Even non-kung-fu lovers will be mesmerized by Jimmy Wang Yu in the role that made him a superstar. As the mysterious swordsman whose one arm is more powerful than his two-armed rivals, Wang and director Chang Cheh revolutionized the Hong Kong kung-fu genre and broke box office records across Asia. The female leads, Pan Yin-tse and Chiao Chiao, went on to become some of Shaw Brothers most important lady fighters, and Wang followed up his ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN triumph with numerous sequels. A film that always makes the "top ten" list of martial arts masterpieces, this 1967 classic is as timeless today as upon its original release.
Wang Yu , Pan Yin-tse , Chiao Chiao , Chang Pei-shan
Sun Chung started exploring the kung-fu genre with this fascinating tale which mixes music and martial arts. It's a tale of conflicting clans and a mysterious song called 'The Proud One' which leads to slowly blossoming love as well as sudden death.
This glorious pageantry was awarded Honourable Mention for Drama at the 2nd Golden Horse Awards. Li Li-hua gives a magnificent performance as Wu Tse-tien, the most famous woman in China's more than four thousand year history. The screen fairly bursts with royalty, intrigue, tragedy, and triumph as the script charts her from her teenage years to old age.
Li Li-hua, Chao Lei, Chiao Chuang, Lo Chi, Yu Feng-chi
The venerated Sun Chung made many different kinds of films for Shaw Brothers, including popular and renowned satirical comedies, contemporary action dramas, and magnificent martial arts movies. This is one of his last of the latter for the studio, so he wanted to have fun... and let the audience share it. Toward that end he cast international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng as the title character who keeps testing the patience (and kung-fu skills) of his father, a small town bonesetter and herbal healer played by award-winning character actor Ku Feng. But when a local dignitary not only smuggles drugs but plans to give a Chinese treasure away to evil outsiders, the father and son unite to take on foreign fighters and even Japanese ninja in a non-stop display of comic action prowess.
Yen Chuan plays the weak emperor, whose obsession with his consort, Yang Kwei Fei (Li Li-hua) makes him ignore the running of the country and leave the reins to his Prime Minister Yang Kuo-chung (Yang Chi-ching), who also happens to be Yang Kwei Fei's brother. Unfortunately, the cruel Prime Minister's selfish decisions leave the empire in shambles. The Magnificent Concubine is one exquisite production not to miss!
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!
It's back to the Shaolin Monastery for one of the most unusual action-packed tales to invade its hallowed halls. Lo Lieh is the ringleader of the Snake Sect, intent on reviving a particularly deadly faction known as the "Five Poison Web" (which is also THE WEB OF DEATH's Chinese title). To achieve his ends, he has an affair with the sexy ringleader of the Scorpion Sect, Angela Yu Chien. But there is also the Centipede Sect to contend with, as well as other assorted martial artists, among them such top Shaw Brothers talents as Yueh Hua, Ching Li, and Lily Li. Under the fluid direction of Chu Yuan and action choreographers Tang Chia and Yuen Cheung-yan (member of the martial arts world's esteemed Yuen Family and brother of Matrix master Yuen Woo-ping), THE WEB OF DEATH goes places where no other Shaolin kung-fu movie has gone before or since.
Applauded director Li Han-Hsiang was one of few directors that made soft porn acceptable by mainstream audiences; using the thematic device of "sex on a mission" cynicism, suggesting that sex was the ultimate power. In the sex comedy The Scandalous Warlord, the true power that drove the country's many warlords were the prostitutes that these men would routinely visit. Therefore, the power in this film lies in the hands of the sassy Shirley Yu and the titillating Shaw Yin-Yin.
Months before Bruce Lee burst into the international scene with ENTER THE DRAGON, this powerful story of tragedy, torture, redemption, and revenge premiered across America under the unforgettable title FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH. And, under that title, it went on to become the first international martial arts movie hit, and a perennial best-selling video. It made a continent-spanning star of Lo Lieh, and established the Shaw Brothers as the preeminent studio for high quality action and adventure. Now, finally, after more than thirty years, the original KING BOXER takes its rightful place as the film that started it all for the Western world. Not surprisingly, the tale of an honorable fighter's retraining in the "Iron Palm" style after corrupt invaders crush his hands remains as potent and exciting as when it premiered.
Betty Ting Pei stars as a singer from Taipei who comes to Hong Kong in search of her missing sister; nearly getting raped by a street gang and rescued by a handsome composer. Among the girls she meets during her investigation are "queen of Shaw kung-fu", Lily Li, and elegant Ouyang Sha-fei. It's all handled with taste and verve by the studio's Japanese import, writer/director Inoue Umetsugu, who made viewers rediscover Hong Kong's splendors and dangers with an outsider's perspective.
Betty Ting Pei, Yang Fan, Lily Li, Ou Yen-ching, Hsia Ping
Also known as Seven Soldiers Of Kung-fu and 108 Heroes, this sequel to the martial arts blockbuster The Water Margin is considered by many kung-fu cultists as even more action-packed than the original. Based on one of China’s enduring epic novels, written in the 14th century, All Men Are Brothers continues the patriotic story of righteous warriors battling despotic leaders, featuring mythic characters familiar to every Chinese, and with a cast that has achieved an equally celebrated status among Shaw Brothers devotees: Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan-tai, and Danny Lee. A hard-edged feminine touch is provided by Lily Ho and Betty Chung Ling-ling. The behind-the-camera line-up is also of mythic proportions, with direction by Chang Cheh and no less than four martial arts choreographers, including Liu Chia-liang and brother Liu Chia-yung.
Betty Chung Ling-ling, Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan-tai
Costume drama auteur Li han-hsiang adapts thee erotic and mystic tales from the Chinese classical literatures and visualizes them on screen into an instant cult classic. Starring the hottest stars Tien Ni, Hu Chin, Chen Ping, Yang Chun, and Yueh Hua, the stories span across time from the Tang to Ming dynasties, filled with exotic characters such as emperors, concubines, monks, and fortune-tellers, intertwined in a world of adultery, lust and greed. Costume drama buffs should not miss it.