Heroes of the East

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    Le Cerf-Volant Du Bout Du Monde (1958) aka SECRET OF THE MAGIC KITE

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    Brian T

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    Join date : 2011-02-16

    Le Cerf-Volant Du Bout Du Monde (1958) aka SECRET OF THE MAGIC KITE

    Post  Brian T on Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:55 pm

    On the grindhouse trailer compilation 42nd STREET FOREVER VOL. 4 -- which I just watched recently -- there's an intriguing trailer for an old French film from 1958 called LE CERF-VOLANT DU BOUT DU MONDE, which was released, dubbed, in North America as THE MAGIC OF THE KITE. It's about a colourful magician character painted on an old Chinese kite who comes to life and whisks a pair of young French children from their bedroom to . . . China!

    Searching the web reveals the film has never been on DVD in either variant, while the U.S. version has never been released on home video of any kind. Thankfully, the film was released on French VHS, and someone was kind enough to upload the entire picture to YouTube very recently (talk about good timing!), albeit without subs. It's nevertheless a vivid time capsule-slash-travelogue of the country when presumably few western filmmakers were either interested in or allowed to shoot there. The whole film is charming and bears a message that was apparently lost on those in power over the ensuing decades, but for those keen on zipping to the Chinese portion of the adventure, it begins around the 37-minute mark:



    Another user uploaded the Mandarin Chinese version, again unsubbed (I haven't watched both of these versions in their entirety yet, but there appears to be slight differences between the two):



    Finally, here's the trailer for the U.S. edition, retitled THE MAGIC OF THE KITE. It's paired with a trailer for the surreal SECRET OF MAGIC ISLAND, the two of them among countless foreign kiddie pictures imported and redubbed by savvy U.S. distributors back in the day:


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