KING EAGLE (1971)
Our first movie of 1971 is KING EAGLE (1971) released on January first it is an all-out fight fest featuring Ti Lung for what (I am guessing) is the hunt for Wang Yu's successor based on the one-note characterization of the protagonist. Sir Run Run Shaw is the producer, Chang Cheh is the director, I Kuang is the script writer, and action directors are Tang Chia teaming up yet again with Yuen Cheung-Yan (VENGEANCE 1970). King Eagle is basically a murder mystery without the mystery! Let's get busy!
|TIEN YI TONG|
|TIEN YI TONG HEADQUARTERS|
the good: Ti Lung as King Eagle Jin Fei. Li Ching as Seventh Chief An Yuk Lin. Lee Sau-Kei as Headmaster of Tien Yi Tong. Wang Kuang-Yu as Fang Shing. Wang Chung as Second Chief Fan. Yau Lung as Sixth Chief Chu Hung. Cheng Lui as Chief Koon.
the bad: Chang Pei-Shan as First Chief Hung Sing Tien. Li Ching as Eighth Chief An Bing Er. Cheng Miu as Deadly Fingers Wan Hau Ba. Chen Sing as Fifth Chief Chen Tang.
HONORABLE MENTION: Bruce Tong Yim-Chaan, Tang Chia, Tung Li, David Chiang and Yuen Shun Yi have minor roles and Li Ching plays two roles as younger and older sisters.
FIGHT TIME: KING EAGLE (1971) is action-packed! I counted nine (9) fight scenes including the finale. Tang Chia and Yuen Cheung-Yan are the action directors. They have worked together before [VENGEANCE (1970) and HAVE SWORD WILL TRAVEL (1969)] and once again do an excellent job here with mostly sabre (dao) fights that are really fast paced and not just under-cranked. I was thrilled to watch this movie and it was very hard to capture a fight still without any blurr. Kudos!
KING EAGLE (1971) is Ti Lung's first movie where he is dominate for the entire movie and is not sharing the lead role with Wang Yu nor David Chiang. In fact HKMD credits David Chiang with a very small role as an extra or stuntman but I could not spot him. It also introduces Bruce Tong Yim-Chaan in a featured role above extra or stuntman. As I have stated earlier the action is spot on and the only flaw in this movie is with its story. I called it "a murder mystery without the mystery" which you will understand in the first five minutes of the film but there is another point not made clear. Why don't they just leave him alone? Why murder the people in the restaurant? Who were they waiting for in the restaurant if not him? Anyway these questions are forgivable if you are just looking for a good time and I certainly recommend KING EAGLE (1971) for a good time and, any film with Ti Lung in it from Shaw Brothers Studios is an automatic collector's item. That's all for now, see you next time!
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NEXT UP: THE LADY HERMIT (1971)