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Shanghai Joe (1973)
"Il mio nome è Shangai Joe" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, Western  |  January 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 530 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 8 critic

A Chinese immigrant, recently arrived in America, fights to free Mexican slaves from their cruel master.



, (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Various factions including a Mexican Bandit, a gang of Homosexual Cowboys and a Priest feud over stolen gold in a surreal town.

Director: Giulio Questi
Stars: Tomas Milian, Marilù Tolo, Piero Lulli


Credited cast:
Chen Lee ...
Shanghai Joe / Chin Hao
Scalper Jack
Burying Sam
Claudio Undari ...
Pedro, The Cannibal (as Robert Hundar)
Katsutoshi Mikuriya ...
Carla Romanelli ...
Carla Mancini ...
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ...
Tricky the Gambler (as Giacomo Rossi-Stuart)
George Wang ...
Federico Boido ...
Slim (as Rick Boyd)
Piero Lulli ...
Stanley Spencer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrea Aureli ...
Sheriff Corrotto
Giorgio Bixio
Lars Bloch ...
Aldo Cecconi ...


A Chinese immigrant named Chin How lands in a small Texas town inhabited by hard-nosed cowboys who don't take kindly to outsiders. The town folk soon realize that Chin is no ordinary drifter and he quickly gains a reputation for his unbeatable fighting skills. When word of Chin's skills spread to Stanley Spencer, the owner of the states largest cattle ranch, Chin lands a job working for Spencer as a fellow cowboy. Friend soon becomes foe when Chin realizes he is working for a cattle smuggler bent on brutalising Mexican farmers and anyone else who stands in his way. Written by Alan Smithee

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mexican | cowboy | texas | fight | cave | See All (125) »


One Man Stands Alone In His Fight For Justice


Action | Drama | Western


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

January 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shanghai Joe  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene in which Gordon Mitchell's character sings "Chin-Chin Chinaman" while carrying a shovel was improvised on the spot by Mitchell. He also created the song. See more »


In the scene where Shangai Joe is in the bullfighting arena, at one point a red cape for attracting the bull's attention is visible. See more »


Followed by Return of Shanghai Joe (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Better Spaghetti Westerns as the Genre Died.
22 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"The Fight Fists of Shanghai Joe" (1973) sounds like one of those awful genre bending films that repeatedly crop up over the years; however this kung-fu Spaghetti Western is actually pretty decent and has certain similarities with the television series "Kung Fu" with David Carradine. It is directed by Mario Caiano, who made a number of Spaghetti Westerns, and stars Chen Lee as the eponymous Shanghai Joe.

The story is straightforward, almost verging on the simplistic. Joe is a recent immigrant from China to San Francisco, where, in search of work, he heads to Texas. Here he gets on the wrong side of a powerful, racist rancher, Stanley Spencer (Piero Lulli), after he witnesses the massacre of Mexican slave labourers.

This Western tries to say some interesting things about the West, and how Chinese immigrants helped do a lot of the "dirty" jobs that Whites wouldn't do. Sadly, most of this is drowned under its comic book style and some pretty bad kung-fu. Yet it does have some good parts: most of the action scenes come with Peckinpah-esque slow motion and exploding, bloody squids. Some of the violence is pretty strong too, with Lee pulling a bad guy's eyes out on screen. But due to its light-hearted mode, it never feels dark or repellent. In fact, it is all rather comic, lacking the seriousness as "Django Kill, If You Live, Shoot!" (1967) has from its strong violence.

Acting wise, Chen Lee is probably as wooden as his martial arts, but Piero Lulli makes a fine villain and Klaus Kinski's virtually cameo-like role is memorable. The scene where the Mexicans are killed is well-directed, as are a number of other action scenes, sufficient enough to make sure that the Western is at least fast paced.

It isn't a brilliant piece of cinema, but as the Spaghetti Western genre went down the drains, it is refreshingly old fashioned in a way, occasionally recalling the past Golden Era of the late sixties that makes it worth checking out for the Spaghetti Western enthusiast.

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