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.
Action auteur Chang Cheh accomplished one of the most memorable historical dramas to come out of Shaw Brothers in the 1960s, and became a pioneer at the golden age of martial arts cinema. Featuring the 20-year-old swimming champion and future action star Wang Yu. Set in the final years of the Ming Dynasty, three brave heroes stand against a power-hungry official, and cross-path with three gorgeous beauties. It's two magnificent trios in one film!
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.
A group of bandits flees with a stolen safe to a village where they oppress the villagers and force the blacksmith Wei to unlock the safe. Wei refuses and flees to report to officials, while heroes of the town emerge to fight the bandits.
David Chiang, Ti Lung, Wang Chung, Chen Kuan-tai, Danny Lee
One of Liu Chia Liang’s classics, Cat VS Rat is almost a full-scale slapstick comedy, as well as a tailor-made showcase for the "odd couple" of Fu Sheng and Adam Cheng. The two equally matched martial artists’ constant squabbling for wushu supremacy ultimately imperils an incognito emperor, and they have to work together to recover the royal seal.
Li attempts to make a fortune at the horse-racing tracks, but is subsequently entangled with loan sharks. Li becomes debt-laden while his sons are harassed by debt collectors, when more heart-wrenching events begin to unfold.
Lau Chong-yan, Huang Kun-hsuan, Cheng Pak-lam, Ng Man-tat
Cheng Chang-ho had already established his filmmaking fame in Korea when he was invited to join the Shaw Studio. He created new fame in Hong Kong by directing (and sometimes writing) such action epics as Valley Of The Fangs, The Swift Knight, and this tale of a decapitating swordswoman who will let nothing stand in her way when she falls in love with a bandit’s son. Chiao Chiao, made famous in One-Armed Swordsman, is the girl who won’t let such trifles as craniums keep her from freeing her man from jail. The one villain who manages to keep his head (in every definition of the phrase) is Fan Mei-sheng. The success of this film really helped the director get ahead in just two years he was to helm the very first internationally successful kung-fu film: King Boxer.
Chiao Chiao, Chen Liang, Wang Hsieh, Ching Miao, Chang Pei-shan
Asian fans of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon recognized that its director Ang Lee was actually inspired by director Chu Yuan and novelist Ku Lung's wonderful tales of a "martial arts world" where all wushu warriors try to attain the "Deer Sword" and escape from the insidious maze-like "Toy Land." Master kung-fu choreographer Tang Chia leads the king and queen of Shaw - Ti Lung and Lily Li - to engage in a fascinating and entertaining swordplay adventure of consummate swordsmen and sorceresses.
A talented young swordsman is brought to the edge of suicide when he encounters his first defeat in life. In his despair, he comes across a beautiful woman, daughter of the head of a mysterious sect. But will this encounter and his thirst for supremacy lead him onto a path of selfish rampage of violence?
The Boxer Rebellion was one of the most incredible events in China's long history. Infuriated by the Western Imperialist power's intrusion into their country, the masses trusted rabble rousers who maintained that they had developed a kung-fu which was impervious to bullets...leading to wholesale slaughter at the enemies' guns. The "godfather of the kung-fu film," Chang Cheh, was given one of the highest budgets to date to tell this sweeping war story of disillusionment and revenge. Kung-fu choreographer Liu Chia-liang led an all-star fighting cast featuring international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng and Shaw Brothers' villain supreme Wang Lung-wei. Even the most avid fans of BLOODY AVENGERS, the heavily edited U.S. version of this film, will find this uncut, uncropped original a welcome revelation.
Although King Cat was one of Chang I’s earliest films, the young actor already showed promise that made him the star of countless Shaw Brothers' martial arts movies till today. Chang plays Chan Chao, a knight of justice, who thwarts the plans of Minister Peng to assassinate the revered Judge Pao Cheng over and over again. Lo Lieh gives Chang a good run for his money as the evil and sinister henchman of Minister Peng.
Pat Ting Hung, Chiao Chuang, Ching Li, Chin Feng, Chang Yi
It's mid-autumn festival, and hunchbacked, Liu To, out to avenge his sworn-brother, Chin Piao's death, calls for Li Kuei. (Who killed Chin Piao ten years earlier in a fight to possess a document about the "Poisonous Dragon Sword.") Later, the two fight, and Liu To loses his right arm, and swears vengeance on Li Kuei, during mid-autumn in ten years' time. Near death, Li Kuei asks Madame Chen (his sister) to send his daughter, Li Pao-chu, to learn the fighting tacties of the poisonous dragon sword. Ten years pass, and Li Pao-chu, now highly respected and feared for her swordplay skills, is called "The Young Avenger". Her quest is to avenge the death of her father. She meets her swordsman cousin, Chen Shih-lun. Mid-autumn comes, and with it Liu To and Chen Shih-lun, who leads the local villagers in an attack against marauding thugs. A bitter fight ensues between Liu To and Chen Shih-lun, with Liu getting the upper hand in spite of help from Li Pao-chu. At a critical moment in the fight, they are aided and inspired by Li Pao-chu's teacher (Chen Shih-lun's paternal uncle) and Liu To is finally killed by Li Pao-chu. The quest of the Young Avenger is at last over.
On a continent which reveres its martial arts, the director's nickname is "Kung-fu Liang" - holder of a filmography unprecedented in its innovation of theme, ingeniousness of plot, and imagination of its astonishingly designed kung-fu. This production is clearly the culmination of his initial Shaw Brothers work - the film which he used as a showcase for his and his brothers' - Chia-yung and Gordon Lui - skills. In the premiere, groundbreaking book on the genre, Martial Arts Movies, author Ric Meyers called it "the quintessential martial arts movie" and perhaps the greatest kung-fu movie ever made. Showing prescience customary with this visionary, the plot revolved around early 20th century pugilists vainly attempting to find a kung-fu which could defeat the bullet... years before the same theme would be used in Once Upon A Time In China. It also features the rarely dramatized magician-spies of China, who would ultimately inspire the Japanese ninja. But most importantly, it is a beautifully made action comedy featuring international fan favorite Alexander Fu Sheng and supremely brilliant kung-fu.
Liu Chia-liang , Liu Chia-yung , Hui Ying-hung , Gordon Liu
Connecting all the antics of bosses, monks, beggars, and thieves is the slippery and sinuous efforts of three pickpockets so adept at their chosen skill that they can even trick three beauties of their underwear without missing a step.