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Five Fingers of Death (1972)
"Tian xia di yi quan" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, Romance  |  21 March 1973 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,699 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 43 critic

Two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament.

Director:

(as Chang Ho Cheng)

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(screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lieh Lo ...
Ping Wang ...
Hsiung Chao ...
Chin-Feng Wang ...
Mien Fang ...
Feng Tien ...
James Nam ...
Han Lung (as Nan Kung-Hsun)
Shen Chan ...
Bolo Yeung ...
Pa Tu-er, Mongolian Fighter
Wen Chung Ku ...
Lung Yu ...
Yukio Someno ...
Oshima Shotaro (as Ran Yeh)
Tse Lin Yang ...
Sun's pupil
Chi Chu Chin ...
Bong-jin Jin ...
Lu Ta-ming (as Chen Feng Chen)
Edit

Storyline

Promising young student Chi-Hao is sent away to train under a new master in order that he may be able to win a martial arts tournament and thus prevent the local thugs from getting the power and prestige that would come were they to win it. Written by bob the moo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The New Movie Sensation That's Storming the Entire World! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 March 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

5 Fingers of Death  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The English dubbed version, released through Warner Brothers, was the film that launched the craze for "kung fu" movies in the United States. See more »

Quotes

Shen Chin-Pei: The students here must be on their toes. You have to be prepared for the unexpected.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Without doubt the greatest Kung Fu movie ever made.
21 June 2006 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Released as KING BOXER in the U.K.

This film was essentially the FIRST kung fu film to go on general release in the U.K. Many of us had ratcheted through Kurosawa's astonishingly gritty and involving dramas and were used to oriental film being beautifully shot and lit, with somewhat restrained pacing, all in all like leafing through an album of very fine still photographs that just happened to be moving.

Along come Run Run Shaw and co. with their widescreen "home movie" production values, and astonishing ripe-for-parody dubbing and all the rules have changed. KIng Boxer was the first in through the door, leaving a clearly marked trail for others to follow with their feet planted firmly on top of the blazed footsteps.

In spite of hokey plots, pantomime acting, cheesy jump-cuts and spaghetti western style snap-stepped zooms, this film was marvellous. Gorgeous without being opulent and with the most brilliant fight choreography ever to grace a screen. We loved the sickening violence, the anguish, the testosterone. The martial artists among us found some of the techniques fascinating, if flamboyant and oftentimes silly. It was so very different from the Japanese stuff we all knew, and it had lovely acrobatic grace that perfectly complemented the sickening violence and bloodstained floors. Delightful.

The "KIng Lear" scene was, at the time, quite a milestone in schlock "You cruel bastards.. My **** !!" Now it's rather less shocking, but still a bit of a gut-churner

We didn't notice that any females in sight were absolutely one-dimensional. After seeing more films of the genre, it now stands out like a sore thumb, but at the time it didn't matter

This film defined what would rapidly become the kung-fu movie clichés. All of them. Watch it and remember that until this burst onto the western screens, there was no genre for it to slot into. It was unique and awesome. It was the first kung fu movie and it still is, for me and many others, the best.


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