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Five Fingers of Death (1972)

Tian xia di yi quan (original title)
Two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament.

Director:

(as Chang Ho Cheng)

Writer:

(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 ...
...
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)
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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:

CHEER the young warrior who also takes on the evil war-lords of martial arts! 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:

 »
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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

messenger: Hey listen! Some great news! Chi-Hao's beat up Chen Lang down at Chen Sun House.
Han Lung: What? You're kidding.
messenger: No, no, no, I saw it happening!
Han Lung: God damn it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The New York Ripper (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
spectacular kung-fu film of its time!
17 March 2002 | by (NYC, USA) – See all my reviews

"Five Fingers of Death" started the American kung-fu movie craze but I remember seeing it for the first time as "King Boxer" in Chinatown, NYC, without the bad dubbing and few Americans. I also was fortunate enough to see the American premiere of "Five Fingers Of Death" on Times Square, NYC. What a contrast this turned out to be...same film but different audiences.

In Chinatown, this film took on a more serious tone to the viewers. It was because of hearing the real voices of the actors(In Chinese) that made this movie more believable. Chinatown theaters were showing violent kung fu films for years(1972's "Boxer From Shantung" beat them all in gore), so the action choreography & story were the main attraction. Rival school plots were not overused yet so the storyline seemed fresh. Every great kung fu film had wonderful, dastardly villains you wanted to see get their comeuppance and FFoD had them too. The star, Lieh Lo, was a known actor in Chinese theaters. The mostly Chinese audience enjoyed this film immensely. The audience buzz while leaving this film gives the final satisfaction to me.

On Times Square, this film was an action comedy...probably unintentionally. I enjoyed it here too but for different reasons. The crowd was ethnic and quite energetic. From the start, the movie made you laugh. As soon as the audience heard those strange British accents come from those Chinese actors the movie turned into a violent and gory cartoon. Most American audiences saw this kind of gore in a horror film not in an action film. The action sequences blew the audience away. Unfortunately, the movie studios saw that they enjoyed it so much that, bad dubbing and unnecessary violence became a kung fu flick formula.

I had fun seeing this movie with an American audience but enjoyed it much more in Chinatown. Some films can pass the test of time but the dubbed version of FFoD can't. The original "King Boxer" is still enjoyable...a CLASSIC!


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