This is a run down of my Top 40 kung fu movies of the 1970’s. There were so many great films in this era, that i just hope i do this list some justice. The movies chosen are just my personal choice, i understand others might have different views.

Any of the movies that make the Top 40 list must have something special to make it in the first place. So i hope you enjoy my Top 40 Kung Fu movies.

 

20.Invincible Armour (1977)
Starring: Hwang Jang Lee, John Liu, Philip Ko, Lee Hoi San, Yuen Biao


The Emperor’s Minister of State Cheng, an authoritarian ruler, arranges for Hu Lung, one of his old students to distract General Chow while he assassinates the leader of the Ming rebels. Chow hunts for Hu Lung, but must avoid the authorities since he is a suspect in the murder. He eventually finds Chow, but is thwarted by Hu Lung’s master, Phillip Ko, and Minister Cheng’s hired enforcer, Shen Yu. Shen Yu is hunting for Chow in order to arrest him.

Although Shen Yu wants to arrest Chow, he does not kill him, preferring that he goes to court first. This goes against Minister Cheng’s orders to kill him. Hu Lung and Chow escape in the ensuing confrontation between Shen Yu and Phillip Ko. Hu Long confesses to his master that he was ordered to kill the rebel leader, and Phillip Co confronts Minister Cheng.

Chow learns iron armour and later iron finger. from a young child and his sister to defeat the Invincible Armor technique, but his training is cut short when Shen Yu arrives to arrest him again. He gives Chow three days to clear his name. Minister Chang’s plot is eventually exposed, and he is confronted by Chow, Shen Yu,and others.

19.Master Of The Flying Guillotine (1976)
Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Kam Kong, Lau Kar Wing, Doris Lung


The film concerns Wang’s one-armed martial arts master being stalked by an imperial assassin, the master of two fighters (the Tibetan lamas) who were killed in the previous film. When the One-Armed Boxer is invited to attend a martial arts tournament, his efforts to lie low are unsuccessful, and the assassin soon tracks him down with the help of his three subordinates competing in the tournament: a Thai boxer, a yoga master, and a kobojutsu user.

The title refers to the assassin’s weapon, the “flying guillotine”, which resembles a hat with a bladed rim attached to a long chain. Upon enveloping one’s head, the blades cleanly decapitate the victim with a quick pull of the chain.

18.A Touch Of Zen (1971)
Starring: Hsu Feng, Shih Chun, Pai Ying, Sammo Hung


Ok, so this is more a swords play movie, but this had to be included in my list. A master piece that as been viewed many times over the few decades it as been released. This is about a group of refugees leaving there place of Dongchan (Agency) and heading straight for a haunted fortress, where we fins out a lot more about the characters and there real identities. The film famously ends with the injured Yang staggering towards a silhouetted figure, presumably Abbot Hui, seen meditating with the setting sun forming a halo around his head, an image suggesting the Buddhaand enlightenment

17.Vengeance (1970)
Starring: David Chiang, Ti Lung, Ku Feng, Wong Ping

 


The adored screen team of Chang Cheh, Ti Lung, and David Chiang return in another classic about “brotherhood” and “heroes” in “Vengeance”. Chiang plays a psychotic younger brother out to avenge his older brother’s death (Lung). The action by acclaimed choreographers Tang Chia and Yuen Chiang-Yan (Yuen Wo Ping’s brother, choreographed “Charlie’s Angels”, “The Matrix: Reloaded”) is just as psychotic.The movie won two awards at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival 1970 :
– Best Actor : David Chiang
– Best Director : Chang Cheh

16.Invincible Shaolin (1978)
Starring: Lu Feng, Sun Chien, Chiang Sheng, Philip Kwok


An evil Qing general (Wong Lung Wei) comes up with a brilliant plan to rid the Qing Empire once and for all of the Shaolin masters. He invites three Northern Shaolin experts to his mansion and has them fight the in a contest against three novice Southern Shaolin men already present at his mansion. By royal decree, Shaolin was required to supply experts to teach the Qing troops martial arts. The Norther Shaolin experts easily and decisively win against the South Shaolin men. After the contest, the general visits the South Shaolin men in their quarters later that night and secretly kills the Southerners.

He then has his subordinate go to South Shaolin placing the blame squarely on the Northerners. The Southern master of the dead disciples is deceived into believing that the Northern experts killed his disciples. This would begin an internal conflict between both Shaolin schools. It is only when the South Shaolin experts have their final confrontation with the Northerners that the general reveals himself. The experts from both schools realize they have been deceived and manipulated. Joining forces both North and South experts battle the general and his troops to allow some of their fellows to escape and reveal the Qing plot to destroy Shaolin.

15.Eagle’s Claw (1977)
Starring: Chi Kuan Chun, Don Wong Tao, Chang Yi, Leung Kar Yan


Planning to destroy the Eagle’s Claw school, Mantis Fist fighter Chao Ma Wu (Chang Yi) joins the Ching army to fight the rebels. The master of the Eagles Claw school is murdered. Chen (Chi Kuan Chung) one of the head students is blamed and he runs away. He gets Chao to accept him as a student and learns half of the Mantis Style. Together with another student (Wang Tao) they defeat Cha Ma Wa.

14.Blood Brothers (1973)
Starring: David Chiang, Ti Lung, Chen Kuan Tai


Set in the waning years of the Ching Dynasty, this dramatic, tragic, romantic, blood-soaked martial arts tale of betrayal and revenge explores one of the most sensational scandals in Chinese history and marked the true ascension of its director and actors to superstar status. In fact, Ti Lung won Taiwan’s Golden Horse Award for Outstanding Performance as the challenging role of a jealous provincial governor who kills his friend in order to steal the man’s wife.

13.Shaolin Martial Arts (1974)
Starring: Fu Sheng, Fung Hak On, Chi Kuan Chun, Leung Kar Yan, Gordon Liu


After the destruction of the Shaolin Temple, the Chings are in control and send their best students to wipe out all of the remaining Shaolin practioners. They almost succeed, but two students escape (Fu Sheng and Chi Kuan Chung). They learn various Kung Fu styles from different teachers to combat the Ching’s two kung fu fighters (Wang Lung Wei and John Liang).

12.Five Venoms (1978)
Starring: Chiang Sheng, Sun Chien, Philip Kwok, Johnny Wang



A dying teacher taught (5) masked students the deadliest forms of Poisonous kung fu known. Each with a different style, but since they all wore masks, no one knows who the “others” are. The teacher thinks that some of them will use their skills for evil, so he teaches his 6th student a little of each and asks him to make sure that they don’t misuse their skills. He is suppose to find the ones who are honest and get them to help him stop the evil ones. But how will he find them ?? Who can he trust??

11.The Mystery Of Chess Boxing (1979)
Starring: Yuen Siu Tien, Lee I Min, Mark Long, Jack Long


The stars and the director of Seven Grandmasters reunite for this action-packed genre classic, Mystery Of Chess Boxing. Lee Yi Min stars as an eager young kung fu student who seeks to improve his fighting skills with an aim to avenge his father’s murder at the hands of the Ghost Face Killer, an overwhelming force of destruction and master of the death-dealing Five Element Fist. Lee Yi Min’s eagerness to study attracts the attention of the Master Of Chess Boxing, Jack Long, who is the Ghost Face Killer’s arch enemy. Together, master and student devise a wicked cross fertilization of the Chess Boxing and Five Element Fist styles and set out to put an end to Ghost Face’s deadly reign.

Sources:Hk Cinemagic – Wikpedia

About The Author

I used to study Muay Thai when i was much younger. I have loved martial arts since i was a young lad, 4-5 years old. My favorite stars include Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Lam Ching Ying, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, The Venoms and lots more. King Of Kung Fu (Justyn Hughes) Favorite movie: The prodigal Son

  • Kung Fu/Karate Lover

    70s Kung Fu/Karate joints are still the best. I fell in love with them from the time I was three years old back in 1973.

  • Tiger33

    Fantastic – that .Master Of The Flying Guillotine screenshot is just excellent

    • Kingofkungfu

      Thanks.

  • Viper Girl

    my dad took me to see this in the theatre in Chinatown