impractical for carrying filming equipment etc).

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  5. oh that's interesting!
    an aerial picture from 1980 could bring some clarity i guess.
    i hiked the whole maclehose-trail and i didn't pass any hillside in this area with a similar look/view....

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    1. very true, but they're $120 a print so not cheap. What you have to remember is that much of the foliage on HK's hillsides (everywhere) have grown significantly over the past few decades - what was open space in 1980 could now be completely overgrown with limited views (just look at Ho Sheung Heung as an example).

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