The Boxer From Shantung (1972)
The Boxer From Shantung is a 1972 kung fu classic, directed by the legendary Chang Cheh and Pao Hsueh Lieh and starring Chen Kuan Tai, David Chiang and Cheng Hong Yip. The action is brought to us by brothers Lau Kar leung and Lau Kar Wing and they do not disappoint. PLOT Boxer From [...]
The Boxer From Shantung is a 1972 kung fu classic, directed by the legendary Chang Cheh and Pao Hsueh Lieh and starring Chen Kuan Tai, David Chiang and Cheng Hong Yip. The action is brought to us by brothers Lau Kar leung and Lau Kar Wing and they do not disappoint.
Boxer From Shantung follows Ma Yongzhen and Xiao Jiangbei. Ma and Xiao are manual laborers busting their tails in Shanghai at the beginning of the film, and Ma’s first encounter with the crime lord Tan Si starts him off on the underworld influence ladder. Step by step, he earns the respect of everyone he meets, either with his strength of character or by beating them up. When he gets a really big break by defeating a Russian strongman, he indulges himself in a fancy cigarette holder, much like the one Tan Si uses. However, he is mindful of his humble beginnings, and of the fact that times are still tough for many in Shanghai. He shares his good fortune with his old fellow wage slaves, and when they assist him in his various extralegal activities, he lectures them on the futility of trying to extort money from people who simply don’t have any to spare.
The tea house that Ma and his underlings frequent employs a singer, Jin Lingzi, and her uncle, who provides the music. Ms. Jin’s hopes that Ma’s arrival will mark a turn for the better for conditions in the crime-plagued city are dashed when she ascertains that he isn’t different enough from the other bosses she’s seen rise and fall.
The action in the movie isn’t as good as the late 70′s and 80′s by any means, but dont let that put you off, there are still some great fight scenes, which the Lau brothers put together really well for the time. Throughout the movie we see the main character Ma Wing-Jing (Chen Kuan-Tai), arrive in Shanghai to make a better life for himself and his fellow brothers. When he arrives, there are several gangs who run the area and like making trouble whenever it suits them.
Ma Wing-Jing gets in trouble with the local gangs and shows he aint no push over by beating most of there best fighters single handed with the power of his fists. But it isn’t until he beats a champion Russian fighter that he really starts to get the credit he deserves, but this leads to his downfall. When he starts taking the Territory of the local gangs and defeats the Four Champions, he is then faced with many axe crazy thugs who want to take revenge and kill him and his clan.
Although this is a Chang Cheh movie, it isn’t really until the final part of the movie that we get to see is brilliance. The fight scene is excellent with Ma Wing-Jing being asked to meet the local bosses at a tea house which quickly turns into a blood bath, probably one of the most memorable fight scenes in kung fu history. We get to see the hero take on at least 40 fighters, maybe more as he tries to fend them off with an axe stuck in his stomach as he fellow fellows fight outside trying to get in. The movie as also been remade in the 90′s, a movie called Hero – starring Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah and Takeshi Kaneshiro, which is another great film.
Overall, i really enjoyed this movie. It might not be on par with over Shaw Brothers movies, but a very enjoyable movie with lots of kung fu and a good story line.
Here is part of that final showdown from the movie, enjoy.
Chen Kuan Tai
Cheng Yong Hip
Lau Kar Leung, Lau Kar Wing, Tong Gaai, Chan Chuen
Source:WikipediaThe Boxer From Shantung (1972),