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                            Spring of Shaw Season Review

             The Avenging Eagle - 1978

 

Starring

Ti Lung, Alexander Fu Sheng ,Ku Feng, Dick Wei

Directed By :Sun Chung

 

 Copyright ©1978 Shaw Brothers Studio

 

Spring of Shaw Season Review - Film 6


The Avenging Eagle – 1978



Film six in our Shaw Brothers special , this time we look at a classic from 1978 starring the formidable Ti Lung ,Alexander Fu Sheng and Ku Feng.


This Wuxia films story may seem familiar to many avid film watchers. The reason is the story ,if your a fan of the films like ''Nikita'' ,The Assassin or Naked Weapon your know where I'm coming from.


Of course this being made in 1978 it came first ,so much for Luc Besson's Nikita being original as many thought.


The story is of course set a Wuxia setting , Ku Feng plays the head of a gang of robbers , Yoh Xi-hung.


He recruits orphans from a young age and trains them to be the best fighters , he trains them to not have feelings for the poor ,woman or children. . No matter who stands in their way they should set about their mission ,which for most part means robbing and killing anyone that stands in the way of Xi-hung getting richer by the minute.


Over the years many of the orphans have either been killed or died through no being able to cope with the demands Xi-hung puts on them.


But out of his trainees ,thirteen of them become the most feared fighters and killers .


Ti Lung plays Black Eagle Chik Ming Sing ,a master of the Three section staff , a weapon Ti Lung throws around as if it where a extension of one of his limbs.


The film starts with Chik on the run ,for why we don't know , he gets stranded in the desert only to be saved by a wanderer who introduces himself as simply 'The Homeless'' ( Alexander Fu Sheng) , not convinced by his new found friend Chik makes a play for his saviours horse and escapes only to be found by the same wanderer a time later.


Reluctant to get personal with him ,it becomes apparent to Homeless that Chik is need of some help .

Things start to unfold as the people Chik is running from turn up at the deserted Inn they are sheltering at.


It's also apparent that Chik knows these men very well and that they have been sent to bring him back to their Godfather, Xi-hung.


A battle ensues and Chik is forced to kill his own brethren ,Homeless also battles one of the men and ends up killing him ,which in turn angers Chik.


Avenging Eagle plays out in flashbacks as to how Chik has come to where he is. For a man that has only known bloodshed and death all his life he finds himself at loggerheads with his own feelings .


He ends up explaining to Homeless how on a routine assault he got injured ,only to be saved by a family . After two months Chik returns back to Xi-hung to regain his position, but his mindset has changed and has conflict with what he has been doing.


When a new mission comes up and it ends up being the very family that helped him he turns against his own brothers to save the family to no avail. .


This in turn torments him which results in his abandonment of his own upbringing.


What makes this film stand out are the intricate plot twists and some fine weapons action on all parts . Also director Sun Chung chooses some dynamic camera angles for some of the action ,Shaws where known for their long shots and wide angle views and long takes, but here mixed in with these are long distance shots ,some from a aerial view , also much of the action is shot in close quarters ,fighting inside buildings and forests , there are some cool angles of the action from a lower angle ,with the camera shooting up from the floor , something your find in many later Hong Kong films and many of the 80's Jackie or Sammo movies.


There's also a good use of freeze frame for some of the action to.


What's more each of the Eagles has a unique weapon ,apart from one Eagle played by Dick Wei ,who has a axe ,well he has a few axes on his belt..


The final showdown shows Xi-hung(Ku Feng) is not left out in the fancy weapon department ,though I did think that Alexnader Fu Sheng's characters weapon was not very dynamic compared to his acrobatic ability .


Also I thought Fu Sheng looked fuller in the face compared to most of his films ,as if he had put weight on for the role.


One thing for sure the final showdown is worth it as Chik and Homeless attack the home of the Eagles and must face Xi-hung and his many men .


Avenging Eagle is another top classic from the Shaw Studio and was loosely remade in 1993 ,when the New wave of Kung Fu films took Hong Kong by storm,it's title was ''Thirteen Cold Blooded Eagles''.


Of note it's reported that Celestial and the Weinstien company where in talks about a official remake in 2013.


But if you want to see a classic film with a array of weapons showcased by experts ''The Avenging Eagle '' won't let you down.


Score out of Ten = 8

Review Date : April 28th 2014


Reviewer Sertes Nake

 

Version Reviewed : Dragon Dynasty Region 1 with Mandarin and English soundtracks.

 

                                       Posters and Stills

 
Posters : Top left -Dragon Dynasty cover , Top right and bottom left - Celestial Pictures IVL covers  , Bottom right -Original Poster
© 2011 / © 2003 / © 1978
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
More stills in the Photo Gallery
 
                       Trailers and Facebook Photo Galleries

 

 

 

 

                                                 Credits
Directed by Sun Chung
Produced by Run Run Shaw
Written by Ni Kuang
Starring Ti Lung
Alexander Fu
Ku Feng
Wang Lung-wei
Eddy Ko
Austin Wai
Music by Frankie Chan
Cinematography Lam Ngai Kai
Editing by Chiang Hsing-lung
Yu Siu-fung
Studio Shaw Brothers Studio
Distributed by Shaw Brothers Studio
Release dates
September 13, 1978
Country Hong Kong
Language Mandarin

 Cast and Characters

 Ti Lung as Black Eagle Chik Ming-sing

Alexander Fu as Double Sleeve Knives Cheuk Yi-fan

Ku Feng as Yoh Xi-hung

Eddy Ko as Blue Eagle Wan Da

Austin Wai as Owl Eagle Cao Gao-shing

Bruce Tong as Eagle

Lam Fai-wong as Eagle

Dick Wei as Eagle

Wong Pau-gei as Eagle

Peter Chan as Soaring Eagle Wang Tao-sang

Yuen Bun as Eagle Yau Koon-hung

Chui Fat as Eagle

Jamie Luk as Eagle Lin Gin-ming

Cheung Gwok-wa as Eagle Fan Lun

Shih Szu as Siu Fung

Yue Wing as Devil's Plight Wang An / Jiang Shun-kwai

Tong Gai as Golden Spear Tao De-biu

Yeung Chi-hing as Se-ma Sun

Ou-yang Sha-fei as Se-ma Sun's wife

Jenny Tseng as Se-ma Yu-chin

Yau Chui-ling as Se-ma Sun's second daughter

 

source : wikipedia

           The Legendary Shaw Brothers Spring 2014 Special

Don't forget to visit our dedicated Shaw Brothers page with links to other Shaw film reviews on site and of course our brief bio of the Shaw Brothers Studio.

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