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Five Shaolin Masters (1974)

Shao Lin wu zu (original title)
R | | Action, Drama | 1979 (USA)
Five students escape from the destruction of their beloved Shaolin Temple...now each must take revenge and train in their own seperate fighting styles...they will become The Five Shaolin Masters!!

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Cast

Credited cast:
David Chiang ...
Lung Ti ...
Tsai Te-Chung
Sheng Fu ...
Ma Chao-Hsing
Kuan-Chun Chi ...
Li Shih-Kai
Fei Meng ...
Fang Ta-Hung
Lung Wei Wang ...
Ka-Yan Leung ...
Chien San (as Liang Chia-Jen)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shao Chun Chang
Yi Kuei Chang
Chin Hai Chen
Shen-Lin Chen
Ti-Ko Chen
Yi-Hsiung Chi
Tao Chiang ...
Chen Wen-yao
Wan Hsi Chin
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Storyline

The story is simple (Shaolin vs. Manchu traitors), but the effect was anything but, as the screen's most charismatic action actors team with a legendary director and revered choreographers (Liu Chia-liang and brother Liu Chia-yung) for scenes of unparalleled power. Written by Celestial Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

5 Masters of Death  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Featured in Chop Socky: Cinema Hong Kong (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chang Cheh arrives at a fork in the road
31 May 2014 | by (Alabama) – See all my reviews

In 1974, Chang Cheh was roughly halfway through a career that already included such milestones as "The One-Armed Swordsman", "The Heroic Ones" and "Blood Brothers". While it can be argued that all martial arts movies are fantasies, Chang's films ("Blood Brothers", especially) were peopled by vividly wrought, three-dimensional characters that the viewer cared about. But, despite assembling a stellar cast for "Five Shaolin Masters", it is here that the veteran director begins to eschew character development. Of the titular masters, only Fu Sheng has any humanity; the remaining heroes (David Chiang, Ti Lung, Chi Kuan-chun, Meng Fei) and all of the villains (Wang Lung-wei, Chiang Tao, Fung Hark-on, Tsai Hung, Liang Chia-jen) are emotionless comic book figures, boldly but crudely drawn. From this point forward, Chang's characters and plots would become increasingly stylized until he was directing what were essentially live-action cartoons, like "Five Element Ninja". The films were still entertaining, but with rare exceptions (such as "The Chinatown Kid") were no longer engrossing. But hey, I won't get too stuffy in my analysis of what is undeniably an entertaining movie. There are lots of fights, both empty-handed and with weapons, and they're beautifully choreographed by Liu Chia-liang--soon to become a director in his own right--and Liu Chia-yung. (Look for brief cameos by the latter and by the Lius' adopted brother, "Master Killer" Gordon Liu.) Judged strictly on action, "Five Shaolin Masters" is a winner, and fans of the genre will want to see it more than once.


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