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Old 01-16-2012, 06:57 AM   #1
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Default The Top 10 Classic Martial Arts Films of All-Time

So I'm going to make a Top 10 list for classic, modern, and eventually combine the two for the best martial arts film of all-time. Seems cliche and whatnot, but this list will be determined by the Kung Fu Cinema community. First comes the classic.

Too many people have their own personal top 10, but let's try to make a universal list we can all mostly agree on. I feel the best way to do this is to first decide what NEEDS to be on this list, rather than what we want to be on the list.

So let's start throwing out names for titles that NEED to be on this list.


The Top 10 Classic MA Films So Far:
Drunken Master (1978)
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)
Fist of Fury (1972)

Contenders that have been brought up for discussion
2 Heroes Of The East
2 The Prodigal Son
2 Legend Of A Fighter
1 5 Deadly Venoms
1 King Boxer
1 Way of the Dragon
1 The Buddhist Fist
1 Knockabout
1 Hapkido
1 Shaolin Temple
1 Chinese Boxer
1 Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
1 Magnificent Butcher
1 Odd Couple
1 Disciples of Shaolin
1 Sword Stained With Royal Blood
1 Gangmasters

Contenders that are close to being knocked out
Enter the Dragon
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Last edited by TripMasterMunky; 01-17-2012 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:53 AM   #2
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The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

No offense but I don't think Enter the Dragon is that great a movie, there's are alot of others that are more deserving.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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To me the most classic Bruce Lee films are Way Of The Dragon and Fist Of Fury/Chinese Connection.

I second Drunken Master and The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin.

I would submit:

The Buddhist Fist
The Prodigal Son
Heroes Of The East
Secret Master/Legend Of A Fighter
Shaolin Temple
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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My 5 musts:

- Fist of Fury (1972)
- Drunken Master (1978)
- The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)
- Heroes of the East (1978)
- The Prodigal Son (1981)

+ suggestions:
- One from Chang Cheh (I'm more of a fan of his wuxia, but I know people love his kung fu, too)
- King Boxer (Five Fingers of Death) or The Chinese Boxer (for early kung fu)
- 3 Others

We could easily add more Liu Chia Liang (Executioners from Shaolin, 8 Diagram Pole Fighter etc.) but maybe it's better to limit his entries to ensure more variety. I chose 36th Chamber because I consider it his greatest classic, and Heroes because it displays such a variety of different fighting styles.

As for Enter the Dragon, I also don't think it necessarily needs to be on the list. It's great and very famous, but Bruce is already represented via Fist of Fury, and the space on a top 10 list is very limited, so...
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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Alright I put Drunken Master and 36th Chamber on the list for now. I agree with those choices as well. If anyone wants to challenge feel free to do so, but I feel pretty confident in those 2 being "must-haves".

Now I originally said Enter the Dragon and Fist of Fury need to be on this list. Fist of Fury is in my opinion the best Bruce movie. I agree Enter the Dragon is not the best and would be okay letting it go, I just felt that it was a very important film for the kung fu genre as a whole. But perhaps that's not enough to make it on the list?

I would 2nd King Boxer. I think that's an excellent film that still holds up today.

So let's talk it out a bit more. Let's maybe try to get a solid top 5 first, then we can fight out the rest. So Drunken Master, 36th Chamber.....and Fist of Fury? Is everyone okay putting Fist of Fury on our official list? I don't feel it is the most "important" Bruce film, but I do feel it is the best in terms of a captivating story and action scenes. Not to mention Bruce had some more dynamic acting roles in this film than any of his others (repairman).
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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Legend of a fighter should be in there somewhere and fist of Legend
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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Personally my favourite movie of ALL time is Eight Diagram Pole Fighter, I think it pisses all over EVERY film on that list!! Where is Magnificent Butcher or Odd Couple??? My two favourite Sammo movies-both are far better than Knockabout??!! Where is Disciples of Shaolin-the ULTIMATE movie in the shaolin cycle by Chang Cheh??? Or Sword Stained With Royal Blood??? Or Gangmasters???

As for Enter the Dragon- the ONLY great thing about that is Bruce....I'd prefer Enter the FAT Dragon instead...much more entertaining.

And so on ad infinitum....

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Old 01-16-2012, 10:50 PM   #9
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I'd include 5 Deadly Venoms in the list.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:18 AM   #10
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If ignore popularity factor or how important to genre certain movie was, only one movie mentioned here so far would be in my topten. Drunken Master is good not because of jackie(very popular but I do not like his movies that much, few expections exist like island on fire and new police story) but rest of cast, particularly red nose and hwang jang lee. BL movies except GOD are all great but none enjoyable enough to be in my top10.

-Heroes of the east ( this is finest LKL film. 8 diagram would be if they would have edited off fs scenes I do not like parts where he screams and jumps around).

-Dance of the drunken mantis (unofficial sequel to DM and excellent one. Fights are about same quality but I like characters here more)

-Secret Rivals 2 ( part 1 is somehow overrated while part 2 is not often mentioned but hjl, tino wong and john liu are in top form. smashing kungfu action)

-Four infernos to cross (little known/rarely mentioned korean movie with terrific action. People who like bruce lee clones should check this out)

-Iron Monkey ( chen kuan tai)

-Killer Constable ( chen kuan tai again. Martial arts are good here but it`s strong story with surprise ending makes this real gem)

-Masked avengers (ultimate venoms action)

-- 5 shaolin masters(great cast, nice locations, sweet martial arts)

-Bastard Swordsman

-Death Duel

Narrating it down to 10 movies is hard task, there is so much good stuff around.
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