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Boxer from Shantung (1972)

Ma Yong Zhen (original title)
Leaving the poverty of his life in Shantung to seek fortune in Shanghai, The Boxer is instead drawn into a world of corruption, gang warfare and evil... Where his only protection is his famed fighting technique.

Directors:

Cheh Chang (as Chang Cheh), Hsueh Li Pao

Writers:

Cheh Chang, Kuang Ni
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kuan Tai Chen ... Ma Yung Chen (introducing)
Li Ching ... Chin Ling-tzu
David Chiang ... Tan Sze (guest star)
Mario Milano Mario Milano ... Russian Boxer (as Ma Lan Nu)
Ching Tien ... Li Tsai-chun - Champion 3 (guest star)
Feng Ku ... Chang Chin-fa - Champion 2
Nan Chiang ... Yang Shuang
Yi Feng ... Fan A-ken - Champion 1
Kang-Yeh Cheng ... Hsiao Chiang-pei
Ching Wang ... Lu Pu - Champion 4
Hao Chen ... Mr. Chin
Shang Yun Liang Shang Yun Liang
Yen Tsan Tang Yen Tsan Tang
Lao Shen ... Innkeeper
Wen Tai Li
Edit

Storyline

Ma Yung Cheng leaves Shantung, trying to find better fortune in Shanghai, trusting his youth and physical valour. He meets friendship with Hsiai Chiang Pei, and love (CHING LI), and fate has him meet, and find employment with a local gangster. He defeats an undefeatable Foreign Champion, then three champions at once, only to fall into a trap set up by gangster arch-rival Yang Shuang... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He killed to survive...and kill again!

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

11 February 1972 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Killer from Shantung See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shaw Brothers See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous final fight when Ma Yong Zhen takes on the hatchet gang took 10 days to complete. See more »

Goofs

When the boss is dropped off to fight, overhead power lines are visible behind the driver. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Chin: Lingzi, you have a lady's temper, but a maid's destiny.
See more »

Alternate Versions

U.S. television prints are severely cut due to excessive violence and running time. Much of the plot and story line is edited as well in the American television prints. See more »

Connections

Featured in Chop Socky: Cinema Hong Kong (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A masterpiece, and possibly the best of it's kind...
5 April 2007 | by FalconeerSee all my reviews

Before the advent of DVD media, films such as Cheng Cheh's "Boxer From Shantung" could only be seen in severely butchered form, complete with laughable and awful dubbing, fair to poor picture quality, always in "pan and scan" format with a percentage of the picture chopped out, and in most cases, with the harder violence removed as well. Finally "Ma Yong Zhen" can be seen the way director Cheh envisioned his passionate "rags to riches" epic, with "epic" being a suitable word as this film is quite big in scope, and surpasses the 2 hour mark. The tale itself is a familiar one to be sure; a young, ambitious street urchin uses his unique boxing skills and mental cunning to climb the bloody ladder of success, and fortune. But this tale has rarely been filmed so eloquently. There is so much to praise here, beginning with cinematography; forget comparing this film with the endless and uninspired kung-fu pictures made through the 60's to 70's. For the look of "Ma Yong Zhen" is that of a mostly beautiful art-house style production. This can finally be seen in it's original aspect ratio of 2,35 widescreen, and the difference is hardly describable. For years apparently, this was only released widely with a running time of just over 90 minutes, but the wonderful DVD from "Celestial Pictures" restores the feature to it's 124 minute running time. The lead character, played by Chen Kuan-tai, is really superb in his role as the ambitious 'Ma'. He possesses a strange, utterly unique physical beauty which somehow elicits sympathy from the viewer. The film reminded me a bit of 1983's "Scarface", as the stories, as well as the extreme violence are similar themes within both pictures. However Chen's character never loses touch with his own humanity, unlike Tony Montana, who became a monster. And I must agree with another poster who described the feeling of "sadness" that envelops the film. Much of it is quiet, subdued, featuring some haunting, and totally unobtrusive musical score. Of course this is misleading, as the film explodes with a brand of violence hard to describe, for the films breathtaking climax. That new DVD also features the original Mandarin language audio track, and hearing the original language is the only way to see this. There are English subtitles as well. Recommended viewing for anyone curious to see a how a traditional kung-fu film can be transformed into a work of art.


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