Sun Chung had been recognized as an expert comedy and crime thriller director, but he was to gain even greater acclaim for his soulful, powerful, intelligent, and beautifully-made martial arts epics. This stands alongside The Deadly Breaking Sword and The Kung-fu Instructor as one of his very best. It's not so much the plot - a master swordsman protects a treasure chest on a dangerous journey - that makes this great, but what Sun does with it, inspiring the cast and crew to some of their finest work.
Fatherless as a child, Hsiang (David Chiang) supports his mother, but gangsters kill his mother, so he starts killing in revenge. Unlike his swordplay heroes, Hsiang admits guilt, expresses sorrow and is imprisoned. Directed and played by Ti Lung, the film features great fights by Yuan Hsio-tieng (The Matrix's fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping's father).
Linda Lin Dai is perfect as Pak Su-cheng, the stunning snake goddess who assumes a womanly form so that she can taste the pleasures of a human life! Pak seduces young scholar, Hsu Hsien (Chao Lei) when she recognises him as her saviour in another life 1,000 years ago. But when Buddhist monk Fa Hai finds out about the union, the pair is forced to split...
Lin Dai, Chao Lei, Tu Chuan, Yang Chih-ching, Yiu Kuang-chao
Fu Ping-chung (Ching Miao), a government official, is charged with making a misleading military report and is recalled from his position. He and his servant pack up his books and belongings and head for home. En route, they get into a squabble with a man (Chuan Yuan) at the inn, but the man proves to be such a good fighter that Fu persuades him to join his entourage as a body-guard. Soon they meet two girls, Shih Hsueh-lan (Shu Pei-pei) is s reluctant bride who has just run away from her wedding. They join Fu and his men for protection but then they all fall into an attack by a gang of traitors...
Pao Hsueh-li, the trusted co-director for several of Chang Cheh’s most memorable productions (including THE WATER MARGIN), here creates one of his own. It features a brother who loves books and a sister who loves swords taking on men-haters, women-haters, and even monsters. The yellow-robed warrior, the Red Python, a sinuous snake-charmer, and a silk-masked beauty (who must kill or wed the first man to see her face) are just some of the fascinating characters these siblings must face before they bring peace to their battle-addled family. The versatile actor Danny Lee, future star of John Woo’s THE KILLER, stars as the brother, while the striking Tanny Tien Ni, is the sister in this familial fight fest. Respected kung-fu choreographers Tang Chia and Huang Pei-chi controlled the swordplay and even the feared "moonlight blow" in this special, cliché-smashing production.
Linda Lin Dai struggles with The Blue forces of freedom, love, the sea and the sky, and The Black, the bottomless pit of evil. Lin’s poignant performance is memorable, however, it is that of newcomer Angela Yu Chien, who was named Best Supporting Actress. Part I ends with a literal cliffhanger, setting the stage for the equally memorable Part II.
Master martial arts moviemaker Liu Chia-liang wanted to make a movie about Chinese royalty’s relation to the common people. He accomplished it with one of the greatest kung-fu adventures ever made, incorporating at least three of the most brilliantly conceived and executed fight sequences ever caught on film. Wang Yu is the streetwise title character while the director’s adopted brother, Gordon Liu Chia-hui, plays an incognito prince who uses Ho as a dupe to try avoiding court intrigue. But any description of the plot cannot communicate the beauty and ingeniousness of Liu's invention and vision. Combining laughs and thrills, the monumental director adds to his legend with a film that only gets more impressive with each successive viewing.
In one of their last films, Wang Ping helped veteran Yueh Feng to finish this saga of a murdered brother, a determined sister, and the suspects and swordsmen who both hinder and help in a search for a killer. Shu Pei-pei lends her exceptional talent to the production alongside hero Yueh Hua, who is her stalwart companion in a pitched battle to rid the town of all killers, gangsters, and thieves.
Wu Sung (Ti Lung) beats a vicious tiger to death in Yang Ku on his way back to the town. The local magistrate appoints him assistant chief constable because of his bravery. When he comes across his ugly brother, Wu Ta-lang (Ku Feng), he is taken home to meet his alluring wife Pan Chin-lien (Wang Ping). Pan is smitten with Sung and attempts to seduce him, but Sung forcibly rejects her. When her husband returns, she accuses her brother-in-law instead. Wu Ta-lang does not believe her, but Sung nevertheless leaves quietly on a mission to another town.
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.
A Chinese costume version of the legend of French King Louis XIV, Shin Yung-Kyoon plays the double role of twin sons of the Emperor who are separated as children. One is a brave noble warrior, the other is a debauched ruler whose suspicion is so great he orders his very own sibling's face to be hidden by an iron mask. The ever-talented Li Ching co-stars as the princess, a love interest for both brothers.
Famed director Chu Yuan helms this tale of heartache and urban brawling. An orphan, Little Bastard (Tsung Hua) is taken on and trained as a fighter by a hermit. When Little Bastard grows up, he feels he is old enough to go out into the world and look for his parents. Lucky for him, he befriends another beggar, Hsiao Yi (Lily Li). As a street-wise kid, Hsiao Yi helps Little Bastard to find his family, and she gets herself in trouble with the gang.
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