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"Kung Fu"
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"Kung Fu" (1972) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1972-1975

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7.8/10   3,404 votes »
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Release Date:
14 October 1972 (USA) See more »
The adventures of a Shaolin Monk as he wanders the American West armed only with his skill in Kung Fu. Full summary »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations See more »
(354 articles)
User Reviews:
A miracle of television See more (37 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 4 of 111)

David Carradine ... Kwai Chang Caine / ... (63 episodes, 1972-1975)

Radames Pera ... Young Caine (47 episodes, 1972-1975)

Keye Luke ... Master Po (46 episodes, 1972-1975)
Philip Ahn ... Master Kan (39 episodes, 1972-1975)

Series Directed by
Richard Lang (16 episodes, 1973-1974)
Jerry Thorpe (8 episodes, 1972-1974)
Marc Daniels (5 episodes, 1974-1975)
Harry Harris (5 episodes, 1974-1975)
John Llewellyn Moxey (4 episodes, 1973-1974)
Robert Butler (4 episodes, 1973)
Walter Doniger (3 episodes, 1973)
Charles S. Dubin (3 episodes, 1973)
David Carradine (3 episodes, 1974)
Robert Totten (2 episodes, 1973)
Barry Crane (2 episodes, 1974-1975)
Robert Michael Lewis (2 episodes, 1974)
Gordon Hessler (2 episodes, 1975)
Series Writing credits
Ed Spielman (63 episodes, 1972-1975)
Herman Miller (62 episodes, 1972-1975)
John T. Dugan (7 episodes, 1973-1975)
William Kelley (6 episodes, 1973-1974)
Ed Waters (6 episodes, 1973-1974)
David Korn (5 episodes, 1974-1975)
Michael Michaelian (4 episodes, 1973-1974)
Katharyn Powers (4 episodes, 1973-1974)
A. Martin Zweiback (4 episodes, 1973)
Elinor Karpf (4 episodes, 1975)
Steven Karpf (4 episodes, 1975)
Robert Lewin (3 episodes, 1973-1974)
Robert Schlitt (2 episodes, 1973-1974)
Theodore Apstein (2 episodes, 1974-1975)
Gerald Sanford (2 episodes, 1974-1975)
Abe Polsky (2 episodes, 1974)
Norman Katkov (2 episodes, 1975)

Kittridge Buston (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
Jerry Thorpe .... executive producer / producer (63 episodes, 1972-1975)
Alex Beaton .... producer / associate producer / ... (61 episodes, 1972-1975)
Herman Miller .... producer (31 episodes, 1974-1975)
John Furia .... producer (12 episodes, 1973-1974)
Series Original Music by
Jim Helms (63 episodes, 1972-1975)
Series Cinematography by
Richard L. Rawlings (35 episodes, 1972-1974)
Chuck Arnold (24 episodes, 1974-1975)
Fred J. Koenekamp (3 episodes, 1972-1973)
Series Film Editing by
Gary Griffin (22 episodes, 1973-1975)
Joseph Dervin (16 episodes, 1973-1975)
Albert P. Wilson (10 episodes, 1974-1975)
David Rawlins (5 episodes, 1973)
George Watters (4 episodes, 1973-1974)
Carroll Sax (2 episodes, 1972)
Bill Lewis (2 episodes, 1973)
Series Casting by
Tom Jennings (33 episodes, 1974-1975)
Edward R. Morse (8 episodes, 1973-1974)
Series Art Direction by
Eugène Lourié (63 episodes, 1972-1975)
Series Set Decoration by
John Lamphear (47 episodes, 1973-1975)
Antony Mondello (15 episodes, 1972-1973)
Series Makeup Department
Frank Westmore .... makeup artist (36 episodes, 1972-1974)
Mary Keats .... hair stylist (24 episodes, 1973-1974)
Michael Hancock .... makeup artist (24 episodes, 1974-1975)
Thomas R. Burman .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1972-1973)
Virginia Darcy .... hair stylist (3 episodes, 1972-1973)
Mary Skolnik .... hair stylist (3 episodes, 1973)
Series Production Management
Robert M. Beche .... unit production manager (24 episodes, 1974-1975)
Austen Jewell .... unit production manager (23 episodes, 1973-1974)
Edward Haldeman .... unit production manager (15 episodes, 1972-1973)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jerry Ziesmer .... assistant director (19 episodes, 1973-1974)
Robert Doudell .... assistant director (14 episodes, 1974-1975)
Jerome M. Siegel .... assistant director (10 episodes, 1973-1974)
Ronald L. Schwary .... assistant director (6 episodes, 1973)
Robert Gilmore .... assistant director (6 episodes, 1974-1975)
Morris R. Abrams .... assistant director (3 episodes, 1972-1973)
Fred Gammon .... assistant director (2 episodes, 1974)

Lou Watt .... assistant director (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
William Randall .... sound (30 episodes, 1973-1974)
Jack C. May .... sound coordinator (24 episodes, 1974-1975)
Dean Salmon .... sound (18 episodes, 1974-1975)
Barry Thomas .... sound (5 episodes, 1974)
L. Ralph Zerbe .... sound (4 episodes, 1973)
Richard Raguse .... sound (3 episodes, 1972-1973)
Series Special Effects by
Joseph A. Unsinn .... special effects (59 episodes, 1973-1975)
Series Stunts
Greg Walker .... stunt liaison (47 episodes, 1973-1975)
Larry Holt .... stunts (4 episodes, 1974-1975)

Steven Burnett .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Gene LeBell .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Fred Murphy .... first assistant camera (1 episode, 1974)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Henry Salley .... wardrobe (57 episodes, 1973-1975)
Series Music Department
Jim Helms .... conductor (63 episodes, 1972-1975)
Steve Livingston .... music editor (32 episodes, 1973-1974)
Series Other crew
Lloyd Richards .... assistant: producers / assistant: producer / ... (58 episodes, 1973-1975)
Kam Yuen .... advisor: kung fu / technical advisor / ... (37 episodes, 1972-1975)
Ed Waters .... executive story consultant (31 episodes, 1973-1975)
David Chow .... technical advisor / advisor: kung fu (29 episodes, 1972-1974)
John Furia .... executive story consultant (12 episodes, 1973)
Norman Katkov .... executive story consultant (9 episodes, 1975)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
60 min (60 episodes) | Argentina:60 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

According to Bruce Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee originated the concept and was intended to star in the series, but David Carradine was cast because the network felt the American audience was not ready for an Asian actor as the lead and Lee received no credit for his concept. (This was dramatized in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993).) But according to the producers, although Lee was consulted and was considered for the role, they created the concept and Carradine was always their first choice.See more »
Revealing mistakes: In the title sequence the view of young Caine is looped in the pebble scene, as the smoke behind him reverses twice.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Future Force (1989)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
53 out of 65 people found the following review useful.
A miracle of television, 28 May 2004
Author: byght from Washington, DC

It's a shame that the martial arts craze that this show created (in conjunction with the ascendant popularity of Bruce Lee in the early 1970s), in conjunction with the somewhat cheesy '90s spinoff, has served to somewhat obscure what a gem it truly was.

It's heartbreaking to think that a lot of people who haven't seen the show lump it in as old, campy action television, like "The A-Team" or "Charlie's Angels" or something like that. The fact is, any given hour-long episode of "Kung Fu" probably contained about 45 to 60 seconds of actual action--if not less. The fact is, David Carradine was as good a leading man as any TV drama has ever had.

And the fact is, far from being a cheap exploitation of martial arts and Eastern philosophy, "Kung Fu" was created and written in true reverance to those concepts. Meticulous research was conducted, and the lessons that Masters Kan and Po (wonderfully rendered by Philip Ahn and Keye Luke, respectively) teach Caine, and that Caine in turn teaches those he encounters, are routed in authentic Shaolin philosophy.

Nor was the show cheesily made. It involved lush cinematography by televisual standards and innovative use of devices such as forced perspective and slow motion (this was the first show or movie to use different gradations of speed within a single take--the shot would move at normal speed until Caine made contact with an elbow or a fist, and then suddenly switch to delicate, poetic slow motion).

Caine was a true archetype of television--a complete reversal of basically every American screen hero that went before. Not just peaceful--but passive and serene. As Caine described it--"Kung Fu" was an "anti-revenge television show"--an amazing concept when you think about it.

Remember, the American public was not even acquainted with the phrase "kung fu" before this show. Zen Buddhism was gaining popularity in the late '60s and early '70s, but no one had ever heard of Shaolin monks. The creators of this show took a big risk on an untested concept and came up with TV gold.

I hope that the DVD release will serve to remind us all what a special show this was, and of the lessons it has to teach us.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (37 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Kung Fu" (1972)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The Facts Regarding Lee Vs. Carradine KwaiChang
Carradine on who wrote 'Kung Fu' drjukebox
Bruce Lee was screwed out of this TV show mclancey21
Young Caine a Terrible Actor nickryder9
Do I have to watch the pilot? Darth-Davie82
Anyone remember baseball-type cards for Kung Fu ? scottstrades
See more »


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