Yu So-chow Rocks; or, A Silver-Screen Western/Eastern Heroine

Silver-screen western heroines have it tough.

They’re not as pioneer-hard as actual historical Western women, and they have the added burden of the madonna/whore paradox, eternally scripted as being either the sweet Clementines or the volatile Chihuahuas of the Silver-Screen West.

Henry Fonda and Cathy Downs (Clementine)

Victor Mature, Linda Darnell (Chihuahua), and another goddamn fake saguaro

(Not kidding on that WTF Chihuahua name, by the way. Check out the otherwise excellent My Darling Clementine by John Ford.)

So it’s tough to find silver-screen western heroines with the kind of balls we know real western women had (metaphorically speaking), and who aren’t dressed like strippers.

Enter the East, to educate the West.

Yu So-chow was one of the finest screen presences of the 1940s through 1960s. Trained by her father in martial arts (he also schooled Jackie Chan), she could wield a sword, knock several bad guys on their asses with one kick, and then quick-change into a dress and sip martinis. Now that is a woman!

Her prowess isn’t the reason I’m jumping up and down and squeeing like a schoolgirl, though. To add platinum to her already golden stature, Yu So-chow was in at least two Chinese Westerns, Double Pistol Heroine (1949) and Bloodbath at Golden Sand Bay (1952). Aren’t those titles the most x-treme pulp EVAH? Love them! I can’t say more–her story is excellently retold on the sitesĀ Kung-Fu Cinema andĀ Soft Film.

from softfilm.blogspot.com

And like any classy lady, she still shines, as you can see from her site, which unfortunately isn’t in English.

Cowgirl, thy name is Yu So-chow!

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