Restored Asian Films
Ruen Pae [The Boat House]
Ruen Pae (The Boat House) is considered a landmark in Thai cinema. It is a famous story that has been depicted on film at least twice, and the songs from the film are well known enough in Thai culture that folks who weren’t even born when the first film was made will sing along to the title theme.
The story is about three guys and the woman who comes between them all. The men, all struggling in early adulthood, share a floating bamboo hut on the river. The woman, Penh (Maria Jang), is the daughter of the boys’ landlord, and the likely fiancee of law student Jane (or how about Jayne?). The brash, alpha-male Kaew (Chaiya Suriyan) is a Muay Thai fighter. And there’s Rin (Jinfong), a singer. All the guys have an eye on Penh, and Penh clearly adores the attentions of them all.
The four of them briefly share some happy days on their boat house, fixing it up. Jane and Penh paddle a boat around in the moonlight. Rin writes a song with Penh’s help. Jane, Rin and Penh go to watch Keaw’s boxing matches. Rin and Keaw good-naturedly taunt Jane.
The story arc and the action are the key to this film. A co-production between Thailand and Hong Kong (the bodacious lead actress and the male singer are from Hong Kong, and their voices seem very likely dubbed), the production values are quite good for a Thai film from this era. The action scenes are a bit frenzied, but they have a lot of scale, being filmed in some stunning locations — on the edge of a cliff, one on a beach and another in a multi-tiered waterfall. The geography covers the length and breadth of Thailand, from Chiang Mai, down to Hua Hin, over to Lopburi. There’s a thrilling daylight robbery of some barges on the river, and a shootout between the police and the tigers in which Kaew leads a daring escape.
Alternate Titles: The Boat House
Original Production Country: Thailand
Original Release Year: 1962
Original Distribution Company:
Production Company: Asuwin Film Production Co, Thailand & Shaw Bros, Hong Kong
Director: Prince Phanuphan Yukol
Other Credits: Cast: Maria Jang, So Asanajinda, Chaiya Suriyan, Jinfong
Colour System: Colour
Country Where Restored: Thailand
Restoration Release Date: TBA
Country Restoration First Screened:
Lab Image Restored By: Technicolor Thailand
Lab Audio Restored By:
Archive Partner(s) In Restoration: FAPOT
Restoration Funded By:
Restoration Premiere: RA II 2005