Kung Fu (1972–1975)
8.0/10
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After avenging the death of his teacher, a Shaolin monk flees China to the American West and helps people while being pursued by bounty hunters.

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(teleplay), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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McKay
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Chuen
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Fong
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Hsiang
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Fuller
John Leoning ...
Master Teh
David Chow ...
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Storyline

From the tiger, he learns tenacity and power. From the white crane, gracefulness. And the dragon teaches him to ride the wind. It could take a lifetime to master just one of the many Kung Fu disciplines. But young Kwai Chang Caine knows them all. He was educated in a Shaolin monastery around 1800 by the monks. Against all forms of violence he face his ultimate challenge when his preferred master was killed by the hands of the imperial forces. After avenging the death of his teacher, as a Shaolin monk, he flees China to the American West and helps people defending the weak and fighting against the evil while being pursued by Chinese bounty hunters. Written by Anonymous

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22 February 1972 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keith Carradine appears unbilled as the Middle Caine, a role he would reprise only once, also unbilled, in the episode Kung Fu: Chains (1973) during the first season. All other entries in which he can be seen utilize archive footage shot for this feature. See more »

Goofs

In a scene where Chinese laborers are pounding railroad spikes, a worker misses hitting his spike. See more »

Quotes

Master Po: [after easily defeating the boy in combat] Ha, ha, never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Young Caine: No.
Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?
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Connections

Referenced in Surf Ninjas (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Unique Western flick, the pilot for the series
8 June 2014 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

This 1972 made-for-TV Western was the pilot for the "Kung Fu" TV series. At a mere 74 minutes, it's short and sweet, kinda the way I wish more movies would be! It's definitely a Western, as it takes place out West in the late 19th century, but it's unique for this genre in that it incorporates Eastern wisdom and martial arts -- sorry, no quick-draw shootouts here.

A great scene appears near the beginning where Caine walks into a saloon after walking across a desert (!!) to get some water. Naturally some bigot wants to start a fight with him 'cause he's one of them "slant-eyes." Three times the guy attempts to attack Caine and three times Caine swiftly and decisively repels the attacks. The guy wisely decides not to attack again as Caine finishes his water and humbly walks out of the saloon leaving the patrons in astonishment.

There's more martial arts action toward the end, but, it should be noted, this is by no means a standard martial arts flick. The movie teaches humility and respect for elders & all fellow human beings. Despite the fact that they have very little dialogue, Caine develops a father/son relationship with blind Master Po.

Some scenes have such a reverent and touching quality to them that they actually brought tears to my eyes.

In Brian Garfield's "Western Films" guide he criticized this movie pilot as "Juvenile tripe." With all due respect to the brilliant Mr. Garfield, this film is neither juvenile nor tripe! As far as Westerns go, it's quite mature and original. Good Eastern-style music too.

Although this pilot movie is included with the First Season and Complete Series DVD sets, it's also available as a stand-alone movie on both DVD and VHS, which is good because it's definitely worth having in your Western library, even if you're not interested in owning the whole series.

The film was shot at Burbank Studios and Vasquez Rocks, California.

GRADE: A


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