When I start watching something, I can get real fixated. It happened when I finished watching the old 1962 Madam White Snake movie starring the memorable Linda Lin Dai.
I had put it off for some time. Near the climax of the picture, I realized that it had a more things in common with the 1956 Japan produced The Legend of the White Serpent, than Shaw Brothers Studio.
The latter movie was co-produced with Japan's Toho Company. It starred actress Li Xianglan / Shirley Yamaguchi whose work I have been following in recent years.
Even though these movies were made 6 years apart, I understand why the quality was similar. The 1962 movie included the same footage of the flooding of the Jinshan Temple. The scene comprised of miniature effects married with the live action of both films. It was enough for me to screen the 1956 movie as well.
Aside obvious differences with the two films aside from language, both remained faithful to the original tale. Based on the legendary story of the enchanted white serpent's love for a mortal man, both depict a struggle for happiness. They would only find it after death.
Unfortunately, it will be quite difficult to find these movies on DVD. I really do need subtitles to enjoy the experience.
In my search today, I came across an interesting rendition of the Japanese movie theme performed on a theramine.