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Ma fung gwai kuen (1979)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 25 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

When young Tieh Chiao San is sent by his dying father to live with a former kung fu colleague in the town, he accidentally gets into trouble when messing with a gang running a snake-oil ... See full summary »

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Title: Ma fung gwai kuen (1979)

Ma fung gwai kuen (1979) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kara Hui ...
Tsai Chiao
Chia Yung Liu ...
Tieh Chiao San
Jui-yi Liu ...
Leper Godmother
Ha Huang ...
Drunkard
Chin Tang Tang ...
Meng Ping
Ti-Ko Chen ...
Tibetan (as Chan Dick Hak)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ching Chiang ...
Hai Tung Priest
Han Chiang ...
Meng's man
Siu Boh Chu ...
Singing beggar
Chun Hua Li ...
Giant Liu
Hui Huang Lin ...
Ji
Chia Chun Lun ...
Giant Liu's helper
Lao Shen ...
Tieh Chiao San's father
Wai Man Tam ...
(as Wei-min Tan)
Chien-Po Tsen ...
Little Rat
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Storyline

When young Tieh Chiao San is sent by his dying father to live with a former kung fu colleague in the town, he accidentally gets into trouble when messing with a gang running a snake-oil scam and then getting into a fight with an old drunkard. When Tieh reaches his destination he finds that the snake-oil gang is run by none other than his father's friend. He joins the gang but cannot bring himself to do the bad deeds demanded of him; this continues to the point where he is beaten and left for dead. Luckily he is rescued by the pretty Tsai Chiao and hidden out with her drunk uncle and leprosy suffering aunt as well as a Shaolin temple. Tieh uses his time to learn some new kung fu styles, which is just as well as it is not long till the gang come after him looking to finish the job. Written by bob the moo

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Genres:

Action | Comedy

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Release Date:

15 September 1979 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Ma feng guai quan  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Overly wacky and hammy, limiting its fun even as a silly comedy (which is all it is)
2 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When young Tieh Chiao San is sent by his dying father to live with a former kung fu colleague in the town, he accidentally gets into trouble when missing with a gang running a snake-oil scam and then getting into a fight with an old drunkard. When Tieh reaches his destination he finds that the snake-oil gang is run by none other than his father's friend. He joins the gang but cannot bring himself to do the bad deeds demanded of him; this continues to the point where he is beaten and left for dead. Luckily he is rescued by the pretty Tsai Chiao and hidden out with her drunk uncle and leprosy suffering aunt as well as a Shaolin temple. Tieh uses his time to learn some new kung fu styles, which is just as well as it is not long till the gang come after him looking to finish the job.

I have been enjoying using the festive season to catch up on a lot of films I have been wanting to see, in particular a lot of old Shaw Brothers kung fu movies that I was looking forward to seeing. Generally the standard has been pretty high – much higher than you would expect if your experience of the genre is limited to the "comedy" clips of badly dubbed action delivered out of context. So the dip had to come at some point and for me it hit with Tigress of Shaolin. I was attracted by the title because generally I have noted that the Shaw productions have had strong female roles (and leads at times) and I presumed this would be the case here with the "tigress" of the title but not so. Putting aside my preconceptions I waited to see what the film did and found a comedy where every line is excessively delivered, much humor is crude and basic and the whole thing is given a silly or wacky tone which really needs you to be totally in the mood for it. For me it didn't work as it was too deliberately wacky and not actually funny enough to support how forced it felt.

This wasn't helped by my waning interest in the film as so much of it just seemed cobbled together and made up as it went along. Maybe it was just my aging copy, but the film stock looked bad, the colors, costumes and sets were all significantly below the usual standard and even the soundtrack was poor. The cast follow direction to match the material, which is a shame because the direction is not good. Everyone pulls faces and hams it up. There are some nice turns in here but generally the material fails them. The martial arts action is also affected by the comedy hamming, although there are some good sequences if you ignore everything else.

All told, Tigress of Shaolin is a poor film. It is overly wacky and hammy in ways it cannot justify with the material. The performances are poor and, although some of the action is good, generally it feels like a hotchpotch of half-baked ideas and no strong hand on the tiller to bring it home.


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