6.9/10
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9 user 12 critic

Nan quan bei tui (1976)

Two rivals, Sheng from the South and Shao from the North, have one common enemy, the Silver Fox. The Silver Fox killed Shao's parents and robbed from Sheng's palace. When each one fails to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
John Liu ...
Shao Yi-Fei
...
Shang Ying Wai (as Tao Wong)
Jang Lee Hwang ...
Silver Fox
James Nam ...
Lung Lun / Long Wai
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ming Chin
Hsiao-chen Chuen
Tai-chu Huang
Robert Kerver
Gong-il Kim
Wang Kuk Kim
Yun-Min Li
Do-shik Ma
Jung-il Nam
Po-dong Nam
Dong-ryong Park
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Storyline

Two rivals, Sheng from the South and Shao from the North, have one common enemy, the Silver Fox. The Silver Fox killed Shao's parents and robbed from Sheng's palace. When each one fails to defeat Silver Fox, the two decide to team up and win. Written by Albert Valentin

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martial arts | fighting | See All (2) »

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Action | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

18 June 1976 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Silver Fox Rivals  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening song for this movie (and it is played again several times throughout the film) is from Lee Van Cleef's 1966 spaghetti western "The Big Gundown". Title is "Run Man Run", composed by Ennio Morricone, with lyrics by Audrey Nohra, and sung by Maria Cristina Brancucci. See more »

Connections

Followed by Nan quan bei tui dou jin hu (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Right, The Feet!"
9 January 2006 | by (Little Rock) – See all my reviews

The Secret Rivals (1976) is a fantastic independent kung fu film by the legendary Ng See Yuen and is perhaps one of the 10 best films of the martial arts genre. It is said that Ng See Yuen wanted to cast talented unknown martial artists in this film and in the process he helped to launch the careers of John Liu, Hwang Jang Lee and Wang Tao. The Secret Rivals is a story about two strangers who come to town with different motives, one is out for justice the other for revenge. While in town they display their kung fu on the locals and vie for the affection of the same woman. Eventually they have to work together to accomplish their secret shared goal.

Filmed in Korea among beautiful pagodas and ancient temples, the Secret Rivals features plenty of the local martial art- Taekwondo. This movie is perhaps the greatest kicking movie of all time. Real life Taekwondo masters and screen kicking legends John Liu and Hwang Jang Lee put on an absolute kicking exhibition with flying kicks, jump spinning kicks and nearly vertical side kicks. John Liu puts on an awesome display of flexibility and kicking ability in this film and proves that he is perhaps one of the most flexible actors in the history of kung fu cinema. Liu also gives a solid acting performance as the "northern leg" Shao Yi-Fei, a man who is a "loner by nature." Wang Tao gives a charismatic performance as "southern fist" Sheng Ying Wei. Wang Tao is in tremendous shape in this film and gives a terrific physical performance, perhaps the best of his career. There are shades of Bruce Lee in his performance, especially with the nunchucks. Secret Rivals was also a breakthrough film for Hwang Jang Lee. Lee brings a powerful presence to the screen as the evil "Silver Fox", one of the greatest villains in the genre's history. As a real life 7th degree black belt of Taekwondo, Lee convincingly holds his own against the talented Liu and Tao. He would go on to star as a villain for much of the rest of his career appearing in such films as "Drunken Master" and "Snake in Eagle's Shadow" with Jackie Chan. Lee and Liu would team up for a few more films including "The Secret Rivals 2," "Invincible Armor" and "the Snuff Bottle Connection."

The Secret Rivals is a bit slow starting as a lot of plot and backstory are introduced but the action heats up big time when the Silver Fox (Lee) drops in. Secret Rivals features a unique "spaghetti western" sound track (The Big Gundown by Ennio Morricone) with pounding drums, twanging electric guitar, blaring brass section and angelic choral singers. The film is really helped out by great supporting performances featuring many talented martial artists in smaller roles. The Secret Rivals does have its old school kung fu movie quirks: some overacting, bad dubbing, theatrical deaths, contrived fights and lots of evil laughing. Li Ming Wen (Tommy Lee) and Chang Chuan do a fantastic job at fight choreography. Many kung fu films around the same time had dance-like, over choreographed fight sequences. The Secret Rivals features a faster, more brutal, and realistic style of fight choreography. (Some of the best you'll ever see)

The Secret Rivals is a fantastic first effort for Seasonal Films and is one of the best independent martial arts films ever made. Solid writing and direction by Ng See Yuen, great physical performances by John Liu, Hwang Jang Lee and Wang Tao plus some nice stunt work by Yuen Baio make the Secret Rivals one of the very best films of the kung fu genre.

Martial Arts Genre Rating: 10/10 (classic)

-"I think you're looking for trouble. I might just oblige. That'll shut you up."

-"I'd be glad to accept."


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