Unarguably the greatest character in kung-fu film history is Huang Fei-hong. Arguably the greatest director of pure kung-fu films is Liu Chia-liang. Putting the two together was natural, since Liu started his career working on the classic Huang, and his family was trained by students of the real Huang Fei-hong! So after his first film as director, THE SPIRITUAL BOXER, was a huge hit, Liu decided to make the greatest tale of Huang and his "sifu" (teacher) ever filmed. He made a star of his adoptive brother, Gordon Liu Chia-hui, in the leading role, and filled the cast with family members, friends, students, and the best Shaw Brothers had to offer. He even played the villain himself. The result was more Liu magic, with an honorable message of righteousness that rings true through the decades.
Gordon Liu Chia-hui, Chen Kuan-tai, Wang Yu, Lily Li
This sequel to The Empress Dowager surpasses its predecessor in some ways. The attention to historic detail in the sets and costumes is everything one expects from director Li Han-Hsiang, the master of the costume drama. Variety hailed the production as "lavish, the script tightly packed"; Variety also concluded that the "filmmaker's efforts to try to make things perfect, to put his audience back in the days of the Empress Dowager and her son, have come off once again."
One of director Chu Yuan's crowning achievements, THE SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN epitomizes the lone, virtuous, heroic swordsman with a twist. The film uses melodrama as a vehicle for swordplay and Chu bamboozled audiences by infusing the Oedipus complex. Swordsman Li Hsin-huan, magnificently played by the highly respected and popular Ti Lung, is also a hero with weaknesses; he drinks too much and believes in love and emotion. Shaw Brothers’ fiery yet worldly femme Ching Li plays Li's girlfriend given in the name of tricked honor. It's finally payback time. Yet it's Li's oneness with nature that wins the day. Chu's swordsman films created romantic worlds lavishly infused with flamboyant atmospheric settings as evident by the film receiving the Special Award for Best Cinematography at the 1978 Golden Horse Awards.
King of tension, Sun Chung directs this insightful melodrama into the hopes of young 1970s kids for love and romance, and rarely for a Hong Kong film, sex! In order to escape from her mother fiddling in her love life, young office worker, Li Mingli (Lin Chen-chi) moves away from home to live on her own. Now independent, she falls in love with novelist, Gu Nongfeng (Tsung Hua) and moves in with him. But all's not smooth sailing in a city where free love and illicit affairs are frowned upon, and rebellion is just not done!
It's a no-holds-barred battle to the death for possession of the invaluable Purple Sword. Assistant director Wang Po-yi also wrote this entertaining and exciting adventure which could have also been called "The Five Tigers" since there's no doubt that this quintet is the highlight of the action. Huang Tsung-shun is "Fierce Tiger," Hung Liu is "Drunk Tiger," Hsu Erh-niu is "Lame Tiger," award-winning actor Ku Feng is "One-eyed Tiger" and respected director/actor Wu Ma is "Sick Tiger" in a tangle of tussles and thrills.
Chang I, Chen Hung-lieh, Shu Pei-pei, Essie Lin Chia
No list compiled of all the screen's comic geniuses would be complete without Michael Hui. He created a hilarious and lovable comic persona that was both uniquely Asian and universally beloved. The Warlord, his first film, not only showcased his incomparable sense of humour but also a revolutionized Hong Kong comedy. Evoking Chaplin, he plays a warlord in early 20th century China, but makes the role his own with comedy. Some of the sexiest ladies on the Shaw Brothers lot add on to the ingenuity of the movie.
Esteemed director Ho Meng-hua attained cult status among kung-fu film fans in the West with his wild and wacky martial arts hit THE FLYING GUILLOTINE. His unique directing approach focused more on the devastating nature of the horrific weapon than the kung-fu fights. One of Shaw Brothers' biggest kung-fu stars at the time, Chen Kuan-tai plays the leader of the ‘Flying Guillotine Squad’ a group of hand picked killers, commissioned by the Ching Emperor Yung Cheng, that use a deadly, beheading weapon to carry out the emperor's assassination assignments. It's actually based on a true story. Interestingly, the weapon used in the film was a complete fabrication because in real life, no one ever survived to tell what the actual weapon really looked like.
The crazy bumpkin returns in a sequel for more bittersweet laughs and heart-wrenching misfortune, as his true love becomes the wife of an abusive husband and his uncle further exploits his naïve nature.
Skilled shadow boxer Ku Ting hides his skills by working as a construction worker. But when the thugs assault his girlfriend, Ku Ting has no choice but to use his teachings to show his enemies what it takes to keep justice in line.
Chen Kuang (David Chiang) and Tu Fa (Wang Chung) are good friends who make an honest living as taxi drivers. Ma Hsiang-lung (Shih Chung-tien), a tenant in the same house as Chen, plots a bank robbery. They set a trap for Chen and the police identifies Chen as one of the robbers. Aided by his friends Tu Fa, Chen goes into hiding, trying at the same time to track down the real robbers.
Taking a refreshing break from his usual villain roles, the great Shih Chien (Shek Kin) plays a comedic ghost who befriends a young boy in this heartwarming tale. Famous for the hall of mirror battle scene with Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon, Shek Kin is a kindhearted spirit who brings the kid's separated parents - a fashion business woman (Josephine Siu) and a rich merchant (Ti Lung) back together. If you've never seen Shek Kin play goofy and wacky, this movie is for you.
Director Chu Yuan teams with star Ti Lung and famed novelist Chu Yu for this intriguing, exciting production which weaves mystery and suspense in with the kung-fu action. Ti plays a framed kung-fu master who's seeking revenge after fifteen years in prison, and must survive one attempt on his life after another...
How far would you go for love? Or lust? These are the questions posed in this sinfully entertaining Sung Dynasty period effort. Split into two tales, the first one involves a devilish magistrate who tries to tempt a Buddhist monk out of his self-professed celibate control by hiring a pretty prostitute. The second story is the tragic tale of an exploited young girl, the queen of femme fatale Shaw Yin-yin, who is forced to work in an unscrupulous couple's brothel.