Thai title: เสน่ห์บางกอก
Director: Wichit Khunawut
Main actress: Pawana Chanajit
เสน่ห์บางกอก (Charm of Bangkok) is a Thai movie released in year 1966. It has still a colorful image. It was never released officially in any video format such as VHS, VCD or DVD. So luckily in year 2013, it was released on Thai TV CH7 during the program อมตะหนังไทย. It lasts 1h35mn. Originally the movie lasts 2h20mn. It remains famous as one of the first song movies (หนังเพลง) in Thailand. It featured 8 songs. It received three golden statuettes during Thai cinema awards. The main actor is a real Thai singer (นักร้องลูกทุ่ง พร ภิรมย์). A Thai collector still has the full length movie but in mute mode as it is a 16mm movie so it needs to get dubbed. He shared an additional 19 minutes extract with songs on Internet. Too sad that the movie from director Wichit Khunawut (วิจิตร คุณาวุฒิ) cannot be seen in its original state. Sabai (สไบ) (Pawana Chanajit) is riding bicycle and gets hit by Plae's (แพร) car. Animosity happens immediately between them (เครียดกัน). Sabai is friend with Tong, Plae's sister. Plae wishes to continue his studies but his father Kamnan wants him to ordain as a monk and then to marry Sabai! Dance (รำวง) happens in the village. The dancing ends up in a fighting between Plae and a ruffian trying to seduce Sabai. Plae is bitten by a snake. While he is recovering, his father already asked Sabai's parents for her hand through a procession ceremony (พิธีแห่ขันหมาก). Sabai claims she doesn't love him (แต่งแล้วจะรักกันเอง). Later on they even argue strongly (คนผีทะเล). Ordination ceremony happens. Plae's father intends to have a lakorn to entertain guests. Some guests from Bangkok are coming. Khun Luang and a star (ดาราละคร) are coming. Plae falls under the charm of the actress. Khun Luang wishes to rent the Buddha image (พระองค์งาม) but Kamnan refuses as it protects the family happiness. Still under the charm, Plae hits his own brother to steal the Buddha and flees to Bangkok (หนีบวจ) hoping to become rich (ความเจริญในเมืองบางกอก). Losing face, the father decides to look for his son in Bangkok. Many comic situations happen as Kamnan has never been in big city like Bangkok (บ้านนอก). There are amazing sequences showing Bangkok and its famous tourist spots 50 years ago. Plae goes to Khun Luang and the actress house. He meets Sabai there as she knew he will come here! The actress already forgot him. Disappointed, he leaves. Khun Luang (หัวหน้าร้าย) sends thugs to find Plae. Meanwhile Plae befriends with a Thai boxing ring owner and leaves the Buddha statue at his home. Plae gets kidnapped by the thugs. Kamnan needs to give the Buddha statue in exchange. Finally Kamnan, the Thai boxing ring owner and the police neutralise the ruffians. Through a thrilling Thai boxing match, Plae beats his opponent and wins enough money to bring everybody back to the village. He will fulfill his promise to ordain and then marry Sabai. Many Thai movies are about the theme of the up country guy coming to Bangkok and hoping to become rich but only facing disillusion. This story has been readapted a few times, i.e. in years 2011 and 1996 for Thai TV series and in year 1981 for a Thai movie with Sorapong Chatree and Naowarat Yooktanun.
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