Favorite movie fight scenes

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James Y
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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Fri May 08, 2020 7:56 pm

Chocolate (2008, Thailand). Director: Prachya Pinkaew. Action directors: Panna Rittikrai, Weerapon Poomatfon & Taworn Tonapan.

Jeeja Yanin made her onscreen debut and first starring role in this film, where she played an autistic girl who also happens to be a martial arts savant. As with fellow Thai action star Tony Jaa’s movies, the action scenes in Chocolate are a throwback to ‘80s-era Hong Kong action films, but with a distinctly Thai flavor. Jeeja Yanin is Thailand’s number one female action star.

All three of these clips are parts of the entire final fight.

Dojo fight:

https://youtu.be/B45Qif04DnQ

Rooftop fight:

https://youtu.be/vYgI3gUlfz4

Final battle:

https://youtu.be/EQTy6JKfb80

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Sun May 10, 2020 8:18 pm

Bangkok Knockout (2010, Thailand). Director and action director: Panna Rittikrai.

Director Panna Rittikrai (1961 - 2014) was the man who revolutionized martial arts cinema in Thailand, starting in the 1980s. He was the mentor of Tony Jaa, Jeeja Yanin, Dan Chupong, and several other Thai action stars. Besides Thai martial arts, it is clear that Rittikrai was well-versed in Tae Kwon Do (especially in his earlier movie appearances), and Chinese martial arts/kung fu. Here he has a smaller role as one of the villains. Although Rittikrai’s role is small, and he only fights at the end, IMO, the techniques he demonstrates here are more impressive than all the super-athleticism of the young stars, because what his character shows are actually plausible techniques (though of course exaggerated for the movie) that one might see from a well-trained kung fu or Hapkido practitioner. The flashiness of these young fighters far exceeds even the Peking Opera-trained screen fighters of Hong Kong and Taiwan cinema, like Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Kuo Chui, etc. What Rittikrai shows here is different, because they are techniques that a middle-aged practitioner could perform; whereas, the hyper-athletic fighting styles of the younger fighters are extremely hard on the body, require youth and peak fitness levels, and will have declined by the time they reach age 40 (and probably much earlier). At which time they will probably start practicing moves more like the Rittikrai character demonstrates (Rittikrai himself had been flashy with extreme athleticism in his younger years).

Like most of Thailand’s post-2K martial arts movies, the technical difficulty and athleticism are off the charts. Are they better than the martial arts/action stars of Hong Kong’s golden age? No, they’re just different, though Panna Rittikrai was heavily influenced by Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and James Bond movies in forming his own stunt team. The weakness of the Thai films was always their storylines. With the notable exception of ‘Chocolate’ (see previous post), the vast majority of Thai martial arts movies have weak plots and character development.

Cage fight and “ninja”vs wushu fight (the 2nd fight begins @ 2:15):

https://youtu.be/VZJQpZEIWl4

Final fight (Panna Rittikrai’s fighting part begins @ 5:20):

https://youtu.be/Mza7Zi4-rOE

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Wed May 13, 2020 11:13 am

Disciples of the 36th Chamber (1985, Hong Kong). Director: Lau Kar-Leung. Action directors: Lau Kar-Leung, Lee King-Chu & Hsiao Hou.

I already posted this movie’s final fight back on page 10 of this thread, but thought I’d post the opening credits, which has as much or more martial arts action than most entire peak-era Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal movies had.

Legendary director Lau Kar-Leung considered Hsiao Hou to be the greatest physical talent in movies at the time. And he was extremely talented, coming from a Peking Opera background, like a good percentage of the kung fu performers from Hong Kong and Taiwan. But I wouldn’t necessarily regard him as the best. The talent pool of that era was so deep that who was the “best” all-around talent is difficult if almost impossible to determine. Many have claimed that Yuen Biao was the best in terms of pure all-around physical talent. But Yuen Biao never worked for Lau Kar-Leung.

The opening sequence is based on a Qing/Ching Dynasty-era story of the legendary southern Chinese boy hero of Shaolin wuxia novels, Fong Sai-Yuk, who has been portrayed onscreen by numerous kung fu actors throughout the years, which have included Meng Fei, Alexander Fu Sheng, Hsiao Hou, Jet Li and others, from the 1970s to the ‘90s. His three opponents are a husband, wife and father-in-law who are kung fu experts from northern China.

In this intro, the first opponent of Hsiao Hou (playing legendary character Fong Sai-Yuk) is “Tiger” Lui, played by classic kung fu villain actor Lee Hoi-Sang. In real life, Lee Hoi-Sang is a master of Wing Chun kung fu, in which he was a fellow classmate of Ti Lung. But he was able to perform onscreen with very un-Wing Chun-like moves. He was one of the very best performers, and in real life is totally unlike the mostly evil characters he played.

Hsiao Hou’s second opponent is Tiger Lui’s wife, Li Xiao-Huan, played by Yuen Qiu. Yuen Qiu is probably most familiar to Western kung fu fans as the landlady in Stephen Chow’s ‘Kung Fu Hustle‘. But many aren’t aware that she also played one of two female allies of Roger Moore/007 in ‘The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). She was also trained in Peking Opera, under Yu Jim-Yuen, who also trained a number of other Hong Kong stars, including Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, etc.

The final opponent is Li Xiao-Huan’s father, Li Ba-Shan, played by (unknown).

Opening credits sequence:

https://youtu.be/5OUbJHNOoCc

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Fri May 15, 2020 8:21 pm

War of the Shaolin Temple (1980, Taiwan). Director: Lin Da-Chao. Action directors: Alan Chui, Fung Hak-On, Mark Long & Lau Fong-Sai.

Although listed as a 1980 film, this was actually filmed circa 1982. It was made in response to the release and wide success of 1982’s ‘Shaolin Temple’, the first mainland China kung fu movie, which starred Jet Li in his very first movie. ‘Shaolin Temple’ resulted in a slew of Shaolin Temple-themed movies in mainland China, and a resurgence of them in Taiwan. Whereas the mainland Shaolin movies in China employed elite, government-trained Wushu athletes; the Taiwanese Shaolin films featured mostly Peking Opera-trained performers and some traditional kung fu practitioners. Although the Taiwanese Shaolin movies clearly had lower budgets, the actual fights scenes themselves were superior to the fights in the mainland films by a long shot.

The performer playing the leading role as a young monk, Chen Jian-Chang, was clearly chosen for his slight facial resemblance to Jet Li in ‘Shaolin Temple’. AFAIK, this was one of only two movies he ever appeared in; both were early-‘80s Shaolin-themed films.

Mark Long (AKA Lung Kuan-Wu), playing the Shaolin abbot, was mostly cast as villains in earlier films; in particular, as “The Ghost-Faced Killer” in ‘The Mystery of Chess Boxing’, which had a large cult following in the West, especially in NYC, and was a huge influence on the hip-hop group The Wu Tang Clan, who adopted namesakes from their favorite kung fu movie characters.

Alan Chui plays the Jurchen general working to overthrow China’s Song/Sung Dynasty to establish the Jin Dynasty.

Final battle (@ 4:57); Shaolin monks vs Jin soldiers; Mark Long & Chen Jian-Chang vs Alan Chui:

https://youtu.be/OGdM86Cjg3Q

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby Gaston444 » Sat May 16, 2020 2:20 pm

Another one for chocolate: World class. The fluidity of her motions is incredible... The scale of it is over the top, but not jarring.

The newer one that also stars a woman: Second to final scene of atomic blonde... That movies other scenes are not as good. The unique thing about atomic blonde is the persistence and resiliency of the bad guys: They really look like they are trying everything, the scene has this realistic chaos to it, and all participants are truly winded by the end: All this makes this scene a unique achievement. G

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Wed May 20, 2020 12:22 am

Kid From Kwangtung (1982, Hong Kong). Director: Hsu Hsia. Action directors: Hsu Hsia, Yuen Tak & Chui Fat.

Earlier in this thread, I posted a training scene from this movie. Here is one scene in which the ‘middle-aged master’ (Yen Shi-Kwan) is attacked by the Manchurian arch-villain (Hwang Jang-Lee) and his men. In real life, Hwang was a couple years older than Yen. Unfortunately, not much of this movie is on YouTube. Only a few small bits here and there. The comedy parts are painful to watch, but most of the fight scenes are top-notch, especially the final fight, which features Wang Yue, Cheung Kam & Sharon Yeung vs Hwang Jang-Lee. The final fight (which isn’t on YouTube) was one of Hwang’s best onscreen fight performances; and Yen Shi-Kwan, who usually played villains (but played a protagonist here), was very impressive in his role, which makes it disappointing that Yen wasn’t in the final fight. Both Hwang and Yen were among the top supervillains of kung fu movies, and their fights (this was their second meeting in this movie) had the makings of dream match-ups, but were one-sided in favor of Hwang, to show the villain’s power.

Yen Shi-Kwan vs Hwang Jang-Lee & his henchmen:

https://youtu.be/zQgvhjN7ZEk

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Mon May 25, 2020 4:05 pm

The Mystery of Chess Boxing (1979, Taiwan). Director: Joseph Kuo. Action directors: Ricky Cheng Tien-Chi, Wang Chi-Sheng & Wang Yung-Sheng.

This movie became extremely popular when its English-dubbed version was released on the American grindhouse theater circuit, especially when it was released on New York City’s 42nd Street in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s, where reportedly the crowds were so big that riots broke out to get in. No doubt the movie became more memorable in the West than it did in its home country, Taiwan. It was a big influence on the hip-hop group The Wu Tang Clan, who drew their inspirations from kung fu movies. One member even named himself “Ghost Face Killah,” after this movie’s villain, “Ghost Face Killer,” played by Mark Long (real name: Lung Kwan-Wu). Mark Long also played the Shaolin Abbot in “War of the Shaolin Temple,” featured just a couple posts ago in this thread. Many old-school kung fu movie fans rate this as one of the best (or the best ever). Even though I consider this an entertaining kung fu movie, I don’t even rate it in my top 50.

Jack Long (real name: Lung Shih-Chia), who played the ‘old’, white-haired master, was actually about the same age as young star Li Yi-Min and villain Mark Long (20-something at the time). He was simply made up to look old. I’ve always liked Jack Long’s movement better than leading man Li Yi-Min’s. Both were Taiwan Peking Opera alumni, and maybe Mark Long as well, although Mark Long clearly had a considerable Tae Kwon Do background. It’s also possible that Mark Long’s acrobatic ability came from gymnastics instead of Peking Opera.

I have no idea if Jack Long and Mark Long are related, but I doubt it.

This is the Cantonese-dubbed version (from the original Mandarin dialect).

Final fight; “Ghost Face Killer” (Mark Long) vs Jack Long; Li Yi-Min & Jack Long vs Mark Long:

https://youtu.be/TbtzMswulfM

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby VooDooChild » Mon May 25, 2020 7:05 pm

The other thread made me wonder. Are the knife fighting scenes from The Hunted on here? Or the absolutely over the top knife fighting scene from The Man From Nowhere.
Also I just watched The Drunken Master the other night. Gotta love it.
sal wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:14 pm
... "The edge is a ghost"...

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Mon May 25, 2020 7:50 pm

VooDooChild wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 7:05 pm
The other thread made me wonder. Are the knife fighting scenes from The Hunted on here? Or the absolutely over the top knife fighting scene from The Man From Nowhere.
Also I just watched The Drunken Master the other night. Gotta love it.
Hi, VooDooChild.

IIRC, someone else did post the knife fight from The Hunted, but I’m not 100% certain.

I’m fairly sure I posted the final knife fight from The Man From Nowhere early on in this thread. I actually thought that knife scene was one of the more believable movie knife fights, especially the final one-on-one against the Thai guy with the Karambit.

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Wed May 27, 2020 6:39 pm

Fighting Ace (original English title: Kid’s Ace in the Hole; 1979, Taiwan). Director: Chang Chih-Hao. Action directors: Wang Chi-Sheng & Ricky Cheng Tien-Chi.

*Full movie.

This John Liu movie was a bit unique because he used more hand techniques than in any of his other films. But even so, like his other films, John Liu still averaged more kicks per movie than any other onscreen martial artist. His character in the movie is supposedly 20 years old, but John Liu was actually around 35 at the time.

One Chuck Norris fact: John Liu defeated Chuck Norris in an exhibition match (a “battle of past champions”) in Paris, France, in 1976. Chuck was part of an American karate team. The “winner” was declared depending on the applause each fighter got after the bout. By some accounts, John Liu was able to anticipate Chuck Norris’s attacks and handled him fairly easily. However it happened, you’ll never hear about it in any Chuck Norris autobiography. At the time (and throughout his 7 or 8-year movie career), John Liu lived and taught his martial art in Paris, and commuted to Asia (mainly Taiwan) to make films.

Korean Tang Soo Do/Tae Kwon Do master Kwon Yung-Moon only had a small role in this film, playing John Liu’s character’s kicking teacher. He could easily match John Liu kick for kick. I would have preferred that HE was the villain of the movie, but alas, it wasn’t to be.

Cheng Ching, who played the arch-villain, was a a physically solid performer who usually played minor roles. Offhand, I can only think of one or two other films where he played the lead villain. There was nothing pretty about his style, but just from his looks, he probably packed a hard punch in real life.

Lung Chun-Erh (AKA, Doris Lung), who played the hero’s love interest, had limited physical skills but looked decent in her fight scenes. Her decade-long acting career included a large resume of films, but her acting career came to an end in the early ‘80s due to unstable behavior, which included three (!) suicide attempts and arrests for shoplifting in Taipei. Hopefully, she was eventually able to get the help she needed.

Opening credits sequence: John Liu & Kwon Yung-Moon vs Cheng Ching:

Kick training/‘sparring’ sequence (from 21:53 - 23:45): John Liu vs Kwon Yung-Moon:

Final fights (from 1:13:40): John Liu vs bodyguards with horse cutters (Tsang Chao and ?); Wang Tai-Lang & Lung Chun-Erh vs Cheng Ching: John Liu & Wang Tai-Lang vs Cheng Ching:

https://youtu.be/9rZYyLlw43w

Jim
Last edited by James Y on Wed May 27, 2020 6:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby ladybug93 » Wed May 27, 2020 6:47 pm

i like a lot of martial arts movies, but one movie jumped out in my mind when i saw this thread for having the most consistently good fighting throughout. that movie is rapid fire with brandon lee. it was actually a pretty good movie too, for a lower budget action movie. powers booth is in it and he's probably the worst actor in the movie, despite being one of the bigger names at the time. anyway, you get to see some of his dad in his facial expressions and fighting style throughout the movie. the action is well-paced and the fights are well-choreographed. unfortunately, there is some nudity in the movie, which i try to steer clear of, so i haven't seen it in years. i just wanted to give that disclaimer in case anyone else shares the same concerns.

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Thu May 28, 2020 2:06 pm

ladybug93 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:47 pm
i like a lot of martial arts movies, but one movie jumped out in my mind when i saw this thread for having the most consistently good fighting throughout. that movie is rapid fire with brandon lee. it was actually a pretty good movie too, for a lower budget action movie. powers booth is in it and he's probably the worst actor in the movie, despite being one of the bigger names at the time. anyway, you get to see some of his dad in his facial expressions and fighting style throughout the movie. the action is well-paced and the fights are well-choreographed. unfortunately, there is some nudity in the movie, which i try to steer clear of, so i haven't seen it in years. i just wanted to give that disclaimer in case anyone else shares the same concerns.
Here’s my favorite scene from Rapid Fire (1992). This is also the best fight I can remember seeing Al Leong in. Al Leong was one of the most prolific stuntmen in Hollywood in the ‘80s and ‘90s, whenever they needed an ‘Asian heavy’. But he was almost never given the opportunity to put up a good fight onscreen, like he did here.

Brandon Lee vs Al Leong:

https://youtu.be/Sk7E8Crwtdo

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Sat May 30, 2020 3:24 pm

Jet Li’s The Master (1989, Hong Kong. Filmed in Los Angeles, CA). Director: Tsui Hark. Action directors: Yuen Wah & Brandy Yuen Jan-Yeung.

This movie was filmed in 1989, but wasn’t actually released theatrically in Hong Kong or Taiwan (or anywhere else) until 1992, after Jet Li’s stagnant film career was revitalized by the release of Once Upon a Time in China (1991). I remember when it was released during my last full year living in Taiwan, and only later discovering that it had actually been filmed three years earlier.

The villain is former American-style kickboxing champion Jerry Trimble, who was one of the more spectacular American kickboxers of the ‘80s. Gotta love the mullet. :D His henchmen are played by various American martial arts students in uniform, which looks silly in a modern-day setting. The difference is obvious between Jet Li fighting them, vs other movies when he is working with experienced Hong Kong stuntmen.

Final fight: Jet Li vs Jerry Trimble (scene also includes Yuen Wah):

https://youtu.be/Ys49NwyIHmU

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby remnar » Sat May 30, 2020 9:51 pm


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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Sun May 31, 2020 2:52 pm

remnar wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 9:51 pm
https://youtu.be/vdnA-ESWcPs
Thanks! Yeah, that’s an iconic scene.

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Sun May 31, 2020 3:09 pm

Zatoichi’s Cane Sword (1967, Japan). Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda.

To this day, the original Zatoichi, the blind swordsman (played by Shintaro Katsu) remains my favorite movie character. Many Westerners mistakenly believe that the Zatoichi films are samurai movies. Although there are samurai in them, they are actually period yakuza (gangster)-gambler films. The Zatoichi character was also a yakuza, but an honorable one. Zatoichi was a wandering gambler, masseur, and unconventional master of the sword, visiting new places in every movie (the series had 26 films).

Bruce Lee got much of his inspiration from watching Shintaro Katsu in the Zatoichi films, and Lee created the concept of a wandering Shaolin monk in the Old West that Warner Brothers later stole from him, altered it, and eventually made it into the Kung Fu TV series that starred David Carradine (which Bruce Lee had originally intended himself to star in). After Bruce Lee had returned to Hong Kong to make films, he actually flew to Japan and asked (reportedly begged) Shintaro Katsu to appear in one of his movies, but Katsu was busy, and instead recommended a couple of Japanese actors he had worked with to go to Hong Kong to work with Lee. Those actors were Riki Hashimoto and Jun Katsumura, and the movie ended up being Fist of Fury (1972).

Final fight and ending: Shintaro Katsu vs Tatsuo Endo and his gang:

https://youtu.be/4eXSwWrmAHY

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby Pokey » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:34 am

James Y wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 2:52 pm
remnar wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 9:51 pm
https://youtu.be/vdnA-ESWcPs
Thanks! Yeah, that’s an iconic scene.

Jim
I read somewhere that this was the last scene shot for the movie. Harrison Ford was suppose to continue fighting the sword wielding opponent but he, Ford, had a rip roaring case of food poisoning. They re-wrote the scene to cut it short.

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:26 pm

Pokey wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:34 am
James Y wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 2:52 pm
remnar wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 9:51 pm
https://youtu.be/vdnA-ESWcPs
Thanks! Yeah, that’s an iconic scene.

Jim
I read somewhere that this was the last scene shot for the movie. Harrison Ford was suppose to continue fighting the sword wielding opponent but he, Ford, had a rip roaring case of food poisoning. They re-wrote the scene to cut it short.
Very interesting! Well, as it turned out, the way the scene ended up was probably better than the original concept would have turned out. That’s usually the first scene (or one of the first scenes) that people mention when discussing Raiders of the Lost Ark. That and the “I hate snakes!” scene.

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:01 pm

Fist of Fury (1972, Hong Kong). Director: Lo Wei. Action director: Han Ying-Chieh.*

*Although Han Ying-Chieh was credited with the action choreography, it’s easy to tell the difference between Han’s choreography style and the parts choreographed by Bruce Lee. Han’s choreography emphasized trampoline stunts and slow-motion high jumping and flying. In the dojo scene, when Bruce starts whirling the two guys (mannequins) around and tosses them across the room, that was Han’s choreography, not Bruce’s. When Bruce sends Riki Hashimoto flying 25 to 30 feet into a courtyard with a jumping kick, that is also Han’s choreography. BTW, Jackie Chan stunt doubled Riki Hashimoto flying backwards into the courtyard.

The one fight scene in this film that Bruce had complete control over choreography-wise is his fight scene with Robert Baker. In real life, the late Robert Baker (from Stockton, CA) had been a martial arts student of Bruce Lee and James Yimm Lee (no relation to Bruce) in Oakland. This fight had zero trace of Han Ying-Chieh’s choreography style. This was Robert Baker’s first movie appearance, and he did a great job. His reaction timing, body language and facial expressions were excellent, especially considering he wasn’t a movie guy. He only agreed to appear in one other movie, an unmemorable film, after Bruce’s death.

Note that especially in the dojo scene, many of Bruce’s rhythms, such as speedy bursts interspersed with dramatic pauses during a strike, and the opponents’ delayed reactions, were clearly adapted from Japanese chanbara (sword fighting) movies, including the Zatoichi films, which Bruce was a fan of.

In the dojo scene, several of the judo students were played by stuntmen who later became names in kung fu and action films, such as Corey Yuen (who would later direct and choreograph movies that would propel Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jason Statham into stardom), and many others. The old, fat senior was played by Feng Yi, who also appeared in movies by Shaw Brothers Studios. None of the “judo students” in the dojo were actually Japanese. The only real Japanese actors in this film were Riki Hashimoto (arch-villain Suzuki) and Jun Katsumura (Suzuki’s bodyguard, who isn’t in either of these clips). They were recommended to Bruce by Shintaro Katsu (who played Zatoichi), whom Bruce originally wanted in this film. I’m sure that Shintaro Katsu hadn’t wanted to work with Bruce, because he would’ve had to lose to the hero (Bruce) onscreen in a Hong Kong movie.

Dojo fight: Bruce Lee vs Max Lee, Peter Chan Lung, Feng Yi, Corey Yuen, Wong Chi-Ming, etc.

https://youtu.be/MigKXB_zSyo

Final fights: Bruce Lee vs Robert Baker & Riki Hashimoto:

https://youtu.be/xdjSItZHWA8

Jim

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Re: Favorite movie fight scenes

Postby James Y » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:52 pm

Samaritan Zatoichi (1968, Japan). Director: Kenji Misumi*

*(The person who put up this video credited the wrong director at the end).

Samaritan Zatoichi was the 19th movie of the Zatoichi film series. And this was one of Zatoichi’s longest and toughest one-on-one duels. Note Zatoichi’s unconventional reverse-grip sword fighting style.

Final fight: Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) vs Yasaburo (Makoto Sato):

https://youtu.be/kUrgIQLqe00

Jim


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