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.


30:Iron Fisted Monk
Starring: Sammo Hung, Fung Hak On, Chan Sing, James Tien

The Husker has a heart of gold although he is full of tricks. When he is a trainee at Shaolin Temple, he cuts so many corners and devises so many labor-saving ploys that he earns the open wrath and secret admiration of his holy elders. Monk Shan, the famous kung fu master, never lets his buddhist association stand in the way of wining, whoring and the partaking of dog meat. His student Niu Ching-Liang is in trouble as Niu’s sister is raped by the Manchu and has committed suicide. The monk tells Niu to bide for time.


29.Secret Rivals (1976)
Starring – Hwang Jang Lee, Don Wong Tao, John Liu, Yuen Biao

Northern Leg (John Liu) travels across China to find the man responsible for the death of his parents. The culprit is none other than the Silver Fox (Hwang Jang Lee), a feared martial arts expert and bandit. Silver Fox has also caught the attention of Southern Fist (Wong Tao), a government agent. While Southern Fist and Northern Leg are both after the same man, they discover that alone they are no match for Silver Fox. The two heroes must combine their skills, knowing that it is the only way to gain success against their awesome adversary.

In the course of finding and defeating the Silver Fox, both Northern Leg and Southern Fist fall for the same woman, the daughter of the owner of the inn they stay at for the duration of the movie. Throughout the movie they both vie for her attention, asking questions of the butler at the inn and a child who follows Southern Fist throughout the film.


28.Life Gamble (1979)
Starring – Fu Sheng, Johnny Wang, Kara Hui, Philip Kwok

Legendary director Chang Cheh teamed his latest big star, Alexander Fu Sheng, with future “Venoms” Lo Meng and Kuo Chue to create another winner in his vaunted filmography. Joining them were the top supporting actors (Ku Feng and Wang Lung-wei) and the prettiest starlets (Lin Chen-chi, Shirley Yu, and Hui Ying-hung), for an entertaining, exciting tale of a kung-fu blacksmith taking on four famous robbers while a villainous gambling boss plots to destroythem.


27.Iron Monkey (1977)
Starring – Chen Kuan Tai, Leung Kar Yan, Chi Kuan Chun, Wilson Tong

This movie is about an evil Manchurian General, who desires to crush the revolutionaries who have ties or loyalties to the Shaolin temple. Chen Kuan Tai plays “Iron”, a naive young man who is unaware that his father is a leader of this underground movement. Along the way he is laughed at by his fellow class mates and embarks on a bitter and vicious monk who trains him. A great movie with a brilliant cast.


26.Mad, Monkey Kung Fu (1979)
Starring – Hsiao Ho, Lau Kar Leung, Kara Hui, Lo Lieh

Lau Kar Leung and Kara Hui Ying Hung star as a traveling stage perfomers in an opera troupe. They wander into a town where a evil rich man (Lo Lieh) falls for his sister and frames him for the rape of his wife, so that his sister will agree to be his concubine (mistress). He takes a mischievous, but kind-hearted street kid (Hsiao Ho) under his wing and teaches him the secrets of “Monkey-boxing”.


25.Knockabout (1979)
Starring – Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Leung Kar Yan, Lau KarWing

The film follows two con artist brothers, Yipao (Yuen Biao) and Taipao (Leung Kar Yan). One day they are cheated out of their ill-gotten gains in an encounter with Jia Wu Dao (Lau Kar Wing). They try to fight him, to retrieve their money, but are defeated, so they ask him to train them, hoping to become the best fighters in the city. After surpassing the fighting skills of “ordinary people”, Yipao soon discovers that Jia Wu Dao is a murderer. When he realises his secret has been revealed, Jia Wu Dao attempts to kill Yipao, but Taipao blocks the fatal blow and is killed in his place. Yipao escapes and plots how he will avenge his brother’s death. He encounters a fat beggar (Sammo Hung) and, impressed by his kung fu, he asks takes the beggar to become his new kung fu master and take revenge once and for all.


24.Hell’s Wind Staff (1979)
Starring – Hwang Jang Lee, Meng Hoi, Meng Yuen Man

Kung fu super villain Hwang Jang-li (known among fans as “Silver Fox,” the killer he first portrayed in THE SECRET RIVALS) is the main attraction in this above average period effort, which was reportedly adapted from a comic book. Impudent but likeable kung fu students Tiger Wong (Meng Yuan-man) and Stone Dragon (Mang Hoi) have the potential to be great fighters but seem more interested in driving their teachers to distraction. Unfortunately for both, their masters are on to them, with Ching (Jason Pai Piao) making life especially miserable for Tiger. Trouble emerges in the form of slave traders who dupe innocent townspeople into a making trip to Borneo from which they will never return. Tiger and Dragon bust up the operation but Tiger’s father and Ching are murdered in retribution. The pair seek refuge with Dragon’s teacher (Kwan Young-moon), who agrees to help teach them “The White Dragon Fist” and “The Paddle Staff” styles. Only these techniques, when used in conjunction, possess the power to overcome the villains’ leader (Hwang), who is master of the legendary “Devil’s Rod” pole fighting style.


23.Thundering Mantis (1979)
Starring – Leung Kar Yan, Eddie Ko Hung, Chin Yuet Sang

Leung Kar Yan plays the part of Ah Chi who loves Martial Arts and most of the time finds himself in trouble. After getting into fights and with the wrong people, he finally gets dropped from his school, so he works as a delivery boy to make a living. Whilst on his travels he bumps into a young kid, who become friends, so the kid takes him to met his master, taught in the form of Mantis.

As time goes on, Ah Chi has to learn kung fu in secret, as the old master refuses to teach him, but this pays off in the end when a local fishmonger gets killed and Ah Chi unleashes is rage of the insane Mantis style and takes revenge.


22.New Shaolin Boxers (1976)
Starring – Fu Sheng, Johnny Wang, Leung Kar Yan, Jenny Tseng Yan Lei

Esteemed martial arts movie master Chang Cheh cemented the stardom of soon-to-be international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng in this film. Rather than making him just part of the protagonists – as he had in his trilogy (Shaolin Martial Arts, Five Shaolin Masters, and Disciples Of Shaolin) — this film was clearly Fu’s showcase. Fu took full advantage – giving both a great dramatic and martial arts performance as an honorable carriage driver who finds love and death when he battles particularly venal, homicidal street punks.


21.The Avenging Eagle (1978)
Starring: Fu Sheng, Ti Lung, Ku Feng, Johnny Wang

Ti Lung is the renegade member of a notorious band of killers led by a vicious leader – Ku Feng. Though a professional killer, his conscious gets the best of him as he decides to turn his life around. He gains redemption for an unspeakable act (he is forced to kill someone) with the help of a mysterious stranger Fu Sheng, as they both wipe out his ex-clan.


Sources: HKCinemagic – Wikipedia

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