The 35 Absolute Best of Shaw Brothers Films

by RogueDiabolik | created - 22 Nov 2015 | updated - 06 Oct 2016 | Public

Out of all the Shaw Brothers films that I have watched, these are my top 35 favorites in order.

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1. My Young Auntie (1981)

Not Rated | 121 min | Action, Comedy

Cheng Tai-Nan (Kara Hui) is an honest and faithful servant of a dying patriarch who wants nothing more than to protect his vast wealth from his selfish, conniving nephew, Yung-Sheng. ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Liang Liu, Kara Wai, Hou Hsiao, Lung Wei Wang

Votes: 589

2. Five Fingers of Death (1972)

R | 104 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament.

Director: Chang-hwa Jeong | Stars: Lieh Lo, Ping Wang, Hsiung Chao, Chin-Feng Wang

Votes: 2,592

3. Life Gamble (1978)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Drama

LIFE GAMBLE is the tale of a simple blacksmith (Kuo Chue) with extraordinary martial arts skills who is entangled in a life and death struggle between swordsmen, thieves, con artists, a ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo, Chen Chi Lin

Votes: 154

4. Heroes of the East (1978)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy

A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Yuka Mizuno, Yasuaki Kurata, Naozo Kato

Votes: 1,846

5. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Drama

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 »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Sheng Fu, Lily Li, Kara Wai

Votes: 2,320

6. Come Drink with Me (1966)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Crime

A group of bandits kidnaps the governor's son and demands their imprisoned leader to be set free in exchange.

Director: King Hu | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Hua Yueh, Chih-Ching Yang, Hung Lieh Chen

Votes: 3,352

7. Hong Kong Godfather (1985)

95 min | Action, Thriller

After receiving a life imprisonment sentence for a NY Chinatown massacre, Jia Shi Lan obtains a pardon through the Mafia's influence.

Director: Lung Wei Wang | Stars: Ka-Yan Leung, Norman Chu, Shu-Yuan Hsu, Lung Wei Wang

Votes: 124

8. Executioners from Shaolin (1977)

R | 98 min | Action, Drama

A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Lieh Lo, Yue Wong, Lily Li

Votes: 1,187

9. Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986)

R | 99 min | Action, Drama

Jet Li weasels out of the north Shaolin temple to assassinate a despotic ruler at the ruler's extravagant public birthday celebration. Two other men from the south Shaolin temple also set ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Jet Li, Jianqiang Hu, Qiuyan Huang, Chunhua Ji

Votes: 1,696

10. Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972)

86 min | Action, Drama

The Four Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude, prostitution, and torture at ... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Lily Ho, Hua Yueh, Betty Pei Ti, Lin Tung

Votes: 592

11. Jade Tiger (1977)

100 min | Action, Adventure

Zhao Wuji embarks on an very tragic adventure with full of intrigues to avenge his father, who is beheaded by a traitor working for Tang, on the eve of son's marriage.

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Lung Ti, Feng Ku, Lily Li, Yao Hsiao

Votes: 162

12. The 14 Amazons (1972)

R | 123 min | Adventure, Drama, History

The cast of The 14 Amazons is a veritable "who's who" of the golden age of Shaw Brothers swordplay adventures, and was not only a major box office hit (ranking 4th for 1972), but also a top... See full summary »

Directors: Kang Cheng, Shao-Yung Tung | Stars: Hua Tsung, Mei Sheng Fan, Chung-Hsin Huang, Feng Tien

Votes: 369

13. Tang lang (1978)

R | 96 min | Action, Drama

Shaolin Mantis (Orig. Tang lang) is a 1978 Shaw Brothers film directed by Lau Kar-leung. Starring David Chiang and Liu Chia Hui. Shaolin Mantis tells the story of a man who learns martial arts by observing a praying mantis.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: David Chiang, Cecilia Wong, Lily Li, Chia Yung Liu

Votes: 498

14. Martial Club (1981)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama

Wong Fei-Hong and his once-rival, now friend, find themselves and their martial arts schools pitted against a rival school which uses a Kung Fu expert from the North to do their dirty work.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Kara Wai, Te-Lo Mai, Hou Hsiao

Votes: 378

15. Vengeance Is a Golden Blade (1969)

98 min | Action, Drama

Li Zhishan is a rich man, but wealth cannot keep the loyalties of his wife, who has been visiting the bed of a rival. She helps plot against him, and the Vicious Long Brothers invade his ... See full summary »

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Hua Yueh, Ping Chin, Ching Tang, Pao-Shu Kao

Votes: 116

16. Shaolin Prince (1982)

R | 100 min | Action, Comedy

As the names of Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang became legendary, all-too-often the name of their equally valued collaborator, Tang Chia, is omitted. That may be,because, unlike the previous ... See full summary »

Director: Chia Tang | Stars: Lung Ti, Tung-Shing Yee, Jason Piao Pai, Feng Ku

Votes: 313

17. Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979)

R | 116 min | Action, Comedy

A disgraced former Kung Fu expert makes a living as a merchant with the help of a hot headed friend. When the men are harassed by gangsters, the merchant decided to teach his friend monkey boxing so they can defend their business.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Liang Liu, Hou Hsiao, Kara Wai, Lieh Lo

Votes: 814

18. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

R | 97 min | Action

The final student of a dying martial arts master is instructed to locate the previous five students and defeat any evil ones among them.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo

Votes: 5,683

19. The Lady Hermit (1971)

105 min | Action, Drama

A young Kung Fu student (Shih Szu) seeks a reclusive teacher so that she may learn to defeat the evil Black Demon. She doesn't realize that the servant woman she befriends (Cheng Pei-Pei) ... See full summary »

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Lieh Lo, Szu Shih, Hsieh Wang

Votes: 267

20. Return to the 36th Chamber (1980)

R | 99 min | Action, Comedy

The workers of a dye factory have their pay cut by 20% when the factory owner brings in some Manchu thugs to try and increase production. Desperate to reclaim their full wages, the workers ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lung Wei Wang, Hou Hsiao, Lun Hua

Votes: 2,895

21. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)

R | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A man studies kung fu at the Shaolin Temple to fight back against the oppressive Manchu government.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Chia Yung Liu, Norman Chu

Votes: 13,320

22. Killer Clans (1976)

PG-13 | 91 min | Action, Drama

Two clans compete for dominance over the martial arts world in this classic of violent swordplay and political intrigue. A complex tale of deception and double crosses. Killer Clans leaves ... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Fei Ai, Shen Chan, Ping Chen, Kang-Yeh Cheng

Votes: 474

23. Brothers Five (1970)

109 min | Action, Drama

A young woman sets out to reunite feuding brothers to take out a gang of killers who have murdered their father.

Director: Wei Lo | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Han Chin, Yi Chang, Yuen Kao

Votes: 152

24. The Shadow Whip (1971)

78 min | Action, Drama

This top ten hit reunites Come Drink With Me's stars for a new adventure. Whether single-handedly fighting sixteen bandits, avenging her father's death, or solving multiple murders, our ... See full summary »

Director: Wei Lo | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Hua Yueh, Li Jen Ho, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung

Votes: 227

25. The Avenging Eagle (1978)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Chi Ming-sing is a former disciple of a gang run by overlord Yoh Xi-hung. Yoh's disciples hunt Chi relentlessly as he travels on a soul-searching journey. He comes to the aid of a seemingly... See full summary »

Director: Chung Sun | Stars: Sheng Fu, Lung Ti, Feng Ku, Lung Chan

Votes: 720

26. The Delightful Forest (1972)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure

Wu Sung, a military swordmaster, is acused of murdering his adulterous sister-in-law and a thug, and sent to exile in Meng Chou. At the prison camp, Shih En, son of the camp commander, ... See full summary »

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao | Stars: Lung Ti, Mu Chu, Ching Tien, Feng Yu

Votes: 240

27. Dynasty of Blood (1973)

PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Drama

Assassin Chang and his brother Hung meet up with a soldier, Mu. Together, they form a small mountain army, but when Hung's wife arrives, emotions swell, and Mu leaves for the army. After ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen, Li Ching

Votes: 621

28. The One-Armed Swordsman (1967)

R | 111 min | Action, Drama

A noble swordsman, whose arm had been chopped off, returns to his former teacher to defend him from a villainous gang of rival swordsmen.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Jimmy Wang Yu, Chiao Chiao, Chung-Hsin Huang, Yin-Tze Pan

Votes: 2,602

29. Palace Carnage (1978)

Not Rated | 88 min | Action, Adventure

The heroic Ma Teng has developed a counter to the Flying Guillotines attack, and when word reaches The Emperor, who is more bloodthirsty than ever, he creates a new deadlier version and ... See full summary »

Directors: Kang Cheng, Shan Hua | Stars: Feng Ku, Chung Wang, Hung Wei, Locke Hua Liu

Votes: 268

30. The Water Margin (1972)

R | 81 min | Action, Drama

Tells the story of the 108 Heroes who stood up against a corrupt government. Each hero has his own unique fighting skill, but they are all willing to die to uphold justice.

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao, Wu Ma | Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen, Chung Wang

Votes: 581

31. Death Duel (1977)

90 min | Drama, Action

The Third Master (Erh Tung Sheng, aka Derek Yee, in the role that launched his career) is considered to be the greatest sword master of the day. His displays of skill and strength bring ... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Tung-Shing Yee, On-On Yu, Ping Chen, Yun Ling

Votes: 416

32. Golden Swallow (1968)

R | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

The indomitable martial arts team of director Chang Cheh and stunt choreographer Liu Chia-liang continues the compelling saga of Golden Swallow from King Hu's Come Drink with Me in this ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Jimmy Wang Yu, Lieh Lo, Hsin Yen Chao

Votes: 563

33. The Kiss of Death (1973)

99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

One night a textile worker is sexually assaulted by five deviants. The young lady tries to cope with the aftermath of this dramatic event but her life is ruined.

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Lieh Lo, Ping Chen, Mei Sheng Fan, Ching Chen

Votes: 133

34. Legendary Weapons of China (1982)

R | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A band of killers from an ailing kung fu and magic society are sent on a manhunt for a former member of the society, whose bad mouthing threatens it's existence.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Liang Liu, Chia Yung Liu, Kara Wai, Hou Hsiao

Votes: 1,120

35. The Flying Guillotine (1975)

Not Rated | 111 min | Action, Drama

An assassin, trained in the use of a throwing weapon that can behead its victims from a distance, questions the morality of his missions and becomes a fugitive hunted by his former comrades.

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Feng Ku, Hung Wei, Wu Chi Liu

Votes: 919



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