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Five Fingers of Death

3.9 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Used DVD including case, Very Good Condition.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lieh Lo, Ping Wang, Hsiung Chao, Chin-Feng Wang, Mien Fang
  • Directors: Chang-hwa Jeong
  • Writers: Yang Chiang
  • Producers: Run Run Shaw
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Greatest Sports Legends
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2001
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AWRE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Five Fingers of Death" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was surprised to see some reviewers give this movie a lukewarm rating--not for the fighting as much as for the movie's plot. I've seen maybe 12 martial arts fliks--fewer than many reviewers, so maybe I'm a bit green. But I thought the plot was FASCINATING, and the acting outstanding. Although the plot features very typical outcomes for the good and the bad guys, and predictable subplots (like the hero's faithfulness to his first girl back home in the little village in spite of the very hot but proper second girl who tempts him),the magic is in the details--we can guess that A will lead to B, but HOW THIS MOVIE GETS FROM A TO B is VERY WELL CRAFTED. As for the acting, the hero truly manages to be subtle at the same time that he is passionate. He shows a nice mix of the old-fashioned vs. the flashy (though still understated) hero. I loved the clever switch from his playing the role of submissive reserved student who crawls out of the bar after being humiliated by the newly arrived fearsome bad guy one day, to his return the next day to the bar in an oustandingly heroic and funny payback scene. The women were stereotyped, but managed to play their roles with that sexy Asian girl grace, and with a sweetness that didn't seem overdone. As for the fighting? Who am I to say, but my eyes feasted. There was always a nice balance between the fighters so that it wasn't obvious till the very end who would win. And the transitions from one fighting scene to the next in the last half hour were done so well, and with such surprising plot twists and drama that I was on the edge of my seat!
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Format: DVD
"Five Fingers of Death"(original title: "King Boxer") is most emphatically NOT the "greatest martial arts movie of all time" or whatever it says on the box. It's a fairly typical early 70s Shaw Brothers film that became famous--or infamous--as the first kung-fu flick to be shown in American theaters. There had been many, many films like this before...American audiences just hadn't seen them. Also, some sources list prolific Shaw moviemaker Chang Cheh as the director of "Five Fingers". This is incorrect; it was directed by Chang Chang Ho.

So, if "Five Fingers" is not, after all, the yardstick by which all other martial arts films are measured, what IS it? It's an enjoyable, corny kung-fu programmer, very much a product of its time. The fights are choreographed in fine old Hong Kong style,

on a par with Bruce Lee's first two movies; they are not sped up and there are no computer effects(which you weren't expecting in the first place, since this was made in 1971...right?). The climactic battle is a little underwhelming for a Shaw film, but it's adequate. The story is your standard, Chinese-good-guys-versus-Japanese-bad-guys fare, but you have to remember that "Five Fingers" was one of the first movies to make use of this storyline--even before Bruce's "The Chinese Connection".

Above all, you should see it for two reasons: it's one of the few Shaw Brothers films readily available on DVD in the United States(even their average movies were miles ahead of standard Hong Kong fare in terms of martial arts choreography and production values) and it stars Lo Lieh, who passed away three years ago. As the hero, he's holding back just a little here(he was always better in villainous roles), but Lo was one of the true superstars of the genre. Buy "Five Fingers of Death" and get to know him.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
As the film that really introduced the west to the genre, this really should be watched by any fan of kung fu movies. That said, it's a little bit clunky here and there; some of the action isn't all it might be, the time frame doesn't make a lot of sense, and sometimes it's hard to know exactly why certain characters behave the way they do (that might be cultural ignorance on my part, of course). But there are definitely some fine sequences and places where the story takes surprising turns, and any kung fu fan ought to be able to enjoy it, Plus, of course, as a page of history it almost compels viewing anyway.
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Format: VHS Tape
This should be one of the first movies to get if you ever start collecting kung fu movies or just would like to watch one and see what's the craze. Not only was it the first kung fu movie to hit American soil, but where would Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li be if this movie didn't have such a breakthrough. Lo Lieh set this movie off. I liked the old school action, other than the pausing punches and kicks that came along in the mid-seventies. GET THIS MOVIE!!!
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Format: DVD
This may have been the first Kung Fu movie I saw. It made a big impression on me at the time. While the martial arts are stagy and the music swiped from American movies and TV (Ironside and Diamonds are Forever) it is a seminal film for it's clever script.

Unlike the hackneyed plots of other such films, this movie throws some real curve balls at you. It also has a delicious villain who is much more clever than we're used to seeing in these movies. Even to this day I find some of the stuff he does disturbing, and I'm pretty jaded at this point. It's all in the nature of his underhanded methods.

The transfer on this DVD isn't that good. But this is an important film in the Kung Fu canon and should not be missed. It's also one of the many influences on Kill Bill 1. Notice the Ironside music and smash zoom close ups in that movie area direct swipe from 5 Fingers of Death.
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