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  • "The One Armed Boxer" is to "The Master of the Flying Guillotine" what "Star Wars" was to "The Empire Strikes Back."

    This is the film that catapulted Jimmy Wang Yu to superstar status, and for good reason. This film set the standards that you'll find in all of Wang Yu's films...superbly choreographed, arcade-style fights, exotic weaponry, colorful foreigners challenging the supremacy of Chinese boxing, and Jimmy's "aw-shucks" hero, an introspective but ultimately hardcore fighter that BARELY makes it out of his misadventures alive.

    I saw "Master of the Flying Guillotine" first, and I still believe that this film is Wang Yu's greatest achievement. However, seeing "The One Armed Boxer" only increased my appreciation for "MFG" tenfold. In this film, we find out how the One Armed Boxer became One Armed, but we also learn how he became such a badass...attaining a level of kungfu (as well as cleverness) that would be put sorely to the test in "MFG."

    The whole epic melodrama begins, incredibly enough, over some thugs stealing a poor man's pet bird. Wang Yu (at this point, a Two Armed Boxer) refuses to stand for such knavery, and he proceeds to challenge these scum to a fight. Of course he and his fellow students clean the floor with these clowns. Not suprisingly, the defeated thugs go crying to their sifu and fabricate a story that Jimmy insulted the sifu. The sifu then goes to Jimmy's school and challenges Jimmy's sifu to a fight. Once again, these troublemakers get beat up for their trouble.

    Enraged over his defeat, the evil sifu hires a bunch of highly skilled foreign mercenaries who, unlike his incompetent students, can do the job right. This team of mercenaries are trademark Wang Yu villians...three Osaka karate experts, a Tae Kwan Do expert, a judo expert, two Thai kickboxers, two Tibetan lamas (I imagine these violent Tibetan lamas inspired "Shaolin vs. Lama"!), and a Yoga fakir who fights by bouncing on his head. (No, I'm not making this up.)

    A bloody massacre ensues, and a half-dead, One Armed Wang Yu drags himself from the dojo. He is rescued by a kindly doctor and his daughter, who teach him the vital pressure points as well as a horribly painful technique that makes his One Arm the Unstoppable Killing Machine that we all know and love.

    This flick is just wall to wall fistfights, with those occasional touches of utter brutality among the often graceful choreography. The head Osaka fighter is one Bad Mutha...you know he's Bad News when you see his fangs! The Tibetan lamas are no walk in the park, either. Their techniques include the dreaded Iron Palm and some weird inflation technique. But if you watched "MFG" carefully, you'll notice these two lamas are none other than the students of Evil Incarnate, The Master of the Flying Guillotine!! (the rest is history, as they say...)

    Jimmy Wang Yu is one of the most under-rated masters of kungfu cinema...in terms of directing as well as acting and fighting. Of course I dig Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and the rest of the New Wavers, but there's nothing more satisfying than going back to Old School to see where Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam got it all from. Jimmy Wang Yu is a straight-up O.G., in every sense of the word.
  • What ever happened to the good old days? Sitting in a Times Square movie theater all day watching the 3 or 4 movies for the price of one. Well onto the movie, I also remember this movie from the good old days, the effects and story are wild. Watching this one armed man running around on 2 fingers to beat an opponent or popping a hole in the inflating monk. I would love to see this and some of the other oldies ( Duel of the iron fist, Chinese Hercules ) released on DVD. I will keep hoping.
  • Although not well known in the US, this is one classic kung-fu movie that has its place in the annals of kung-fu action movies starring Yu Wang, and probably the movie that catapulted him to big stardom. Before Bruce Lee, and Jackie Chan he was THE martial action star.

    Format was very innovative as many of Jimmy Wang's movie is. This movie features a martial artist with only one arm, and like the blind swordsman series that made Shintaro Katsu a big star, his name will be associated with this movie for a long time. When you see this movie, you'll see how good of an athlete Jimmy Wang is, and he can play a good guy character like nobody else.

    A martial arts movie classic, and a must see if you are a martial arts movie fan.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Summer 1995. I first saw this on bootleg VHS under the original title One Armed Boxer after hearing about the US releasing it in 1973 as The Chinese Professionals through National General Pictures. Later in the spring of 1996, I watched it in Mandarin which has the sample of the 1971 Shaft theme. The original English dubbed version has a different theme which is something Shout Factory and Amazon Video Prime probably seemed not to realize. On Amazon Video Prime, it has a horrendous American English dubbing with the Shaft theme while Shout Factory used the Mandarin dialogue with the theme from the original English dubbed version before they released it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Made by Golden Harvest, the biggest Chinese rival of the Shaw Brothers studio in the '70s, and starring the one-time star Jimmy Wang Yu, who had previously made an impact in the excellent Chinese BOXER, you might be forgiven for thinking that THE ONE-ARMED BOXER isn't anything special. You'd be wrong. For some bizarre reason, Wang Yu remains virtually unknown outside of his native country, yet his string of films reached new heights of excellence in the kung fu genre, playing with genre staples and adding in fantastic elements to make them more exciting. Although I'm both a newcomer to the martial arts genre and to Wang Yu himself, it seems that he may be the most under-appreciated actor AND director out there! As a director, Wang Yu seems to be an early equivalent of Castellari or Woo, filling his movie with lots of stylish touches such as some impactful slow-motion in the action sequences, suspenseful tracking shots, and even displaying enough skill to trick and tease the viewer. This gives THE ONE-ARMED BOXER an edge over its contemporary rivals. Okay, so the story is kept simple like lots of others, but this gives Wang Yu a chance to develop some interesting and varied caricatures and some fantastic action set-pieces which fully make use of the scenery in which they are set (for instance, in a breathtaking brick factory fight, beaten men invariably fall into bubbling vats or have their limbs crushed in huge, rotating cogwheels).

    As an actor, Wang Yu once again essays the role of the innocent man caught up in all kinds of havoc, delivering snappy one-liners to the bad guys before he kills them and always ready with a smirk and a smile to keep his character light and likable. His heroes are also very human and fragile, invariably taking a beating during the film's course, and how could it get any worse than in this film? Wang Yu has his arm chopped off, his eye gouged out and his head smashed into a rock as well as getting beaten up loads of times before the end is in sight. Sure, the supporting cast don't figure much but at least the good guys are likable and the bad guys very imposing.

    And what a bunch of bad guys - possibly the craziest you're likely to see. We have two Korean fighters who dance to a bizarre tune before they can fight, a pair of Tibetan Lamas, karate experts, boxers, even an Indian mystic (a Chinese guy in black face!), all presided over by an unforgettably evil dark long-haired guy complete with vampire fangs! Of course the good guys don't stand a chance, at least not until Jimmy Wang Yu has burnt his remaining arm in a kiln and crushed it under a rock, thus destroying all the nerves in his limb and turning it into a rock-like weapon. Yes, you heard me right; the above two scenes are the most painful the film has to offer! Then again, it's a film full of pain and brutality, violence occurring literally every two minutes. Eyes are gouged, bodies scarred with the "iron fist" technique, blood sprays, faces break, people are impaled and broken. Although the version I saw was obviously cut (just WHAT happens to the main bad guy anyway?) it's still an odyssey in screen violence.

    I enjoyed this film most for the offbeat and totally insane plot elements it has to offer. Take for instance the mystic guy who stops and does a stop-motion style dance on his hands to confuse his opponent, and the finale in which Wang Yu beats him by doing it on one finger! Or the Lamas who have the ability to literally inflate their bodies before fighting to make them invincible, or Wang Yu learning the art of standing straight up like Nosferatu and flying through the air to strike his opponents. The inevitably arm-chopping is a long time in coming and a little cheesy, but hey, it still hits the mark. The finale, set in a rocky canyon, is insane stuff with the bad guys lobbing dynamite at Wang Yu, and the hero retaliating by kicking men into geysers, over the edge of cliffs, into rivers and generally causing lots of violent mayhem to make up for the damage done to him and his friends earlier in the film. This is a light, breezy, unusual and unforgettable martial arts epic, followed by the equally - if not more so - bizarre MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE. A trash classic - not to be missed by any genre fan.
  • This is my favourite Martial Arts film ever. Although some reviews feel the sequel superior I would disagree. This is mainly due to the fact the second film is a competition movie for most of its running time which I find less interesting than arrival schools set up.

    The villains in this are brilliant from the devilish karate leader to the Thai Kickboxers and the sheer range of the martial arts they use keep the fights fresh. There is also some quite brutal bits with heads being bloodied and people dying in boiling oil.

    There is the slightly off putting sight of a Chinese man dyed brown to play an Indian yoga master but we had Angelina Jolie pull the same trick a few years back so I won't hold it against them.

    Overrall a rip-roaring slab of funked up differently abled mayhem. If you live somewhere you can get it on DVD do it if you don't dust off your VCR and get the video.
  • All of his movies: from the One-Armed Swordsman to the One-Armed Boxer: greatness! The 1970s was the golden age of Chinese movies (Kung Fu). I just watched the One-Armed Boxer vs. Nine Killers, last night. Just the action scenes, storyline, actors: it's all perfect movie-making. I have my Wang Yu movie collection; have some but not all.
  • The first rule for a successful career in motion pictures is - find something that works and beat it to death. Jimmy Wang Yu lost his right arm in 1967 in "One Armed Swordsman". The movie shot him to the top and he followed the rule and made a career out of it. As many have commented, this movie has many similarities to "Master of the Flying Guillotine". This movie falls flat in many ways but it's interesting to watch next the other movie and see how Jimmy took the flopping carps and turned them into leaping dolphins. I particularly enjoyed his one finger handstand. Yes, the special effects are not special at all but still it was fun. On the sad side, whatever happened to the girl in this movie, Cindy Hang Tsin (1951-1978)? I can't find anything explaining her untimely death.
  • This review is for DU BEI CHUAN WANG/ONE ARMED BOXER from Red Sun. The print is pretty good for a 1970s martial arts film and amazingly the film has subtitles--not those stupid dubbed voices--a major plus. As far as the quality of the subtitles go, they are fair. There are a reasonably high number of misspellings but compared to many films of the genre, this one ain't bad--it's not good, either, but at least you can understand what they are trying to say.

    The plot is a very, very familiar one in many ways. First, it's the standard fight between two schools of martial arts and the bad guys cheat...a lot. Second, it's probably the fourth film I've seen involving a one-armed martial artist, so it's a bit of a cliché. However, oddly, none of the films are sequels--it just seems that getting your arm torn off in a fight is an everyday occurrence. And, when this happens you eventually train and return to whip the entire gang--a relatively common event in China if these films can be taken seriously. However, despite having so many familiar plot elements, it is a very good film. I liked seeing all the different styles of martial arts that were supposedly brought from all over Asia. But, more importantly, despite a very simple plot, the film is all about the action--non-stop and insane action, actually. While the fighting isn't among the top echelon of martial arts films (you won't mistake this for a Bruce Lee or Sonny Chiba flick), it is far better than average and so much is going on, it's eye-popping and occasionally brutal action from start to finish.

    If you like martial arts films, then this one is a must. If you don't, well it's worth a look--maybe you'll see something you like.
  • I don't want to write a great deal about this film as I only saw it once in 1971. My best friend and I went downtown and then the film disappeared. We were so struck with the concepts, effects and storyline that we have remembered it still even after all these years. I look forward to finally getting a copy and re seeing it. Perhaps I can add more then.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THE Chinese PROFESSIONALS stands the test of time: it's as entertaining today as it was the day it was released. Endlessly inventive writer-director-star Wang Yu was way ahead of the curve on this one. The first of his ONE-ARMED BOXER movies (not to be confused with his ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN movies), it's far and away the best. The showdown between his kung fu school and the hired killers brought in to crush them boasts some outstanding martial arts forms unlike anything I've ever seen (some may be "re-imagined" martial arts, but, if so, the forms still look absolutely GREAT- and ring true) ("legit" or not, they're fun to watch). The squeamish needn't worry, either: when Wang Yu loses his arm (his limb is lopped off- by hand- by the fanged "Kung Fu Beast"), it's a pretty bloodless affair. The assortment of supernatural villains is about as impressive an array as was ever allied against a hero in an epic of this nature, but Wang Yu is not to be outdone: when he faces a Hindu who can bounce around on his hands or his head, Yu, bouncing along on just two digits, actually manages to poke the guy's eyes out in passing. The final showdown with the aforementioned Kung Fu Beast is shot mostly in wide angle, but it's still fun to see- and the one-armed boxer becomes, by film's end, a one-eyed boxer as well. EXCELLENT.
  • These films are great in a series. If you enjoy this one youll love One Armed Boxer 2 even more. Shame somebody doesnt re-release these on DVD. Even the sound effects are classic. Someone moves a finger and you hear gunshots. Someone twitches you get explosions. I love it. Over the top as hell! Give me more. Pure comedy or genius, I can never decide!
  • The movie I watched on Amazon Prime was called "One Armed Boxer" but that has nothing to do with the plot. Typical kungfu movie with one school battling another and a perceived slight. Decent movie with English dub and subtitles. Liked the use of the "Shaft" theme during the pivotal fight scenes.