Europa Cinema > 22:30


Chang-hwa Jeong
Introduced by

Albert Lee


Wednesday 28/06/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Fist of Fury… had an illustrious forerunner in Tian xia di yi quan,  (“the number one fist in the world”, 1972), which the  Korean  filmmaker Jeong Chang-hwa directed for the Shaw Brothers and which, together with Jimmy Wang Yu’s The Chinese Boxer (1970), inaugurated the kung fu cycle before Bruce Lee arrived on the scene… Tian xia di yi quan broke box office records in Italy (719 million lire, 300 million more than The Big Boss). In the United States, it became a classic of grindhouse programming in provincial cinemas reliant on popular genres and double bills (pay for one ticket, see two films). Over time, Quentin Tarantino drew up a definitive list of his top 20 grindhouse movies and Tian xia di yi quan was placed at number seven… The film has a similar plot to Fist of Fury: the rivalry between two different schools. In this instance, both are Chinese, but the evil one enlists a Japanese ronin assassin backed up by two Japanese thugs dressed in judogi and hakama, like traditional practitioners of Aikido. It is not national pride that is at stake here, but simply a tournament to decide on the best school and best martial artist…
Tarantino paid homage to the film in Kill Bill, borrowing the Ironside musical theme, which the Chinese must have pinched, but above all by reprising the mystical “iron fist and hand of steel”, which is passed down to Lo Lieh by his sifu (Chinese for sensei) after the Japanese have broken his hands. The Bride/ Uma Thurman would make use of it to kill Bill/David Carradine, albeit under a different name (“five point palm exploding heart technique”).

Mauro Gervasini, Cuore e acciaio. Le arti marziali al cinema, Bietti, Milan 2019


Cast and Credits

Sog.: Yang Chiang. F.: Wang Yunglung. M.: Hsing-Lung Chiang, Kung-Wing Fan. Scgf.: Chi-Jui Chen. Mus.: Yung Yu-Chen. Int.: Lieh Lo (Chao Chih-Hao), Ping Wang (Sung Ying Ying), Hsiung Chao (Okada), Chin-Feng Wang (Yen Chu Hung). Prod.: Run Run Shaw, Raymond Shaw. DCP. Col