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The Art of Action: Martial Arts in Motion Picture (2002)

A look at the history of martial arts films from their chinese roots to the present, presented by Samuel L. Jackson.


Keith R. Clarke (as Keith Clarke)


Keith R. Clarke

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Credited cast:
David Carradine ... Himself - Interviewee
Jackie Chan ... Himself - Interviewee
Pei-Pei Cheng ... Herself - Interviewee
Raymond Chow ... Himself - Interviewee
Tom Cruise ... Himself
DMX ... Latrell Walker in Exit Wounds (archive footage)
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung ... Himself - Interviewee
Samuel L. Jackson ... Himself - Narrator
Buster Keaton ... Himself (archive footage)
Ang Lee ... Himself - Interviewee
Bruce Lee ... Himself - Interviewee (archive footage)
Raw Leiba ... Himself - Interviewee
Chia-Hui Liu ... Himself - Interviewee
Chia-Liang Liu ... Himself - Interviewee
Hoi Mang ... Himself - Interviewee


A look at the history of martial arts films from their chinese roots to the present, presented by Samuel L. Jackson.

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Release Date:

June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Arte Marcial no Cinema See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Bruce Lee: To me - okay? - to me, ultimately martial art means honestly expressing yourself. That is very difficult to do.
See more »


Features Huang Fei Hong shen wei fu san sha (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

good summary of the history of kung fu films, but should've had a different narrator
17 January 2010 | by toddbradleySee all my reviews

As a fan of kung fu movies, I enjoyed this trip through the ages of kung fu movies. Yeah, the title would have you believe the documentary is about action films in general, but it's not. It would have you believe it's about martial arts films in general, but - as before - it's not. They're really just focused on the kung fu movies that came out of Hong Kong, and other films influenced from those.

The film is "hosted" by Samuel L. Jackson, but I sure don't know why. He doesn't have the credentials to lend anything to the narration. And his taped narrative segments were awkward, read from a teleprompter, and distractingly shot by someone with an infatuation with gratuitous camera movement. The production company could've saved a lot of money by hiring a film historian to just narrate from a static angle or all in voice-over.

This film was a gift from a friend who found it in the bargain bin at the video store for $3, so I guess it's worth that. But don't pay $20 for it. I'll give it a 4 out of 10.

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