Malay comedy in a late colonial and post-colonial context : the Singapore comedy films of P. Ramlee, 1957-1964

2017-12-19T01:17:25Z (GMT) by Rohani Hashim
This thesis is a study of the major Malay language comedy films written and directed in Singapore for the Shaw Brothers company, Malay Film Productions, by P. Ramlee, in the period 1957-1964, a period which is commonly regarded as the "Golden Age of the Malay Film Industry." Ramlee was born in Penang in 1929, and having established himself as a singer, songwriter, popular actor and scriptwriter, began his career as a film director in 1956, shortly before the Malay Federation achieved independence from Britain in 1957. In Malaysia Ramlee is often referred to as Seniman Agong (Exalted Artist), for he is still regarded as one of the most important figures ever to emerge within Malay poopular culture. As well as being a screen idol, he was the first really successful, ethnically Malay, film director, and his films are still screened tody on television, still loved by both children and adults in Malaysia and Singapore. While numerous biographies of Ramlee have been published, there have been few academic studies of his films, and none of his comedies. Although Ramlee directed a total of 36 films, many of them melodramas, this thesis is a study of the major comedies Ramlee made in his Singapore period, before he moved to Kula Lumpur, to work in 1964. [...]