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Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)
"Wu Lang ba gua gun" (original title)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,429 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 24 critic

The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »

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Title: Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Yang Wu-lang
Sheng Fu ...
Yang Liu-lang
Lily Li ...
Mrs. Yang
Kara Hui ...
Yang Ba-mei (as Ying Hung Wai)
Ching-Ching Yeung ...
Yang Jiu-mei
Lung Wei Wang ...
Yelu Lin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chan-Peng Chang ...
Yang Qi-lang
Wing-Cheung Cheung ...
(as Yung-cheng Chang)
Wing-Hon Cheung
Tiet Wo Chu ...
Ying Kuei
Hou Hsiao ...
Yang Si-lang
Te Hu Hsiao
Ho Chiu Kei
Phillip Ko ...
Abbot
King Chu Lee ...
Master Zhihong
Edit

Storyline

The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, only two of the seven sons survive. One remains hidden by the family while the other lives on the run. The traitorous general must find them and silence them before either of them can testify to the Emperor of his treachery. Written by Puma31219

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

17 February 1984 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Eight Diagram Pole Fighter  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is loosely based on actual historical figures of China; the Yang family, who defended the Northern borders of the Song Dynasty for generations. The movie's story was initially meant to follow the many tales that centered around one historical figure in particular, Yang Yanzhao. (The 6th son of Yang Ye.) According to history, Yang Ye and his 7 sons were betrayed by General Pan Mei and that he committed suicide in order to provide an escape for his remaining living sons. (The 5th, the 6th and the 7th) The film differs from the legend, in that number 7 dies and number 6 goes mad. The film accurately depicts the fate of the 5th son, as he does desert the army and become a monk on Wu Tai Mountain. In the legend, the 6th son was depicted as the hero and fought in the last stand against Pan Mei and the Liao troops. Such was to be depicted in the film, but a re-write was necessitated with the untimely death of actor Fu Sheng, who portrayed the 6th son. Legend tells that the 6th son himself went to the Wu Tai temple to convince his older brother to join the fight, only to be refused as the 5th son would not break his vows to Buddha. Only after a messenger arrived with news of his younger sister's capture, did the 5th son choose to join his brother in the fight. The script was altered so that the only visit the 5th son received, was from a messenger that arrived with news of his sister. This motivates the 5th Yang to return to the fight, giving him the hero spotlight that was meant for 6th brother, Yang Yanzhao. In legend, after Pan Mei's defeat, Yang Yanzhao went on to become a warrior of as fierce renown as his father. Eventually promoted to the rank of General, he continued fighting for the Dynasty until his death at age 57. See more »

Goofs

In the Jinsha battle scene, just before the Yang patriarch faces the Tartars' army of archers, the golden blade of his staff is (inadvertently) hacked off by one of the Tartar soldiers. In the next shot of Yang, the blade is still attached to his staff. See more »

Quotes

Abbot: Lord Buddha is against killing, under any circumstances.
Yang Wu-lang: [5th Yang approaching the Abbott] Look up at Buddha, and down at home.
Abbot: [Abbott raises his staff to the 5th Yang] Remember your vows... YOU CAN'T BREAK THEM!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
8 Reasons to Watch "The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter" - Greatest of All Kung Fu Movies
5 November 2003 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

8 Reasons to Watch "8 Diagram Pole Fighter"

Whether it would be your first time or 36th viewing, here are 8 reasons why you should watch, in my opinion, the greatest kung-fu movie of all time.

1) Liu-Chi-Liang/Lau Kar Leung --I grew up watching kung-fu films in decrepit New York City theaters as well as on Saturday 3PM on NY channel 5 - "Drive-In" feature. My favorite director of these action flicks was and still is Liu-Chi-Liang/Lau Kar Leung.

This legendary director is himself a marital artist (able to trace his mastery from demi-hero, Wong Fei Hung) and imparts adherence to the art of kung-fu in every movie he directs and/or choreographs. His greatest screen triumph comes in the form of "The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter" ("Invincible Pole Fighter").

2) A compelling storyline -- Mongols with the help of an insider, ambush the influential Yang Family, defenders of the dynasty. The Mongols must hunt down all Yang survivors so their insidious plot to overthrow the dynasty will not be uncovered.

3) An all-star cast -- Those who watch films of the Shaw Brothers will recognize the familiar faces of the charismatic dynamo Gordon Liu Chia Hui, kung fu babe Kara Hui Ying-Hung, legendary Lily Li, superstar Alexander Fu Sheng in his last screen role, all-time bad guy Johnny Wang Lung Wei, veteran Phillip Ko Fei, talented Hsiao Ho, technical Lau Kar Wing, heroic Wong Yu and Lau Kar Leung himself.

3) Unobtrusive use of "wire-fu" or special effects -- At least there are no quadruple flips and people flipping off swords (i.e. "Swordsman 2").

4) The greatest pole fighting sequence filmed -- Gordon Liu wants revenge. Phillip Ko Fei denies this bloodlust. Watch them engage in a fantastic duel of ethics and poles.

5) The climactic end sequence -- Words cannot describe the mayhem involved. Only the finale of films such as "Drunken Master 2" and "Thundering Mantis" can compare. Must be seen to be believed.

6) No gratuitous humor --While not everyone can have the sense of humor of a Jacky Chan or Sammo Hung, many martial arts films have comical segments/elements that take away from the overall picture.

Take Lau Kar Leung's masterful `Legendary Weapons of Kung-Fu.' The entire Alexander Fu Sheng subplot of the crackpot martial artist could've been done without the cross eyes and silly music.

Chang Cheh's `10 Tiger's of Kwangtung' had many memorable moments but a couple of comedic attempts such as the overly long 'torture training,' and the bystander who lounges about and watches a duel at close range, distracts.

In `8 Diagram Pole Fighter' there is no mixing of genres. What you get is a smash-mouth kung-fu action movie.

7) Themes -- This movie is not just about kung-fu and revenge. It deals with family honor. Loyalty to one's country. Loyalty to a group. Belief in one's self. And ultimately - belonging.

8) Gordon Liu -- As the main star of this movie, Gordon cements his place in kung-fu film history as one of the baddest-asses ever. Here's an elite warrior that goes to Shaolin Temple to IMPROVE his killing skills. In particular his first encounter against a Mongol outpost is the stuff of action film legend.



I feel so strongly about this movie that it not only is my favorite martial arts film, it currently ranks as my favorite movie. It stands above my other favorites (which include: The Godfather, Golgo 13, The Seven Samurai, On the Waterfront, 12 Angry Men, High Noon, Monty Python's Holy Grail), because it stands the test of repeated viewings and never fails to fill me with the full gamut of all emotions, leaving me more passionate about my life, my family and my destiny.

Maybe it's the coffee talking. Maybe I need to get out more. Nevertheless, I offer a toast to all other `8 Diagram Pole Fighter' fans around the world, new and old.




47 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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