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  • Raymond Chow produced "Lady Kung-Fu," a no-holds-barred martial arts action flick from the early 1970s directed by Feng Huang, and contains shades of nearly every Bruce Lee movie from that time. When I looked at it last night, I saw a number of interesting parallels between this flick and Bruce Lee's "The Chinese Connection," as both films were released in 1972. Most notable is that the plots bear some resemblance to one another and there is a strong sense of conflict between warring martial arts schools. Unlike "The Chinese Connection," however, the enemy, the Japanese, are portrayed in a flagrant, one-sided, racist, and xenophobic light; they are sometimes referred to as "Japs" by the main Chinese characters (I know this film is set before World War II - I wonder, did such racial epithets exist before then?). But I'm getting off track. Angela Mao, Carter Wong, and Sammo Hung star as three Chinese gong-fu students studying martial arts in Korea under a famed exile (Hapkido Grandmaster Han Jae Ji). They take their Hapkido training (called "kung-fu" in the film) back to China and attempt to set up their own school, only to face opposition from the ruling Japanese occupational forces, who seek to promote their art of Judo (founded in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano). That's about all there is to the plot, and then we have the fights. During the opening credits, we're treated to one incredible sequence with Wong drubbing a band of thugs. Next, there is a training sequence with Angela Mao. Then, Han Jae Ji himself demonstrates his unique Hapkido fighting art. In "Lady Kung-Fu," there are a number of familiar faces from Chow-produced martial arts action flicks too. Mao is probably my favorite fighter, since she is mostly famous for her tragic portrayal of Bruce Lee's sister in "Enter the Dragon" (1973). On a side note, I am currently studying Hapkido and I encourage anyone else interested in it to check out this flick.

    An enjoyable martial arts romp.

    8/10
  • Pretty standard fare as far as 70s martial arts flicks go. However, notable for the role of 'Teacher' played by Hapkido founder Grandmaster Ji Han Jae. Some great fight scenes (watch Grandmaster pulverise his students ;]). Also good to watch Angela Mao and Samo Hung in some decent fight scenes. A very interesting 'must-see' for all Hapkido (and other martial arts) students.
  • Man, this one had me hooked from start to finish. The characters really shine through here make you really want to root for the good guys. This film shows a lot of formidable throw techniques; very effective against multiple attackers. Feng (Sammo) is the brash, arrogant fighter and is played well by the Fat Dragon (WARNING: Shirtless Sammo sighting!!) Carter Wong is okay and thankfully isn't featured that much. OW, that arm!

    Finally there's Angela. Her character is really interesting because she's a pacifist torn between her belief in non-aggression and righting her enemy's wrongdoings. Can she compromise and how will she resolve the conflict? Don't get me wrong; there is a story to this, but Ms. Mao is the epitome of Hopkido here. She displays her fighting skills in several scenes and I can't get enough of her flipping guys like rag dolls. Even dubbed, she acts really well especially with her facial expressions. Angela's the main star here and proves it beyond a doubt.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is a pearl which I hungered for a long time. While the plot is quite simple, for a modern day viewer it may contain some really unexpected twists. But we watch martial arts movies not for the brilliant plot, do we? I myself learned hapkido in Korea for a year and this movie brought to me a sweet nostalgia. Although, sometime I was not very happy with the choices of the heroes in their styles, and some greatly effective counter- attacks was never used, but in this movie you can see a variety of skills taught up to the third dan of the black belt. This movie gets 10 points from me, because these are really authentic hapkido. However, there is some important for me mistake in it. It is said in this movie that hapkido is an ancient Chinese martial art. It is entirely not true. Hapkido is a very recent (beginning on the XXth century) Korean martial art.
  • ebiros229 October 2011
    I've seen this movie first time as "Lady Kung Fu" (a.k.a. Anjera Mao no Onna Kassatsu Ken) in a movie theater in Asia, and was impressed with Angela Mao's skills.

    The movie is bit like the "The Chinese Connection" in that Japanese oppression is part of the topic. Korean Hapkido school goes against the Japanese Karate school. The bad guys are of course the Japanese.

    This movie came out 6 month after the sensational success of "The Chinese Connection", both by Golden Harvest, so similarity is not surprising. Angela Mao was hot commodity for Golden Harvest at the time, and she takes the lead in this movie. She has this unique school girlish looks that makes her stand out in any movie she's in. Very young Sammo Hung also stars in this movie. It seems that he hasn't gotten a hair cut between this movie, and the time he stared in the "Enter the Dragon" the following year. He's also gained lot of weight between this and the "Enter the Dragon".

    This movie looks better now than when I first saw it. It has aged pretty well over 40 years.

    Still a great kung fu action movie, and recommended for viewing.
  • Grandmaster gave me a copy of "Hapkido" to watch. Unfortunately, it was the only copy he had, and it was kinda in poor condition. But what I saw of it was extraordinary. He could kick like nobody could. The throws, joint locks, simply incredible. To be honest, he still looks just as good today.
  • kurciasbezdalas7 December 2008
    10/10
    Hapkido
    The plot of this movie is very similar to Fist of Fury, but in this film the main heroine is a female played by Angela Mao, who is better known for her role in Enter The Dragon, but in this film she get more of the show. The fighting scenes were great for that time's movie, though it beats some of the nowadays martial art's movies too. Actually the bigger part of the movie is fights, so if you want to see some great Kung Fu (Hapkido?) fights and don't care about a plot - this movie is for you. Angela Mao really knows how to kick and in this movie, she proved it several times. I liked Sammo Hung's character, who was a troublemaker in this film. Even Jackie Chan appeared in few scenes.
  • Korea, 1934. During the Japanese occupation, there is open warfare between rival martial arts schools. There is a fight in the marketplace, and three Chinese students cannot stand the unfair way of students that side up with the invaders, when they gang assault one of the fighting men. Between the three, they send the aggressors away. Retaliation is heavy: their school is destroyed, and they are banished.

    This film may be best known for an uncredited cameo from Jackie Chan before he became an international star, but it is a decent film in its own right. While not quite as action-packed as "Lady Whirlwind" (which came out the same year from the same director), there is a better plot here, and the production value from Golden Harvest is noticeably higher.

    A decent copy has been released from Shout Factory. While it is not pristine (this may not even be possible) and does not have much for special features, this is a film worth checking out.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have seen this film twice and I believe it to be way ahead of its time as, firstly, it features a woman as the main martial arts star when this was almost unheard of and, secondly, features a martial art very few people would have heard of in the West and Hapkido was given the title Lady Kung Fu in America to reach a wider market.

    Basically Hapkido is the story of three students of Hapkido, a Korean martial art like a cross between karate and jiu jitsu, who are persecuted in thirties China by the Japanese who set up karate schools and try to ban non Japanese martial arts. Obviously this being a martial arts film there are some spectacular fight scenes between the Japanese and the Koreans, particularly the end fight where Angela Mao and Hwang in Sik take on two Japanese senseis, one of whom is a dab hand with a sword, and fight them to the death, Angela Mao having a unique figthing technique that involves her pigtails.

    The main drawbacks are fairly poor dubbing on the version I've seen, Angela is given a corny American accent, the very cheap sets and poor acting. However, the quality of the fight scenes cannot be faulted and Angela Mao is as good as Bruce Lee.
  • I cannot understand why this film is really rare and not widely available. The copy I have seen has burnt in English subtitles that is almost impossible to read as it often goes under the screen and since it was in white color it disappeared in their white clothes.

    Apart from that the movie is really good. Although I have never been a fan of Carter Wong or Sammo Hung Kam Bo, I have enjoyed the scenes with Hwang In Sik. He is such a good high kicker.

    One thing that bothered me about this movie is that it looks way too similar to Fist of Fury. They even used the same guy that played the annoying Chinese man siding with the Japanese in Fist of Fury too.

    Definitely not as good as Fist of Fury but much better than most of the martial arts movies. Recommended...
  • Jackie can be seen briefly in at least two scenes. I first noticed him near the end of the film in the scene where Angela visits the Japanese school and is prevented from leaving. Jackie, dressed in black, stands in the doorway and gets flipped to the floor by Angela. In another scene, he's also standing on the left side of a doorway, but he's wearing white.

    I THINK I also saw Yuen Biao (in white) a couple of times, but unfortunately, I can't tell you where to look for him.

    What surprised me was how prominently featured Lam Ching-Ying is in this movie. He's all over the fight scene that takes place in the street market, ultimately taking punches from Sammo Hung, who probably has more screen time than anyone else in the film.. certainly screen time spent fighting.

    Finally, I was surprised to discover that the attractive young woman who gets ogled and nearly groped near the start is none other than Nancy Sit!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Perfect movie, cast is insane, top actors: Angela Mao, Carter Wong, Sammo Hung, Han Jae Ji, Ying Bai, Ing-Sik Whang, Ka Ting Lee, Billy Chan, Jackie Chan, Biao Yuen and Corey Yuen. It starts with Angela Mao, Carter Wong and Sammo Hung in picnic, then Japanese guys comes and starts fight. That happened in South-Corea 1934. Then trio travels to China to start Hapkido school, but Hung gets in problem, thus Japanese getting interested about Hapkido school. At first Hung fights 2 drunk Japanese students, they tell it to their master and Japanese makes short visit to Hapkido school. Then Hung beats even more guys in market and all Japanese wants Hung dead. Hung's friends noticed it and they advise Hung to keep it low and go to hide. Spy notices Hung's secret place and sends Martial-Artist's to fight Hung. Hung beats few guys, but last guy kills Hung. Coincidence Mao goes to visit secret place and founds Hung's dead body. That was it for Hapkido and Black-Bear school. Without wasting any time, Mao goes to Black-Bear school and says: "If you're smart enough, you let me walk". Of course they don't and if I remember right, Jackie Chan is in that scene. Chan gets thrown by Mao and Chan slides in floor. After that scene, Japanese invade Hapkido school and Mao and Wong escape in the nick of time. Then girl goes to Hapkido school and sees, Japanese are drinking and eating. The girl goes to get Mao and Mao fights in really dark room (I think that was night scene). Pretty soon Han Jae Ji arrives and he and Mao are going to teach Japanese a lesson. Thus end fight begins. I remember Japanese leader getting Samurai sword and he nearly kills Han Jae Ji. Lucky for him Mao was present and she finishes Japanese leader. In the mid of this movie, Carter Wong has fight scene in Black-Bear school and he gets beaten really bad. There's also dark scene, when Wong fights 10+ guys and they kill Wong. Why I compare this to Casablanca, because its every fighters dream movie. I say, this is better, than Fist of Fury (1972).
  • westy_jed31 December 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    Lady Kung Fu is one of the greatest movies to watch if you like martial arts films. There are scenes in the film that take a while to pass (boring), but other than that, is packed with fantastic Hapkido skills from Angelo Mao, Grandmaster Ji Han Jae, Carter Wong, Sammo Hung, In-Sik Whang and the others. The end fight-scene between a black-bear student and Yu-Ying (Angela Mao) has a great choreography blend from the beginning of the fight till the point when Yu-Ying's eldest classmate jumps in to take on the black-bear student's teacher. It is a bit disappointing to see the teacher use a sword against Yu-Ying's classmate, because of the limitations of techniques the classmate can do without a sword. You can't have a great sword-fight with only one sword! Apart form that, the whole movie's fantastic!
  • handofaces-129 December 2005
    9/10
    Wow
    Well, it's been a while since I've written a comment about a movie. Hapkido aka Lady Kung Fu is Fantastic. Mao Ying, Sammo, and Carter are all excellent in this film. The reason I'm writing a comment is because recently I have been a little disenchanted by some of the 70's kung fu films that I have seen. People have said films like The Master of the Flying Guillotine or The Five Deadly Venoms are Fabulous, but it seems to me that although there is things that are mentionable in those films,they lack something, perhaps a story that just hooks you such as Hapkido does. The only thing I am sad about is that the DVD I bought was in poor quality visually, but it was still in widescreen. I've only seen two of Mao Ying's films--Hapkido and Dance of Death. Dance of Death exhibits Mao Ying's talents, but it lacks a bit in story. The difference between hapkido and dance of death is that in dance of death mao ying is constantly fighting scene after scene which could be a joy to watch...though as I said before the story lacks...HEY I just put two movie critiques in one...heheh Last words: Hapkido should be a classic and it should be on DVD digitally remastered, widescreen, with originally Chinese language and English subtitled for the world to love..by the way this is better than fist of fury in my opinion sorry bruce...bruce is great but this movie is better.
  • I saw this movie at the theater in 1974 and have been waiting to see it again ever since. It's surely one of the best of the Hong Kong movies of the period - one of the best martial arts movies ever! Why it isn't available on VHS or DVD I just don't know. I would love to have a copy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Korea, 1934. Three top martial arts school students -- shrewd Kao Yu Ying (Angela Mao, everyone's favorite petite firebrand), sensible Kao Chang (charming Carter Wong), and impetuous Fan Wei (liable Sammo Hung) -- move to China to start their own school. They face opposition from a rival Japanese school. Director Feng Huang, working from a compact script by Yan Ho, relates the enjoyable story at a swift pace, maintains a generally serious tone with a few amusing moments of humor, and stages the abundant kung-fu fights with stirring aplomb. Moreover, the plot neatly explores the themes of patience, courtesy, and standing up for the weak and oppressed. The three protagonists are very engaging, with Mao in particular once again in strong and assertive form as she takes on and defeats a school full of guys (she even beats one dude up with her pigtails!). The Japanese villains are quite arrogant and obnoxious. Yu-tang Li's crisp and lively widescreen cinematography rates as another definite asset. A cool little item.