Invincible Pole Fighter

The Invincible Pole Fighter

Director: Liu Chia-Liang

Cast: Alexander Fu-Sheng, Gordon Lau, Ku Ming

     
 

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Hong Kong filmmaker Lau Kar-Leung directed this excellent period-action film, one of the most highly acclaimed productions of the Shaw Brothers studio's later years. Its success is rather remarkable considering its troubled production. Young martial arts star Alexander Fu-Sheng -- who plays the sixth son of the Yang family -- died tragically in the middle of…  See more details below

Overview

Hong Kong filmmaker Lau Kar-Leung directed this excellent period-action film, one of the most highly acclaimed productions of the Shaw Brothers studio's later years. Its success is rather remarkable considering its troubled production. Young martial arts star Alexander Fu-Sheng -- who plays the sixth son of the Yang family -- died tragically in the middle of production, causing a hasty rewrite which shifted the film's heroics to the fifth son (Gordon Lau). The flow of the story doesn't suffer much, if at all, but it tends to veer from accepted legend as it tells the supposedly true story of a Sung dynasty-era massacre perpetrated on the Yang family by General Pan Mai (Ku Ming) and his Mongol allies which leaves only two of the large family's males alive. The sixth son manages to get home to tell the horrifying tale, but has been driven mad by his experiences (the plot device used to write out Fu Sheng). The fifth son has been aimlessly traveling the countryside, where he has another encounter with General Pan's troops and barely escapes with his life. Hungry for revenge, he decides to wait and become a Buddhist monk at the Ching Ling Temple in the meantime. As might be expected, his burning fury and lust for blood don't sit very well with Buddhist philosophy, and he is quickly asked to leave the temple. Yang number five is not so willing to do so, and promptly shaves his head and insists that he is staying, much to the monks' chagrin. It isn't long before word of her son's survival reaches Lady Yang (Lily Li), who orders her daughter (Kara Hui), the eighth Yang, to disguise herself as a man and bring the fifth Yang home. Yang number eight does as she is told, but is captured by General Pan's troops on her way to the temple, causing Yang number five to leave his hiding place and try to save her. The family's legendary pole-fighting technique is amply demonstrated throughout in superbly choreographed martial arts scenes orchestrated by the director, Ching Chu, and Hsiao Hou. Johnny Wang co-stars with Phillip Ko and Lau Kar-wing.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Invincible Pole Fighter is an unusually angry and grim film from Liu Chia-Liang, a director better known for more light-hearted and comedic kung fu fare. This film is a powerful drama that uses familiar kung fu film plot elements to create a dark meditation on the price people pay for patriotism (and how little such a concept can mean when it costs human lives). Accordingly, The Invincible Pole Fighter is grim in all aspects: the script avoids any humorous touches and the action choreography is intense and often quite bloody, particularly in the brutal finale. The actors match the film's overall tone with suitably intense performances: Gordon Liu is fierce as a tragic hero who learns to use his rage as a weapon and Alexander Fu-Sheng is both heartbreaking and terrifying as a brave warrior driven over the edge by the massacre of his father and brothers. In short, The Invincible Pole Fighter is a demanding piece of work due to its uncompromisingly bleak tone, but it remains quite powerful and is a must-see classic for Shaw Brothers fans.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/12/2010
UPC:
0883476013954
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
NR
Source:
Weinstein Company
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:37:00
Sales rank:
21,848

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alexander Fu-Sheng Actor
Gordon Lau Actor
Ku Ming General Pan Mai
Lily Li Lady Yang
Kara Hui Actor
Ching Chu Actor
Hsiao Hou Actor
Johnny Wang Actor
Philip Ko Actor
Lau Kar-wing Actor
Wang Yu Actor
Mai Tak-lo Actor
Sheng Liu Actor
Chia-Yung Actor
Chang Chan-Peng Actor

Technical Credits
Liu Chia-Liang Director,Screenwriter
Tsao An-Shun Cinematographer
So Chun-Hou Score Composer
Mona Fong Producer
Chiang Hsing-Lung Editor
Ni Kuang Screenwriter
Teng Kuang-Hsien Art Director
Chen Ching Shen Art Director
Stephen Shing Score Composer
Lawrence Wong Producer
Li Yen-Hai Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- 8 Diagram Pole Fighter
1. Betrayed [11:08]
2. The 6th Yang [7:07]
3. The 5th Yang [7:34]
4. The General [4:26]
5. The Brother's Destiny [3:50]
6. Becoming A Monk [10:43]
7. Get Well Brother [2:42]
8. Practice [4:14]
9. Training [2:59]
10. The Reverend [5:56]
11. Departure Of The 8th [4:03]
12. Carrying On The Fight [3:31]
13. The Golden Knife [4:01]
14. Ambushed [8:30]
15. "I Must Go" [4:13]
16. The Final Battle [12:16]

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