Avid international kung-fu films fans have a special place in their hearts for this outstanding martial arts drama, which marked the ascension of director Sun Chung and action choreographer Tang Chia to legendary status. Tang also appeared as the "Chief Security Officer" in this powerful tale of the Thirteen Eagles Assassination Sect of the infamous Iron Boat Clan. Ku Feng is excellent as the poisonously patriarchal leader of the killers, but conflicted "son" Ti Lung and vengeful victim Alexander Fu Sheng command the screen as consummate warriors united in tragedy. Everything is exceptional in this endlessly entertaining production: from the cinematography of Lan Nei-tsai, to the script by Shaw Brothers' writing wizard Ni Kuang, to the editing of Chiang Hsing-loong and Yu Hsiao-feng, which deservedly won the Golden Horse Award.
It’s the Sung Dynasty versus the Chin invaders as the “Iron Triangle” of director Chang Cheh and stars David Chiang and Ti Lung truly hit their stride with this crowd-pleasing kung-fu epic. When a handsome Prince is taken captive and guarded by a martial arts master, it’s up to two powerful patriots to fight overwhelming odds to pull off the impossible: rescue the royal son and get out of the Chin stronghold alive. It’s action as only Chang can film it, with supremely charismatic acting and fighting as only Chiang and Lung can perform it. From the first fascinating minute to the final desperate battle to the death – culminating in an unforgettably evocative conclusion - this duo is dynamic as well as deadly.
Jimmy Wang Yu was One-Armed Swordsman. But he had moved on to become The Chinese Boxer. So Chang Cheh, the man who had helped make him a star, wasn’t kidding with the title of this fondly remembered epic (which deservedly won a prestigious Golden Horse Award for Editing). He took his charismatic new star, David Chiang, and made him an all-new-one-armed hero - a man who chops off his right arm rather than live with dishonor. But when the love of his life is kidnapped and his best friend is murdered at a gang’s stronghold on Tiger Mountain, its one-armed chopping time. The climatic battle on an amazingly engineered moat bridge is a particular favorite among true fans of martial art masterpieces.
Long before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon wowed the western world, Come Drink With Me set an entirely new standard for martial arts movies in the Far East. Director King Hu not only broke new ground but set the groundwork for all the action films that followed, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Come Drink With Me tells the story of a mysterious swordswoman nicknamed "Golden Swallow“, and the even more mysterious swordsman, "Beggar“. They join forces to free a kidnapped official from a Buddhist monastery run by a corrupt abbot with incredible kung-fu powers. But the real attention-getters are the ingeniously staged action scenes and a cast of characters that looks as cool today as when the film burst upon the cinema scene in 1966.
Many feel that this, one of the Shaw Studio’s biggest moneymakers, is one of those rare sequels which is superior to its original. In any case, the charming title hero is back in action, facing the Money Clan Chief for the fate of the “Martial Arts World”.
In the spectacular careers of Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang , many international fans feel that this film is the apex of their collaboration as, respectively, director and kung-fu choreographer. Add to that the starring role of Alexander Fu Sheng and the introduction of international Shaolin monk icon Gordon Liu Chia-hui, and you have an epic for the record books. A great choreographer in his own right, Tang Chia, is on hand as partner to Liu Chia-liang, while the titanic team of "king of the villains" Johnny Wang Lung-wei and "Thundering Mantis“ Liang Chia-jen play Manchu assassins. But at the heart of this action-packed classic is relevatory training sequences in the Eagle Claw, Hung Hsi Kuan, and Yung Chun schools of kung-fu. In short: this is a must for any martial arts movie fan.
Tang Chia is considered one of the greatest Kung fu choreographers ever, but he only directed three movies of his own. The first two were weird and wonderful Kung fu phantasmagoricals, but this, his last, is not only his greatest, but one of the greatest ever. Ti Lung, in one of his finest performances, plays Tieh Chiao-san, head of the Ten Kwangtung Tigers, who falls victim to opium, the title drug which crippled China. The tragedies and drama that ensue are as stunning as the Kung fu, created by a superlative team of six martial artists. It leads to a truly unforgettable climax, as a trembling Tieh, still weak from going cold turkey, must face the gangsters who have ruined his town while he was addicted. A legitimate masterpiece and one of the finest, most effecting martial arts movies Shaw Brothers ever produced.
In the days before Bruce Lee became a superstar, the greatest heroes in Hong Kong cinema were not just one man, but two: the majestic Ti Lung and the charismatic David Chiang, who were made stars by Chang Cheh. The year after they exploded into superstardom in the director’s landmark teen rebellion action film, Vengeance, they returned in this mano-a-mano classic which contained many of themes that made them famous. A wealthy man is murdered. An adopted son struggles with familial fears. A mysterious, charming, streetwise knight-errant named “Rambler” always turns up in the nick of time. The two protagonists distrust each other until they survive a trial by fire (and fists). Then, side by side, they must face dozens of duplicitous killers from without and within. With the support of action choreographer Liu Chia-liang, this “Iron Triangle” of a director and his two stars creates another winner.
As the names of Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang became legendary, all-too-often the name of their equally valued collaborator, Tang Chia, is omitted. That may be, because, unlike the previous pair, the veteran kung-fu choreographer only went on to direct three movies of his own. Of course, that makes this trio all the more special, and this first effort perhaps the most special of all. It may be an eye-filling, mind-bending martial arts tale of two royal princes battling for the rightful recovery of the throne, but it's also a party, where Tang invites two cinematographers, three editors, and no less than five other choreographer friends to almost literally shoot the works. The results are kung-fu configurations not only never seen before, but never even imagined!
Rarely has a title been more accurate, but considering the action which fills this film, it also could have been called The Brutal Five or The Cruel Five or The Vicious Five É if the title referred to the villains, that is. In any case, the heroes are certainly outnumbered as gang after gang of robbing rapists invade this poor town. At first the fiends just want a village locksmith to help them open a stolen safe, but soon the entire community is being held hostage, threatened, and tortured. Although reminiscent of The Seven Samurai, the director and his revered action choreographers, Liu Chia-liang and Tang Chia, design each of the many struggles with gritty depravity and desperate power. The result is an especially realistic, even grueling, exercise in suspense.
In 1970, swordsmen and kung-fu aces swept through the Hong Kong film industry as never before, becoming the dominant trend and conquering the box office. No screen team was more triumphant than the “iron triangle” of director Chang Cheh and his protégés David Chiang and Ti Lung. The Heroic Ones is their quintessential historical epic, set during the waning years of the Tang Dynasty and centering on a royal family with thirteen sons. It is literally brother against brother as various factions scramble for control, with David Chiang and Ti Lung displaying their martial arts prowess as they battle insiders and outsiders. The Heroic Ones was a gigantic success in Hong Kong, far ahead of such Hollywood blockbusters as Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and Patton in that year’s box office sweepstakes.
Chu Liuxiang, the charming, capable, and sentimental, swordsman is back in action for this extremely well-named third installment of the hit box-office series -- which won majestic star Ti Lung a whole new legion of fans. The titanic team of director Chu Yuan and novelist Ku Lung wisely chose to give their hero a whole new, non-stop, cliffhanger-fraught adventure featuring a mystery swordsman, a sensual swordswoman, an imperial assassin, a Ghost Mansion, the Bat Island, a booby-trapped tunnel, double crosses, and secret missions. No fewer than three martial arts choreographers are on hand to guide the amazing mayhem, featuring such favorites as award-winning kung-fu actor Ku Feng and Shaw’s first international star, Lo Lieh.
The terrific team of director Lo Wei (who helmed Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan’s first major movies) and superstar swordswoman Cheng Pei-pei (famous for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) create another high-action winner of brotherly love…and death.
Director Sun Chung was the first Shaw Brothers’ director to use the Steadicam and in the mid-70s was one of the most productive directors Shaw Brothers ever had. His action films had strong tension, snappy editing and slow motion, the things that influenced up and coming martial arts director John Woo. Sun Chung joins forces with kung-fu comedian Wong Yue, a ballistic kid on a mission to clear his father's name, in The Kid with a Tattoo which also features plentiful ripsnorting martial arts at the hands of Liu Chia-liang's 10-year, exceptionally creative, choreographer partner Tang Chia. Jackie Chan's long time kung-fu classmates Yuen Hua and Yuan Pin along with best martial arts fighting villain Wang Lung-wei, add wickedly wild altercations to the melees of death.
The Kung-fu Instructor is martial arts film director Sun Chung's loose homage to Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo where unlike Toshiro Mifune's Sanjuro character being a snarling, bastard, drunk swordsman looking for a drink, popular actor Ti Lung's Huang Yang role, is an upright, righteous, weapon instructor looking to keep his limbs. Huang is a famous martial artist trapped into teaching kung-fu to the wrong clan while the opposing "good" clan tries to save him so he can instruct their members. Besides kung-fu comedienne Wang Yu starring in one of his few serious roles, Sun became the first Shaw Brothers' director to use a Steadicam which gives the film's action and editing style a unique brand of tension and rhythm. The pole fights are also out of this world.