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

 -  Action | Drama | Romance  -  21 March 1973 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,501 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 42 critic

Two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament.

Director:

(as Chang Ho Cheng)

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(screenplay)
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Director: Lieh Lo
Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Lung Wei Wang
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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 first international martial arts movie sensation 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
See  »
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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 Massage Parlor Murders! (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superlative and influential kung fu flick
27 February 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This early Shaw Brothers outing (which features a plot that's very similar to the ones found in THE ONE-ARMED BOXER and THE Chinese BOXER) proved to be a hugely successful release for the studio and ended up sparking a trend that saw hundreds of imitations made over the next five years. As kung fu films go, the plot is strictly per functionary, as we watch an escalating feud between rival kung fu schools that can end in only one way – death for most of the cast. Still, these films are never about the plot and on a technical level this is top notch stuff – a strong cast with acting as well as fighting skills, great fight choreography and sumptuous filming that looks absolutely great on DVD.

Lo Lieh, typically cast as the bad guy in these productions, is a breath of fresh air playing a hero for once. He plays the stock character – impetuous, fearless, hot-headed et all – but I found the screen alive whenever he was present. Tons of familiar faces, like Tien Feng and James Nam, make up the cast of bad guys.

The plentiful fight sequences are quite wonderful and sometimes extraordinarily violent for the era, with one or two literally eye-popping interludes that have to be seen to be believed. Our hero ends up learning the 'iron palm' technique, signified by some hilarious siren-style music on the soundtrack that Tarantino lifted to memorable effect in KILL BILL, which leads to some strong showdowns against sinister Japanese fighters and huge numbers of unfortunate henchmen. Compared to the rest of the genre, KING BOXER is nothing new – but this trend-setting classic ushered in a new type of martial arts film and remains a hugely enjoyable outing to this day.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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