A Mogul king decides to take stealthy action to help overpower his greatest rivals. He chooses nine out thirteen of his loyal generals (who he treats as sons) to embark on the mission. ... See full summary »
Leaving the poverty of his life in Shantung to seek fortune in Shanghai, The Boxer is instead drawn into a world of corruption, gang warfare and evil... Where his only protection is his famed fighting technique.
A prince of the Sung Dynasty has been taken prisoner by Ching invaders and is being held in an impenetrable fortress by elite men of the Ching. A group of fighters loyal to the Sung set out... See full summary »
The heroes pose as gun dealers and acrobats in order to get close to the bad guys so they can avenge the death of one of their brothers. In the end they lock the bad guys in a warehouse for a final battle to the death.
The powerful mobster Leung, who is protected by the dangerous and wicked Huan Fai, sells two hundred Japanese weapons and ammunition to a Chinese gang. He uses the smuggler Luy Fu to bring ... See full summary »
Lei Li lost his right-arm in a sword duel with the master of a martial arts school, long ago. Now, he is able to defend himself well with just his left arm, and kung fu techniques. That he ... See full summary »
YOUNG PEOPLE (1972) is easily the most unusual film I've yet seen from either Chang Cheh or the Shaw Bros. studio. It features three of the studio's top kung fu stars, David Chiang, Ti Lung and Chen Kuan Tai (who would all team up again with Chang Cheh the following year for the swordplay classic, BLOOD BROTHERS), yet it's set at a contemporary Hong Kong college campus and details the activities of a large group of students as they prepare for a set of competitions and 10th Anniversary festivals. One group, led by David Chiang, prepares some musical entertainment. One group, led by Ti Lung, plays basketball. And the third group, led by Chen Kuan Tai, practices kung fu. In the midst of it all, the three stars decide to participate in a go-kart race.
There isn't much in the way of plot. The basketball game takes up 20 minutes of the first 45 minutes. The go-kart race takes up 20 minutes of the last half-hour. At least there's kung fu in the middle portion. Chen Kuan Tai has a few good scenes of fighting competition, including a grueling bout with Wang Ching, a regular villain and frequent opponent of Chen in the studio's actual kung fu films.
I was actually most interested in the musical numbers. David Chiang plays the drums throughout the opening credits and leads a drum ensemble in the final number. In between, there are three songs performed in English by a teenage singer named Agnes Chan, billed as Agnes Chen Mei-ling. First is a cover of Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game" and later she does Carole King's "You've Got a Friend." Both songs are sung in their entirety. At the closing festival, she sings a song that was unfamiliar to me, but sounded similar, a little TOO similar perhaps, to the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song, "What the World Needs Now is Love."
Agnes's actual older sister, Irene Chen I Ling, plays the leading flirt on campus, Princess, who throws herself at whatever guy has won the latest event. She's initially Chen Kuan Tai's girl, but moves over to Ti Lung after he wins the basketball game. She then goes back to Chen after he wins the kung fu championship. Finally, she tries to move in on David after he wins the go-kart race, but she's in for a rude shock there. Aside from her fickle behavior, though, she's actually quite charming. Her back-and-forth with the guys is pretty much the only thing in the film that might get classified as plot.
The basketball team consists of other regular kung fu players at the studio, including Wang Chung, Billy Tang, Wong Kwong Yue, and muscular Yang Sze (aka "Bolo" Yeung, best known for his fight with Bruce Lee in ENTER THE DRAGON). Shaw Bros. regular Wu Ma is one of the musicians who works with David.
Agnes Chan turns out to have been a popular recording star in Hong Kong and Japan in the 1970s. The version we hear of "The Circle Game" was actually a hit recording she made before the film was produced. She also turns up the following year in another Chang Cheh youth drama, the counterculture romance, GENERATION GAP, also reviewed on this site, in which she sings a bunch of different songs, all in English as well. At least that one had a plot.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?