Overview: Chang Cheh’s companion film to THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG features returning newcomer Chen Kuan-tai as a rising gangster in 1940s post-war Shanghai. His attraction to a beautiful socialite (Ching Li) leads to escalating violence with rival gang bosses, culminating in a vicious street brawl. MAN OF IRON provided Chen’s second leading role and although the film is essentially a reworking of his first, it was successful enough to solidify his status as Shaw Brothers’ next big martial arts star, thanks to his extensive real-life martial arts training, the quality of the fight choreography by Lau Kar-leung and Chan Chuen, and strong onscreen chemistry between Chen and co-star Ching Li.
Twenty years after the rise and fall of rags-to-riches Shanghai gangster Ma Yung-chen (Chen Kuan-tai), Qiu Lian-huan (also played by Chen) is another up-and-coming gangster who falls for socialite Shen Ju-feng (Ching Li). Unfortunately, she is the property of rival gangster Yu Xiao-kai (Tien Ching). Lian-huan makes his move on her anyway which leads to a skirmish between Lian-huan and men hired to guard Ju-feng’s home. In reprisal, Xiao-kai leads a raid on Lian-huan’s headquarters. Lian-huan arrives in time to thwart the raid and take Xiao-kai hostage by wrapping a bicycle chain around his throat. Xiao-kai is returned to his father, boss Yu Zhen-ting (Yang Chih-ching), who makes peace with Lian-huan. However, Zhen-ting’s right-hand man Zeng Gen-bao (Zhu Mu) has other plans. Sensing that Lian-huan is a threat to his plot to forcibly take over Zhen-ting’s operation, he orders his loyal knife-wielding followers to kill Lian-huan. They fail although Lian-huan is seriously wounded and taken in by Ju-feng who hides him in her home and nurses him back to health. Meanwhile, Gen-bao bribes most of Lian-huan’s remaining associates. When Lian-huan recovers, he finds that his allies have turned their backs on him while his closest friend, Lin Geng-sheng (Wang Chung) has been gutted, stuffed with lead and tossed in a river. Gen-bao secures his place as gang boss by having his men assassinate Zhen-ting and his son. Alone, Lian-huan challenges Gen-bao and his knife-wielding thugs in a bloody street fight.
AKA: Warrior of Steel, Chau lin waan, Chou lian hu an, Chou lian huan, Qiu lian huan,《仇連環》
Genre: Kung Fu, Basher
Companies: Shaw Brothers
Release Date: October 14, 1972
Producer: Run Run Shaw
Director: Chang Cheh, Pao Hsueh-li
Action Director: Lau Kar-leung, Chen Chuan
Cast: Chen Kuan-tai (Qiu Lian-huan), Ching Li (Shen Ju-feng), Wang Chung (Lin Geng-sheng), Zhu Mu (Zeng Gen-bao), Tien Ching (Yu Xiao-kai), Yang Chih-ching (Yu Zhen-ting), Bolo Yeung (Jin Xi-fu)
Man of Iron (1972),