The Boxer from Shantung
Dir: Chang Cheh, Pao Hsueh-li
Scr: Chang Cheh, Ni Kuang
Prod: Run-me Shaw
Prod Co.: Shaw Brothers
Cast: Chan Koon-tai, Ching Li, John Chiang (aka David Chiang), Milano
1972 / Colour / D Beta / Mandarin / Chi & Eng subtitles / 126min
The first of many variations on the tale of the legendary boxer moves the character from the late Qing Dynasty to pre-World War II Shanghai. The action crime saga traces the journey of Ma Wing-jing (Chan Koon-tai) as he goes from simple laborer to fearsome criminal warrior with the power of his fist and the help of his gangster idol Tan Si (John Chiang). Between the hot-blooded fight scenes, Chang Cheh and co-writer Ni Kuang insert a romance between Ma and songstress Lingzi (Ching Li) that ends in an unexpectedly poignant and sobering manner, making the audience contemplate the morals behind Ma’s actions.
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