Born 7th January 1952 - present
Hong Kong actor, martial artist, producer and director
When your dealing with a icon of action cinema who has starred in over 75 films and been involved in over 250 films where do you start ?.
From the beginning i suppose!
Every one in the world now knows the name Sammo ,as soon as you here it you Know people are talking about one of the most prolific martial art stars / Directors of our time.
Often referred to as 'The Portly Kicker'' one thing for sure his size does Not stop him being one of the most agile and competent martial artists on the planet ,but i'm sure he wouldn't hurt you .
Born Hung Kam Po in Hong Kong, both of his parents worked as wardrobe artists in the local film industry and guardianship was thrust upon his grandparents.
Hung's ancestral hometown is Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.
His grandmother was archetypal martial-arts actress Chin Tsi-ang and his grandfather was film director Hung Chung-Ho.And it was his grandparents that enrolled Sammo in to Master Yuen Jim Yu Peking opera school after hearing about it from friends.
So from the age of nine sammo was enrolled for a period of seven years to study martial arts,acrobats,acting,singing and more.It was here he met his life long brothers Jackie Chan /Yuen Biao / Yuen Wa and Corey Yuen Kwei.
We all have heard of the grueling time the students at the school had with 18 hour training sessions ,beatings and scraping to eat and clothing themselves.
At the age of 14 Sammo was selected by a teacher to do stunts for the Hong Kong film industry ,it was this that sparked his interest with film and camera's .
The reason Sammo is so Heavy (being polite ,don't want Sammo coming round and beating me ) is that he got injured while at the school and could not train ,his parents and grandparents brought him sweets and food to eat ,he eventually put on weight and whilst there never lost it .
Sammo begun working in film from the early sixties and had starred in 30 wuxia films by 1974.But it was from 1970 when he started to work for Raymond Chow that Sammo would shine .He did the choreography for Golden Harvest 'Angry River' in 1970 and then 'A Touch of Zen '' for King Hu in 1971 and ''the Fate of Lee Khan'' in 1973.
Also around this time Sammo went to Korea to study Hapkido from a master there .
Remember he starred in two films with Angela Mao about Hapkido ,the first 'Lady Whirlwind' and the second 'Hapkido'.Also in 1973 he got to star in Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee ,who he fought in the opening scene .
With the death of Lee in 1973 ,the gap left in the Hong Kong Cinema industry was huge and even though many imitators rose from behind the curtain ,it was Sammo that would send Hong Kong Cinema in a new direction along with his brothers Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao and other new wave directors like Yuen Woo Ping and John Woo.
He made the first Kung Fu comedy ''The Iron Fisted Monk'' in 1977.And was the main man behind getting ''The Game of Death ''(Bruce Lee's last film ) edited and together ,filming new fight scenes and action directing ready for the cinema ,at the request of Raymond Chow.
Game of Death was released in 1978. He then directed his second feature 'Enter the Fat Dragon in 79 in which he plays a man that idolizes Bruce Lee,and does a fantastic impersonation of the Little Dragon.He used this in two further films ,the brilliant Shanghai Express where he faces of against Cynthia Rothrock ,and again in the comedy Skinny Tiger Fatty Dragon who he starred with Karl Maka.
Sammo also made two films based on Wing Chun ,The second film starred his buddy and rival from the The Spring and Autumn Drama school ( a rival Peking opera school in Hong Kong) the great late Lam Ching-Ying.
Warriors Two and Prodigal Son are classic Old School flicks that show Wing Chun in a intricate manner.With Warriors Two Sammo starred alongside super Kicker Casonova Wong ,who took on the role of a student in Wing Chun.Then came Prodigal Son with whom he starred with Lam Ching-Ying.The two played Wing Chun masters battling each other over who should teach A young student (Yuen Biao). The film was such a hit that it shot Yuen Biao to fame overnight along with Lam Ching-Ying who had been seen in the background of many films ,but was set to change due to Sammo.
The 80's were a time in Hong Kong cinema that fueled excitement and action with death defying stunts ,and Sammo Hung's Films would be at the forefront of the action.It was a time of action and comedy .The creation of Kung Fu comedy had led on to the action films of the 80's being somewhat light hearted to. Sammo had a winner on his hands with the Lucky Star series of which the first three films had his two Peking Opera Brothers ( Jackie and Yuen Biao) play co-starring roles.
The Three Brothers
Starting of with Winners and Sinners in 1983 ,the film was a hit and the sequel 'My Lucky Stars ' secured the box office for the three big hitters in Hong Kong Cinema.The third film 'Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars' introduced a very young looking Andy Lau in to the game to.Sammo had starred and directed all of these films .A fourth film with a new band of Lucky stars ( Lucky Stars Go Places 1986) this time with Sammo in a co starring role had Andy Lau as the main fighter here ,though Sammo did get the end fight .
Also in 1983 Sammo starred along side Jackie and Yuen Biao in Project A ,which started their span of hit action cinema starring the three of them .Even though Jackie is credited as director ,it's well known that Sammo lent a hand in this department to as the film had a deadline to meet so while Jackie was of shooting one scene ,Sammo would be doing another (providing they both weren't in the same scene that is).
The three went on to make some of the biggest hits in the 80's with Sammo directing Jackie and Yuen in 'Wheels on Meals' and Dragons Forever.
On top of this Sammo would create a whole new genre ''The Jiang Shi movie' Basically a Chinese version of a Vampire ,that hops . The start of this was 1980's Encounters of the Spooky Kind and the Dead and Deadly. The ilms would comprise Chinese folk lore and Kung fu with Taoist priests that would be at hand to vanquish these evil hoppers.
It led the way for the Mr,Vampire series which in turn would make his friend Lam Ching -Ying a star overnight.
Also in 1980 Sammo set up his own production company after Raymond Chow pulled one of his films after two weeks because of poor box office.He set up BoHo films which in turn gave him greater control over his films.
It as under this guise that Sammo would make some of his most prolific work like the brilliant Shanghai Express aka Millionaires Express ,Eastern Condors both of which he starred in alongside a plethora of film icons including Yuen Biao,Yuen Woo Ping,Corey Yuen Kwei,Cynthia Rothrock and more .He would also make classic films like Yuen Biao's Above the Law in which co starred Cynthia Rothrock and Yuen Biao's brilliant On the Run in 1988.
Eastern Condors Poster
Now another company Sammo would set up in 1983 was D&B Films with Dickson Poon and John Shum. Now D&B were releasing some of the most hard core fighting films in Hong Kong between 1984 til there demise in 19992.
To think that with out this collaboration you may never have seen the likes of Police Assassins aka Yes Madam which made stars out of Michele Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock .Plus led to sequels with Donnie Yen and Cynthia Khan.
D&B also produce films like the Tiger Cage series and Black Cat which was a take on Luc Besson's 'Nikita'.
In 1989 Sammo set up a other production company which would produce 5 films all starring himself. Under the Bojon label he would make one of his all time classics 'Pedicab Driver' and one film that would sum up the 80's changing times 'Pantyhose Hero'
Still making films under the Bojon Label Sammo would make and star in Encounters of the Spooky kind 2, Slickers vs Killers ,Pantyhose Hero and Don't Give a Damn in 1995.
But it was in 1991 that Sammo parted company with Golden Harvest after 21 years with the company.
I remember seeing this in a cinema and thought it was not very PC ,But fun
Over the next few years Sammo would star and produce quite a few films but none of them would have the great spark that the 80's gave him ,with the demise of D&B in 1992 a void was left for hard core action .Hong Kong action was becoming more mainstream now as people across the world started to look at these Asian made films.
So even though he dd action direct the likes of Ashes of Time and ,Blade of Fury and Thunderbolt with Jackie Chan it was not till really in 1997 that Sammo would team up again with Jackie and direct him in 'Mr,Nice Guy ' Which was one of Jackie's more Western flavored pictures and was a hit ,plus the fact that the one man that can direct Jackie better then Jackie was Sammo.After this he action directed the 6th in the series of Once upon a time in China.Which saw the return of Jet Li in the role after he had left after making part 3.
He also action directed a couple of Jean Claude Van Damme films to in 97-98.
But it was in 1998 that Sammo would become a household name in every country ,when he would star in a CBS TV series devised by Carlton Cuse .Sammo would play a Chinese cop arriving in the States to track down a colleague.
It's Sammo's Law
The series was written with Sammo in mind and he retained his name within the series .It was like you were seeing Sammo as Sammo for real .It would convey all his feelings and on life and the arts.Some of the episodes were directed by Stanley Tong of Rumble in the Bronx fame.
The series ran from 1998 to 2000 and consisted of two series and 44 episodes .The first series starred Louis Mandylor , Tammy Lauren and Tom Wright along with Kelly Hu who featured in both series.For the second series the stars were replaced by Gretchen Egolf in Tom Wrights part and Arsenio Hall who appeared for some of the first series would end up being Sammo's new partner .( In a bid to cash in on the Rush Hour Bandwagon which was released at the same time) It worked because i would watch Arsenio any day over Chris Tucker (and i bet Jackie would agree with that).
Regrettably the two series had little in common with story lines from the first not being concluded properly and i do remember a spate of Episodes with Tim Curry as some arch villain ,which to be honest i did not like .There were some cross over stories though and Sammo Law starred in a couple of Walker Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris .
Can you buy it on DVD ? No ,as of yet there are no plans to release it despite fans having a petition for it .and the reruns have stopped ,in the UK we used to get it on Channel 5 and ITV4 and if you had SKY 'Bravo'.
So you want it ,so join the page and put up a fight.Click here
Since then Sammo has been in demand ,he has either starred in or action directed or directed many films.He starred alongside JACKIE again in a brief role in Around the World in eighty Days action directed Jackie in the Medallion , a film penned by Bey Logan.
Action directed Stephen Chows Kung Fu hustle but was uncredited as he left the production before it was finished and Yuen Woo Ping finished of.
Add to that great films like Shao Pao Long and Fatal Move in 2005 and 2007 and it looks like there' no stopping him.Then with Ip Man he action directed Donnie Yen in one of his best films .Then starred in Kung Fu chefs with Vanness Wu,which i liked no matter what any body says ,i know it was more cooking then fighting ,but it was fun.
Now with the sequel to Ip Man out in which Sammo starred as well it looks like we will be seeing him quite often as of now he is starring in another Ip Man movie and he has another few films on the agenda to.
Then you have not to forget Sammo has made some TV movies in China called the Dragon Laws series,which were filmed in 2003,and starred in Chinese TV series Wing Chun (2006) and Shaolin Temple ( 2008)
Sammo has been married twice and has three sons and a daughter all from his first marriage .His first wife Jo was his child hood sweet heart from Martial arts training school and they were divorced in 1994.He then married model and actress Joyce Mina Godenzi in 1995.She had also starred in Sammo's films like Eastern Condors and had a short career in film with films like She Shoots Straight and License to Steal with Yuen Biao.
In August 2009 while filming Ip Man 2 Sammo fell ill and was taken to Hospital ,after heart surgery he was released and resumed filming a short time after. The problem lay at Sammo's bad eating habits and love of Cigars.It looks like he will have to look after himself a bit better now as where would we be with out Sammo to watch over us.
Lady Wirlwind 1972- Sammo action directs and has a co-starring role in this classic
Hapkido 1972 - Sammo rejoins Angela Mao in this second film featuring Hapkido.
The Skyhawk 1974 - as action director and a role as Fei'Fei in this Kwan Tak Hing film.
The Tournament 1974 - A supporting role and action director in this Angela Mao film.
The Himalayan 1976 - Another Angela Mao classic in which Sammo action directs.
Encounters of the Spooky Kind 1980 - Sammo creates a new Genre and stars and directs
The Victim 1980 - Sammo teams up with Leung Kar Yan in this Old School classic.
By Hook or By Crook 1980 - review coming soon
Project A 1983 - Review coming soon
Wheels on Meals 1984 - Sammo directs his brothers and stars in this film great.
My Lucky Stars 1985 - Review coming soon
Yes Madam 1985 - Sammo produces and Cameos in this Michelle and Cynthia fight fest!
Mr Vampire 1985 - Sammo produces a film for his friend Lam Ching-Ying
Mr,Vampire 2 1986 - the sequel to Sammo's earlier produced Jumping Vampire Film
Where's Officer Tuba 1986 - Sammo plays a cop who does not want trouble .
Millionaires Express 1986 - Sammo brings together Hong Kong in one film.
Eastern Condors 1986 - Review coming soon
Pedicab Driver 1989 - Sammo Takes revenge for friends lost in this classic
Spooky Encounters 2 1990 - The sequel to the original ,which is as good as the first
The Gambling Ghost 1991 - Sammo takes on three roles in this rare flick.
Point of no Return 1991 - Sammo is Goose ,witness to murder and in Danger!
My Flying Wife 1991 - Sammo is a triad Boss looking out for his guys and dead wife
Slickers vs Killers 1991 - Sammo plays a Mobile Phone salesman in this comedy
Ghost Punting 1992 - Kidstuff is back and this time he's hunting ghosts
Mr,Nice Guy 1997 - Jackie's a Chef ,his girlfriend is kidnapped,Sammo Directs .
The Pale Sky 1998 - Sammo loses his manhood and want's it Back!
Wushu 2008 - Sammo plays Li Kui father and teacher of Wushu in this Jackie Produced Film
Ip Man 2008 - Sammo action directs Donnie Yen in this true story of a Legend
Kung Fu Chefs 2009 - Sammo plays Wong Ping Yee a master chef with a past
14 Blades 2010 - Sammo Plays Prince Qing in this Donnie Yen film .
Ip Man 2 2010 - Sammo returns to action direct and co star in this sequel.
The Legend is Born-Ip Man 2010 - Sammo plays Chan Wah Shun in this prequel .
Detective D 2011 - Andy Lau stars and Sammo Action Directs in this Tsui Hark film.
Choy Lee Fut 2011 - Sammo cameo's ,starring alongside his Son Sammy Hung
My Kingdom 2011 - Peking Opera epic with action directed by Sammo.
Naked Soldier 2012 - Sammo stars with Jennifer Tse in this Wong Jing film.
Last Tycoon (The) 2012 - Sammo and Chow Yun Fat together ,wow.
As with all martial artists ,i think it's great when we connect ,but when i asked my friend Bey Logan if he could ask Sammo to be our banner star for July i was amazed when i got a message from Bey saying it's no problem ,as he has just met Sammo in Shanghai and he said yes.
It instills a breath of fresh air when people go out of their way , i thank Bey Logan for the contact and of course i thank Sammo Hung for being a sport and i hope we do you justice .
Thanks 'Dai Goh Dai'
No letting Up Sammo Hung is Action directing a new film with Yuen Biao and directed by Gao Xiaosong.The film titled ''My Kingdom''the film is set in the 1920's and looks set to do well.click here for trailer .-May 2011 pd.
Sammo on set of ''My Kingdom''' (above)
Still hard at it Sammo returns to our screens in the new movie ''Choy Lee Fut'' which is released in April,and gets a premier in London on the 7th of May. for trailer and info click here. - April 2011 pd .
After action directing the brilliant ''Detective D'' with Andy Lau a film which saw Tsui Hark back on fine form as director and the film topping the 30th Hong Kong film awards .Sammo was also nominated for best action choreography on'' Detective D '' and IP Man 2. - April 2011 pd.
Sammo also wins the Best Supporting actor for his role in Ip Man 2 as well.- March 2011 pd.
Sammo Hung continues to forge ahead with a vast number of films on the go,not only that he has been busy in other areas to. His Son Timmy Hung recently got married ,in attendance was Jackie Chan to ( see Picture) .
Sammy Hungs wedding ( Above) ,Sammo is Joined by his brother Jackie Chan. Timmy looks like he has lost some weight here,not that he was big ,but just looked a bit fuller in his previous films i had seen him in.
So what about the films Sammo has been busy with, well one is the Wong Jing and Andrew Lau film ''Once Upon a time in Shanghai '' which sees Phillip NG in the lead role as Ma ,a fighter who finds himself in 1920's Shanghai amidst Rival Gangs ,while the Japanese send spies into the area, Sammo stars along with Jiang Liu Xia ,Wong Jing Directs and Yuen Woo Ping is on board for the action, i'm sure Sammo will lend a hand.
Out already is the (released March 2012) is Ann Hui's ''A Simple Life'' It's Produced by Yan Nam-Lee and Andy Lau who also stars alongside Deannie Yip.It's based on the true story of a young master and his servant (who raised Him) ,Sammo 's role is unknown other that he stars in the film. If you all remember ,Deannie Yip starred with Sammo in Dragons Forever.
A Simple Life and Tai Chi 0
Right our next news is the Stephen Fung film ,Tai Chi 0 or Tai Chi Zero if you please, it's supposed to be the first of a trilogy of films about a young boy who wants to learn the ancient art, Now Jet Li is listed as Producer as far as we Know, Jet was also supposed to be in the film to ,but this is unclear Now, all i do know is action is courtesy of Big Brother Sammo and it will be a new year release, 2013 that is, and on a positive note Cine Asia have picked up the rights for a UK release.
Moving on to Naked Soldier which may be out before Tai Chi 0 , well I'm betting on it as the trailers out already,Marco Mac's Naked Soldier is the third in the NAKED series, Naked Killer and Weapon where the prequels. Here Corey Yuen Kwei handles the action and Sammo Stars as Interpol agent CK Long. Of course being a Naked film our main star is Jennifer Tse as our femme fatal,also starring are Phillip NG and Andy On.This is one i am looking forward to. Trailer on the film news page.
And we go on, in ''Princess and the Seven Kung Fu Masters '' Seven aging kung fu masters come to assist their local Warlord (Sammo) when the Japanese invade. Directed by Wong Jing this should be zany and fun as it stars a host of great martial artists and actors.
Still going, i know of a film called ''V for Vampire'' (that's it) and that Sammo will star in Kevin Munroe's ''War Monkey's '' as one of two janitors that run into a bunch of Military Trained Monkeys.
So there you go ,SAMMO is taking over. whoooayy!
With a new look and new site address we welcome back the former Sammohungkambo site ,So if you need more of a Fix of Sammo then check out this resource .