Duel of the 7 Tigers (1979, Hong Kong). Director: Yeung Kuen. Action director: Chan Siu-Pang.
I already posted only the final fight earlier in this thread, but found this relatively cleaned-up version of the full movie, so I decided to post it, because there is potentially much of interest here to fans of old-school kung fu movies.
Duel of the 7 Tigers was a movie meant to promote Chinese martial arts/kung fu. The Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Association was also behind it, and some of its members are featured. A couple were actually famous teachers and not actors at all, and it clearly shows, especially with Lee Koon-Hung.
I do find it odd that a Hong Kong movie meant to promote Chinese kung fu shows all of the featured Chinese kung fu masters easily beaten and crippled by one Japanese karate villain, played by Philip Ko Fei. Then the crippled masters must combine to teach all of their skills to one man (Cliff Lok), to hopefully have a chance of beating him. The movie actually makes karate look better than kung fu, even though it’s obvious that Philip Ko Fei was not really a karate man. In real life, Philip Ko Fei was a Choy Lee Fut kung fu man (the same style as Lee Koon-Hung).
The fight choreography in this movie clearly went for quantity over quality. Chan Siu-Pang’s choreography lacked the “flow” of other, better choreographers’ work. Philip Ko Fei was one of the best, most versatile all-around performers of the golden era of kung fu film; but he was never a great pure kicker, and the choreography here has him kicking way more than he was accustomed to, which lacks flow and appears awkward. In fact, the slickest performance in the movie was given by Korean superkicker Casanova Wong, in a cameo role.
Leading man Cliff Lok was a solid performer, but was never among my favorites. Although very agile, his movements were very stiff. I would have preferred Philip Ko Fei cast as the lead, and Casanova Wong cast as the Japanese villain.
The Chinese-sounding name (“Si-Man Kwong”) given to the Japanese villain is a Chinese pronunciation of a Japanese name (but I don’t know what it is).
The old Chinese master, Han Ying-Chieh, is familiar as the villain of Bruce Lee’s The Big Boss, as well as for appearances in Dragon Inn, Come Drink With Me, A Touch of Zen, The Invincible Eight, and Fist of Fury, among many other films; he was a former Chinese Opera performer.
Note: Chan Sau-Chung, the Monkey-style master, was the real-life kung fu teacher of this movie’s co-leading man, Pomson Shi (AKA, Sin Lam-Yuk), as well as Shaw Brothers superstar Chen Kuan-Tai. I saw Chan Sau-Chung in person at a tournament, where he was a guest master. He was under 5’ tall. This was the 2nd of only two movies he ever appeared in.
(From 0:17): Opening credits performances: Cliff Lok, Lee Koon-Hung, Chiu Chi-Ling, Chan Sau-Chung, Pomson Shi, Lee Man-Wei, Sharon Yeung, Han Ying-Chieh & Philip Ko Fei:
Monk fight (from 7:21): Chan Sau-Chung vs Chan Siu-Pang:
(From 26:16): Casanova Wong vs Cliff Lok:
(From 1:01:43): Philip Ko Fei vs the masters (in order): Lee Koon-Hung, Chiu Chi-Lung, Pomson Shi, Cheung Kam, Chan Yiu-Lam, Lam Man-Wei, Sharon Yeung, Cliff Lok & Han Ying-Chieh:
Final fight (from 1:23:02): Cliff Lok vs Philip Ko Fei: