The Deadliest Art: The Best of Martial Arts

by DougWonnacott | created - 29 Jul 2015 | updated - 04 Oct 2015 | Public

Possibly the most entertaining martial arts film I've ever see. Recently released for the first time on DVD in the UK.

Before the internet existed, I used this film as guide to what Martial Arts films to try and find on video.

It's presented and narrated by John Saxon and also features interviews with Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Keith Cooke and Robert Clouse.

I've listed all the films featured in the excellent 1992 documentary The Deadliest Art: The Best of Martial Arts. I've also listed the fights/scenes used in the film. If the clip is used in the opening montage I'll put (OM) next to it.

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1. The Best of the Martial Arts Films (1990)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Action

A review about martial arts films as well as some of its biggest movie stars.

Director: Sandra Weintraub | Stars: John Saxon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Casamassa, Jackie Chan

Votes: 309

2. Fist of Fury (1972)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

A young man seeks vengence for the death of his teacher.

Director: Wei Lo | Stars: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien, Maria Yi

Votes: 23,351

Bruce Lee Vs Henchmen in Dojo (OM) Bruce Lee Vs Riki Hashimoto

3. The Millionaires' Express (1986)

PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Comedy, Western

Multi-genre flick (western, martial arts, comedy, adventure, etc.) with an all-star cast about a man who returns to his home town, buys everything in sight, and tries to improve its ... See full summary »

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Biao Yuen, Olivia Cheng, Rosamund Kwan

Votes: 1,295

Yukari Oshima (with sword) Vs Henchmen (OM) Yuen Biao Vs Dick Wei (OM) Sammo Hung Vs Cynthia Rothrock Richard Norton Vs Yasuaki Kurata Sammo Hung (with double sticks) Vs Henchmen

4. No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

PG | 85 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

30 Metascore

Jason, a Bruce Lee fan, sees his karate instructor/dad beaten by martial art thugs. They move to Seattle where, after humiliations, he trains with Bruce Lee's ghost so he can defend himself and others against thugs.

Director: Corey Yuen | Stars: Kurt McKinney, Jean-Claude Van Damme, J.W. Fails, Kathie Sileno

Votes: 14,352 | Gross: $4.66M

Jean Claude Van Damme Vs Dale Jacoby (OM) Jean Claude Van Damme Vs Peter Cunningham Jean Claude Van Damme Vs Ron Pohnel

5. China O'Brien (1990)

R | 86 min | Action

A police woman, expert and instructor in martial arts, leaves the city to stay with her dad, sheriff in a town with peace and quiet - or so she thinks. She gets plenty opportunities to show her martial arts skills.

Director: Robert Clouse | Stars: Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Keith Cooke, Doug Wright

Votes: 1,003

Keith Cooke Vs Henchmen (OM) Cynthia Rothrock Vs Henchmen (OM) Cynthia Rothrock (with staff) Vs Henchmen Richard Norton Vs Henchmen Richard Norton (with staff) Vs Henchmen

6. Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985)

TV-14 | 105 min | Action, Comedy

5 HK cops (4 horny males) on vacation in Pattaya, Thailand, are told to contact an informant there but he gets murdered. They return to Hong Kong to contact his girlfriend and protect her. 3 other colleagues are busy fighting criminals.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Richard Ng, Eric Tsang, Kiu Wai Miu

Votes: 3,172

Sammo Hung Vs Transgendered Henchwomen (OM) Sammo Hung Vs Richard Norton (OM) Sammo Hung (with two tennis rackets) Vs Yasuaki Kurata (with double sai daggers) Yuen Biao Vs Philip Ko & henchmen

7. Armour of God (1986)

R | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) and his bumbling sidekick are sent on a quest through Europe to find a mysterious treasure held by a shadowy organization of monks.

Directors: Jackie Chan, Eric Tsang | Stars: Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Rosamund Kwan, Lola Forner

Votes: 16,112

Jackie Chan Vs henchmonks (cave monastery) (OM) Jackie Chan Vs Four Amazons (Linda Denley, Vivian Wickliffe, Alicia Shonte & Marcia Chisholm)

8. Duel to the Death (1983)

R | 86 min | Action, Drama

The best sword master from China vs the best sword master from Japan. Who will win?

Director: Siu-Tung Ching | Stars: Norman Chu, Damian Lau, Flora Chong-Leen, Paul Chang Chung

Votes: 1,583

All scenes are Wuxia sword fights: Casanova Wong Vs Flying Ninjas (on the beach) (OM) Damian Lau Vs Norman Chu (cliff top) (OM) Japanese children practising Kendo Damian Lau (with Flora Cheung) Vs Paul Chang Norman Chu Vs Eddie Ko & Ninjas (river & forest) Damian Lau & Flora Cheung Vs Ninjas (on the beach) The instrumental theme music is used over the closing credits

9. Righting Wrongs (1986)

Not Rated | 85 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Yuen Biao plays Jason Chan a lawyer, angry at the way the law seems to protect the bad guys, he decides to take the law into his own hands when a key witness and his entire family are ... See full summary »

Director: Corey Yuen | Stars: Biao Yuen, Cynthia Rothrock, Melvin Wong, Roy Chiao

Votes: 1,015

Cynthia Rothrock Vs Karen Shepherd (OM) Yuen Biao Vs Peter Cunningham (OM) Yuen Biao Vs Cynthia Rothrock

10. Eastern Condors (1987)

R | 93 min | Action, Drama, War

An action film about a daring commando raid into Vietnam to destroy a munitions dump left behind by American marines.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Biao Yuen, Haing S. Ngor, Joyce Godenzi

Votes: 1,839

Joyce Godenzi (with knife) Vs Henchmen (OM) Sammo Hung Vs Yuen Wah

11. Enter the Dragon (1973)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

Director: Robert Clouse | Stars: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri

Votes: 89,836 | Gross: $25.00M

Bruce Lee (unarmed and with staff, double sticks & Nunchaku) Vs Henchmen in warehouse/cave (OM) Theme music is used over opening montage

12. Dragons Forever (1988)

TV-14 | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

Three successful Hong Kong lawyers are hired by a chemical company of questionable ethics and must eventually make a difficult decision when their employer's motives become clear.

Directors: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Corey Yuen | Stars: Jackie Chan, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Biao Yuen, Pauline Yeung

Votes: 6,542

Jackie Chan Vs Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez (& Yuen Wah) (OM) Jackie Chan Vs Sammo Hung Vs Yuen Biao (OM) Jackie Chan Vs Henchmen (on a boat) Yuen Biao Vs Henchmen (in a warehouse)

13. The Young Master (1980)

PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

After failing his fellow students in a Lion Dance competition, Dragon (Jackie Chan) is sent away from his school in disgrace, on the condition that he must find his errant brother. Much ... See full summary »

Director: Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Pai Wei, Biao Yuen, Lily Li

Votes: 5,929

Whang In Sik Vs henchmen (OM) Kung Fu Class

14. My Lucky Stars (1985)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Muscles, cop from Hong Kong, is in Japan chasing a bad HK cop. His cop partner gets taken by the ninja gang. Muscles gets his 5 old no-good friends from the orphanage to help find the bad cop. Lots of comedy and kung-fu fighting follows.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Charlie Chin, Stanley Sui-Fan Fung, Richard Ng

Votes: 4,232

Sibelle Hu Vs Michiko Nishiwaki (OM) Sammo Hung Vs Michelle Yeoh

15. China O'Brien II (1990 Video)

R | 92 min | Action

This time China O'Brien has trouble with a dealer who puts a prize on her head because she had spoiled an important drug deal of his. But all the world's criminals will not be enough to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Clouse | Stars: Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Keith Cooke, Frank Magner

Votes: 453

Keith Cooke Vs Henchmen (OM) Behind the scenes footage

16. The Big Boss (1971)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A young man sworn to an oath of non-violence works with his cousins in an ice factory where they mysteriously begin to disappear.

Directors: Wei Lo, Chia-Hsiang Wu | Stars: Bruce Lee, Maria Yi, James Tien, Marilyn Bautista

Votes: 22,401

Bruce Lee Vs Han Ying Chieh (OM) Bruce Lee Vs Henchmen in Ice Mill Bruce Lee Vs Tony Liu

17. Project A (1983)

PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Comedy

Fighting against pirates at the turn of the 20th century, the Hong Kong navy are failing miserably. It's up to Sergeant Lung (Jackie Chan) to take matters into his own hands.

Directors: Jackie Chan, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Jackie Chan, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Biao Yuen, Dick Wei

Votes: 13,575

Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao & Mars Vs Dick Wei (OM) Jackie Chan Vs henchmen (bicycle chase)

18. The Way of the Dragon (1972)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

58 Metascore

A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.

Director: Bruce Lee | Stars: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao, Ping Ou Wei

Votes: 29,083

Bruce Lee warm up before Chuck Norris fight

19. Warriors Two (1978)

R | 95 min | Action, Drama

Beloved for its combination of thrilling combat choreography and hilarious physical comedy, the film tells the story of a humble cashier who discovers a plot to kill his small town mayor.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Ka-Yan Leung, Casanova Wong, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Chia Yung Liu

Votes: 1,037

Leung Kar Yan practising Wing Chun Leung Kar Yan teaching Casanova Wong the principles of Wing Chun

20. Wheels on Meals (1984)

TV-14 | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Two Chinese friends, who operate a food truck in Barcelona, Spain, use their martial arts expertise to help their private investigator friend protect the pickpocket Sylvia, who's been targeted by a ruthless gang.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Jackie Chan, Biao Yuen, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Benny Urquidez

Votes: 10,591

Yuen Biao & Jackie Chan practising on a Wooden Dummy Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung & Yuen Biao Vs Jose Sancho Yuen Biao Vs Keith Vitali Jackie Chan Vs Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez

21. Hapkido (1972)

R | 97 min | Action, Drama

Korea, 1934. During the Japanese occupation, there is open warfare between rival martial arts schools. There is a fight in the marketplace, and three Chinese students can't stand the unfair... See full summary »

Director: Feng Huang | Stars: Angela Mao, Carter Wong, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Han Jae Ji

Votes: 607

Angela Mao, Sammo Hung & Jae Han Jie Hapkido demonstration/class

22. The Magnificent Butcher (1979)

PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A plump butcher student of Wong Fei Hung, Lam Sai-Wing (Sammo) gets into trouble with a rival kung-fu school known as Five Dragons and is accused of raping the head of that school's ... See full summary »

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Tak-Hing Kwan, Biao Yuen, Pai Wei

Votes: 1,967

Yuen Biao Vs Lam Ching Ying Sammo Hung practising/training

23. Dreadnaught (1981)

91 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

A short-tempered, violent criminal named "White Tiger" is on the run from the police and joins a theater troupe for disguise, killing anyone who angers him or who suspects his identity. One... See full summary »

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Biao Yuen, Ka-Yan Leung, Shun-Yee Yuen, Tak-Hing Kwan

Votes: 601

Yuen Biao practising while doing laundry Leung Kar Yan Vs Yuen Shun Yee Kwan Tak Hing Vs Fung Hark On

24. Encounters of the Spooky Kind (1980)

R | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

Cheung's wife and boss are seeing each other, and decide to dispatch him with a wizard. But the wizard's rival aids and defends Cheung and a magic war rises.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Fat Chung, Lung Chan, Ha Huang

Votes: 1,753

Sammo Hung Vs Lam Ching Ying & Henchmen Sammo Hung Vs Huang Ha

25. Deep Thrust (1972)

R | 88 min | Action, Drama

Tien arrives in town looking to exact revenge on Ling for abandoning her pregnant sister and thus driving said sister to commit suicide. Although Tien agrees to help Ling take down the ... See full summary »

Director: Feng Huang | Stars: Angela Mao, Yi Chang, Ying Bai, Kyung-Ah Oh

Votes: 152

Angela Mao Vs Sammo Hung & henchmen in tavern

26. Tai quan zhen jiu zhou (1973)

R | 95 min | Action, War, Drama

During the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930's, the leader of a small resistance movement attempts to get information to sympathizers in China.

Director: Feng Huang | Stars: Angela Mao, Jhoon Rhee, Carter Wong, Ing-Sik Whang

Votes: 166

Angela Mao Vs Sammo Hung & Gam Kei Chu in Dojo

27. Project A 2 (1987)

PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Dragon is now transferred to be the police head of Sai Wan district, and has to contend with a gangster kingpin, anti-Manchu revolutionaries, some runaway pirates, Manchu Loyalists and a corrupt Police Superintendent.

Director: Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Rosamund Kwan, Carina Lau

Votes: 8,342

Jackie Chan Vs Henchmen

28. Game of Death (1978)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

36 Metascore

A martial arts movie star must fake his death to find the people who are trying to kill him.

Directors: Robert Clouse, Bruce Lee | Stars: Bruce Lee, Gig Young, Dean Jagger, Hugh O'Brian

Votes: 15,446 | Gross: $10.00M

Bruce Lee Vs Kareem Abdul Jabbar

29. Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983)

Unrated | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Chinese soldiers in an ancient civil war get caught up in a fantastical quest to save the universe.

Director: Hark Tsui | Stars: Biao Yuen, Hoi Mang, Adam Cheng, Brigitte Lin

Votes: 2,162

Yuen Biao Vs demons Yuen Biao & Sammo Hung Vs several armies

30. The Master (1984)

60 min | Adventure, Drama, Action

An aging American ninja master and his headstrong young apprentice search for the elder man's daughter.

Stars: Lee Van Cleef, Timothy Van Patten, Shô Kosugi, Cynthia Lea Clark

Votes: 1,183

Lee Van Cleef Vs Sho Kosugi

31. Winners & Sinners (1983)

PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Fresh from prison, five friends try to stay crime free but inadvertently find themselves caught in a Triad war.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Jackie Chan, John Sham, Richard Ng

Votes: 3,967

Sammo Hung (with staff) Vs Henchmen

32. Shao Lin men (1976)

R | 95 min | Action, Drama

A survivor of an attack on a rebel group opposing the Manchu invasion of China creates the Goose Fist fighting technique and tries for revenge on a traitor.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tao-Liang Tan, James Tien, Jackie Chan, Ching Chu

Votes: 1,191

Jackie Chan (with a spear) Vs Henchmen Jackie Chan making a sword Yeung Wei testing a new sword

33. The Private Eyes (1976)

94 min | Comedy

Private Eyes revolves the characters in a private detective agency headed by Wong Yuk-See (Michael Hui) with two employees, a stuttered, easily bullied Pighead (Ricky Hui) and secretary/... See full summary »

Director: Michael Hui | Stars: Michael Hui, Samuel Hui, Ricky Hui, Angie Chiu

Votes: 572

Michael Hui (with salami nunchaku and chicken skewer) Vs Chan Kim-Wan (with shark teeth and chicken skewer) kitchen fight

34. Po jie (1977)

98 min | Action, Drama

Angry and aggressive orphan Lotus Lin gets raised as a Buddhist in a Shaolin temple after her mother dies in the wake of giving birth to her in prison. Consumed with rage, Lin gets expelled... See full summary »

Director: Chang-hwa Jeong | Stars: Angela Mao, Michael Wai-Man Chan, Siu-Lung Leung, Shan Kwan

Votes: 153

Angela Mao, Kwok Chan Yau & Bruce Leung & Vs Sammo Hung, Han Ying Chieh & Michael Chan

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