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Five Fingers of Death

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Overview

One of the Shaw Brothers Studios most well-known films, King Boxer was an international success that helped instigate the kung fu craze of the '70s. It opens with an old master (Wen Chung Ku) attacked in an alley. He fends off the fighters, but decides he isn't strong enough to travel to a martial arts school to learn the Iron Fist (also called Iron Palm) fighting technique. He sends his pupil and son-in-law Chao Chi-Hao (Lo Lieh) instead. When Chao arrives at the school, he finds the students and teachers in ...
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Overview

One of the Shaw Brothers Studios most well-known films, King Boxer was an international success that helped instigate the kung fu craze of the '70s. It opens with an old master (Wen Chung Ku) attacked in an alley. He fends off the fighters, but decides he isn't strong enough to travel to a martial arts school to learn the Iron Fist (also called Iron Palm) fighting technique. He sends his pupil and son-in-law Chao Chi-Hao (Lo Lieh) instead. When Chao arrives at the school, he finds the students and teachers in preparation for the All China Tournament. They fear that if their archrivals win the competition they will rule with cruelty. Chao, the clumsy rookie, must start at the lowest rung of the school's ladder and work his way up. Meanwhile Ming Dung Shun (Tin Fung), master of the "bad" school has hired Chen Lang (Gam Hei Chu), a tough mercenary, and two Japanese ronins to kill or maim the "good" school's best fighters. In one of these fights Chao's hands are broken and it seems as if he will not be able to fight again. Chao redoubles his efforts to overcome his injury and learn the Iron Fist technique. Mastery of the technique is indicated by a "whooo-hee whooo-hee" sound effect and a quick zoom to the fighter's glowing hands. Chao's old master is also attacked and killed by these fighters and his daughter/Chao's girlfriend Yin Yin (Ping Wang) flees to tell him the bad news. Chao fights his way to the All China Tournament, and prepares to take on Ming Dung Shun and his cohorts. In the United State, the film is more commonly known as Five Fingers of Death, the more exploitative title given to it by Warner Brothers. ~ Michael Buening
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Special Features

Feature commentary by filmmaker Quentin Taratino and film scholars David Chute and Elvis Mitchell; Interview with director Chang-Hwa Jeong; Interview with action director Lau Kar-Wing; Interview with film scholars David Chute and Andy Klein; Stills gallery; Trailer gallery; Commentator biograhies
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
King Boxer is not the best kung fu movie the Shaw Brothers put out, but as an early entry it holds up surprisingly well for a genre getting its legs. Rather than incorporate story elements of its wuxia/swordplay precursors, it offers an original plot, with a formula that would be taken up and repeated in subsequent films. Primary among them is the story of two warring kung fu schools, one good and bad, and the tournament at the climax which establishes dominance. The brief section where Chao Chi-Hao (Lo Lieh) must work his way through the ranks of the school would be incorporated into almost the entirety of The 36th Chambers of Shaolin. However, the overall revenge theme is familiar from previous martial arts films. A more unfortunate stereotype perpetuated by this and future films is the Japanese as primitive ape-like villains. Korean director Cheng Chang Ho brings an energetic yet brutal immediacy to the story, which is no doubt the basis of its enthusiastic global response. He frequently opens scenes with gorgeous establishing shots that take full advantage of the color and width of Shawscope. The fight sequences are violent, relentless, and unhindered by the fantastical elements of wuxia. Similarly, the choreography, though lacking in clever invention, is performed with the unpretentious street fighting appeal of a populist hero. Lieh turns in a rather clean cut and bland performance as the leading man (the actor's classic good guy looks are better used as a quietly menacing villain) but Tin Fung as the evil master and Gam Hei Chu as reform-minded mercenary make up the lost charisma. King Boxer drags a bit on what are now tired kung fu cliches, but the punchy spirit that made it popular still survives.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/19/2007
  • UPC: 796019796965
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Weinstein Company
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 35,001

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lo Lieh Chao Chi-hao
Wang Ching-Feng Yen
Tien Feng Meng
Wang Ping Sung Ying Ying
Nan-Kung Hsun Han Lung
Tung Lin Meng Tien-hsiun
Chao Hsiung Okada
Yasuka Kurata
Meng Fei
Technical Credits
Cheng Chang Ho Director
Lau Kar-wing Action Director
Run Run Shaw Producer
Chiang Yang Screenwriter
Wang Yunglung Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- King Boxer Five Fingers of Death
1. Attack on the Master [4:01]
2. Sparring Match [5:03]
3. The Mysterious Stranger [6:36]
4. What Are You Doing Here? [2:59]
5. The Road to Po Ting [2:07]
6. The New School [3:37]
7. A School Is Disgraced [6:09]
8. Revenge on Chen [4:36]
9. Iron Palm [5:42]
10. Reinforcements From Japan [4:50]
11. Betrayal [6:47]
12. Ambushed [3:21]
13. Have Courage [7:26]
14. A Master is Lost [3:38]
15. Preparing for the Competition [3:13]
16. The Price of Deceit [4:57]
17. Battle in the Forest [4:13]
18. The Competition Begins [5:34]
19. The Championship [5:17]
20. An Eye for An Eye [4:27]
21. Unleash the Iron Palm [1:30]
22. The Final Showdown [5:21]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- King Boxer Five Fingers of Death
   Play
   Scenes
   Audio Setup
      Mandarin
      English
   Subtitle Setup
      English
      Spanish
      English for the Hearing Impaired
      None
   Special Features
      Feature Commentary
         View the Film With Feature Commentary by David Chute, Elvis Mitchell & Quentin Tarantino On / Off
         Commentator Bios
            David Chute
            Elvis Mitchell
      Interview Gallery
         Interview With Director Chang-Hwa Jeong
         Interview With Action Director Lau Kar Wing
         Interview With Film Critic/Scholars David Chute & Andy Klein
      Trailer Gallery
         King Boxer Trailers
            Home Video Trailer
            Theatrical Trailer (With Alternate Title Five Fingers of Death)
            Alternate Opening Sequence
         Other Films From These Filmmakers
            Clan of the White Lotus
            Executioners From Shaolin
            Golden Swallow
            The Invincible Fist
            Killer Clans
            The Magic Blade
         Shaw Bros. Films Currently Available
            One-Armed Swardsman
            The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
            My Young Auntie
            The Shaw Bros. Collection
         Dragon Dynasty Trailers
            Born to Fight
            Infernal Affairs 2
            Seven Swords
      Stills Gallery
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Customer Reviews

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