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  • Lee I Min is one of those kung fu actors who never quite made it to the first rank, but combined here with the great direction of Joseph Kuo and action by Corey Yuen it produced a classy film to make kung fu addicts drool. The story has been told above but it can not be emphasised enough that the fights (of which there are many) are superb and wonderfully staged. The ending is fairly obvious but still exciting - with one of the best end fights on film. I liked the understated attraction between Lee I Min and the Masters daughter (the beautiful Nancy Yen) and the believable jealously of the other students. There are a few weaknesses but the story sweeps you along and you look forward to the next fight and twist. The Monkey Kung Fu exponent (Chin Yuet Sang) is an absolute classic. According to the liner notes by Linn Haynes (Media Blasters) this film is based on the life of a real Pai Mei kung fu expert named Cheung Lai-chun who fought and bested top mainland kung fu experts in the mid-1940s at the age of 66. Pai Mei is famous from the Kill Bill films (played by Gordon Liu) but the real story / legend is worth seeking out. One of the best and really worth watching.
  • Producer Joseph Kuo scores big with this film. Most true Kung Fu historians feel it is one of the best Martial Arts movies ever made. Great blend of comedy and action. The movie centers around the teacher (San Kwan Chun) and his quest to defeat the 7 Grandmasters. He and his students travel around China fighting one master at a time. Amongst this; pupil Lee Yee Min tries to convince the teacher to take him as a student. His efforts fail several times before the teacher gives in. He then practices his skills against his elder classmates who he eventually surpasses. Lee Ye Min wants to learn Kung Fu badly because of his fathers murder in a friendly duel. Once an expert he then can seek out a duel with the killer of his father. He initially is told that the killer was of all people his own teacher. He swore and took an oath that he would avenge his father's death, so he and the teacher fight using practically the same same style (Pia Ma 7 strikes) After using stolen secret strikes learned from another teacher he badly wounds his teacher but he won't kill him. His secret teacher reappears and tells Lee that he's the actual killer of his father. Now with teacher at his side he can seek revenge. The final battle is epic with Lee's teacher (San Kwan Chun) remembering the last thing his dying teacher told him: that "All Pia Ma Strikes Are Corelated". The teacher then gives his pupil proper advice and he defeats his fathers actual killer. An excellent martial arts film that stays away from too many corny lines that other Kung Fu flicks have. It does have silly humor but it flows well with the flick so it is tolerable. Good plot and story line, with many different fighting styles used (Monkey,Mantis,Tiger, Etc) You can't go wrong here, this film is certainly one of the best.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have become something of an expert on kung fu movies lately, and I'm here to tell you that 7 Grandmasters is utterly shock full of the very highest grade kung fu fighting. The story is simple but adequate, the actors are good and the fight sequences are incredibly beautiful and plentiful. This movie probably ought to be the prime example and standard by which the kung fu content of other martial arts movies should be measured. The techniques used here are totally authentic and completely convincing. Although, there are also a very few gratuitous scenes of supernatural moves, which is a pity, because the movie doesn't need it one bit; it is supremely impressive even without that "edge".

    Another slight flaw about the story is the incredible speed by which the student becomes a master. It's a few weeks at most! That's very silly, but I guess we can just imagine that it's really a longer time-span. The important thing is that the transition from student to master is reflected enormously well in the student's moves; he convincingly acts like a novice at the beginning, with a fumbling and imprecise technique, and later he becomes beautifully adept and fights with obvious power and precision.

    Also, the structure of the story is excellent and very rewarding, with the master going through a series of great fights, and the student watching and learning as he goes along, eventually excelling beyond anyone's expectations. The end has two masters pitting their students against each other, which also makes for some very cool scenes and a great climax. If you're looking for kung fu movies with great fighting in them, this is about as good as it gets. And there's not even a Jackie Chan or a Jet Li in sight!

    9 out of 10.
  • 7 Grandmasters deserves to be a legend of martial arts cinema. Nowhere else, either from this period of cinema or the modern era, have I seen so much variety in fighting styles and such a huge number of quality fight sequences. While the fights may adhere to a '70s fight choreography feel to some extent, they're very fast and fluid, with each fight displaying a unique tone. Monkey style, mantis style, weapon fights, fights between the same styles, an unorthodox fight that will be at home to Jackie Chan fans, and several others. Each style is carefully considered and utilized authentically, not just as a gimmick to add superficial differences to samey choreography. And fortunately the fights are filmed at steady, wide angles with long continuous shots whenever possible to allow the viewer to fully appreciate the action.

    The story may seem unusually briskly paced, but this ends up being refreshing after experiencing countless martial arts films with convoluted melodrama, where good martial artists try and fail to act. What story there is explains the motivation for each of the fights without ever holding back the real goal of the movie.

    Visually, the film is quite gorgeous, with varied locations and bright, vast environments. The sound effects on the original mandarin audio track utilize wonderful whooshing effects for the fights, as you'd expect.

    This is a must-see classic for any fan of martial arts film.
  • This movie is the best. It doesn't have your jackie chan's or bruce lee or any other mainstream superstar actor (sorry bruce) But in my eyes its a classic.

    It story is about the current kings champion in china (sang kwan chung) about to retire, when his title is put under question by a mysterious note pinned to his banner. Sang kwan chan then sets out to prove he is the rightful owner of the title and defeat the 7 grandmasters. Along the the way he picks up a young student who is neglected by the current 3 other students of the Pi mae Grand master, who wants to learn the style and pledges his loyalty.

    This movie is not just your average movie. It has Many laughs and great fighting sequences and a climax that is truly awesome.

    If you see this movie and are a fan of the old school Kung fu movies..then buy it.
  • overonetkb-114 October 2007
    As stated by other Commentors this is a Stand-out in the Kung-Fu Movie Genre. Jack Long and Lee Yi Min do a wonderful job with the fighting style and choreography set before them . When you watch Long are Lee you see two gentlemen who practice good form , something not recognizable by many actors in this period. If you like this movie the "long brothers" and "Lee Yi min " team up with Joeseph Kuo in "Mystery of Chess Boxing " another classic . Mark and Jack Long entered the Hong Kong movie scene much too late. They both Started in Movies during the latter 70's and became stars in the eighties;subsequently, that was the early age of wire-fu which took away from the natural abilities of the acrobats and actors . Sad thing it was also the death of Kung Fu movies in the Americas.....
  • This movie is so excellent. It has the best kung fu action, and the fights are good and long. The story is actually okay, and the dialogue, while dubbed, is still good. The actors do not speak the typical stupid kung fu movies lines. Watch this.
  • Joseph Kuo made a great movie here and as previous poster pointed out sans any Chans or Lis it's awesome.The fights are realistic yet the moves are just to kool.The story could use a little polish here and there though.Aside from that it's a winner.So if you like any kind of Kung Fu vid don't miss this one.

    You won't be disappointed by the stylish fights and solid footwork.And even though the story is a little rough it works well.The acting in this is also excellent.The dubbed version I seen was good no bad Cockney accents or really terrible translations.All in all this movie will leave you satisfied.

    T
  • This really defines a blueprint for this kind of movie: 1) Guy with ridiculous facial hair and/or silly hat wonders through the wilderness,happens upon another guy practicing Kung Fu 2) Brief conversation involving a) a particular technique of one of the silly-haired-guys, b) the number of provinces in which the other silly-haired guy is undefeated 3) Fight, preferably involving some kind of animal-style Kung Fu. 4) Repeat as many times as you can squeeze into a couple of hours.

    Throw in a grueling training sequence (though this maybe isn't quite grueling enough in this movie), a bit of betrayal (ideally involving someone killing someone else's master), some slapstick comedy, some bad dubbing (this genre is really the only one where dubbing should be allowed) and there you have it - the perfect Kung Fu movie. I defy anyone not to enjoy it.
  • The master is about to retire but goes on a journey to prove he is number one. Li Yi-Min stalks him begging to learn. The other students beat him up because he has no kung fu at all. Sifu gets sick. A gang attacks Sifu and Li Yi-Min clumsily but effectively helps. At about 50 minutes in he finally gets a lesson and ten minutes of magic movie time later he is handing out beatings instead of taking them.

    My copy is a digital file that seems to be from a Mei Ah laser disk and is English and widescreen as good as it gets for quality.

    This is probably the most polite martial arts movie ever made. The Lung brothers really get to showcase their skills. I am adding it to the best ever list.
  • First of, there are better quality versions on YouTube than what this Eastern Heroes DVD release offers, which is ridiculous. If there was any respect, they would have delivered a much cleaner version rather than this ripped-from-video copy!

    The fantastic Joseph Kuo, of who I am a huge fan, directs this incredible kung-fu comedy filled with outstanding fights choreographed by the legendary Corey Yuen Kwai and Yuen Cheung Yan. Of course, this is only made better by the crème-de-la-creme of kung-fu cinema, led by the incredible talent of the Long brothers, who rarely fail to impress.

    Having been sent a plaque from the Emperor claiming him the title of World Kung-Fu Champion, master Jack Long embarks on a journey across China to challenge the finest fighters, just to make sure he is worthy of such a title before he retires. There's nothing nasty in what he's doing - he's a modest guy, but when you've got to confirm some thing's, you just have to do whatever it takes...

    On his travels with his posse, a young Lee Yi Min latches on hoping that Long will take him as his student so that he may learn kung-fu and take revenge for his fathers murder, leading to a master versus student showdown that became the storyline to Yuen Woo Ping's epic, Legend Of A Fighter, a few years later. Of course, Long's students aren't going to make it easy for Min and tease the life out of him as he tags along regardless. Director Kuo delivers another classic, with 7 Grandmasters offering a decent plot excelled by fantastic fight scenes. While it still carries some humour, mainly when Lee Yi Min is around, 7 Grandmasters doesn't get too silly and sticks to its plotline without losing itself.

    Jack Long is just one of the most amazing martial artists ever committed to film. His moves, on-screen presence, and acting are always in top form, as is his brother. Although Jack leads the way, both siblings get to show their stuff many, many times in some greatly choreographed action that comes from two of Hong Kong's finest action directors, with Corey Yuen Kwai himself getting to face off against Jack in one of the films highlight fights.

    With minimal training sequences, which is rare for a kung-fu film of this era, the classic 7 Grandmasters is packed with one-to-one battles, leading to an incredible finalebetween Jack Long, Lee Yi Min and Alan Chui, that shines as one of kung-fu cinema's best!

    Overall: A well made, kung-fu classic and one of Joseph Kuo's best films...
  • 7 GRANDMASTERS is a Taiwanese cheap shot by prolific director Joseph Kuo. It's one of those films which is basically all fighting as a young and upstanding young bloke is awarded the title of kung fu world champion but remains unsure of his merits, to which end he goes on an odyssey of battling as he fights no less than seven of the world's top kung fu grand masters.

    There's little more plot to it than that, but this film works because the action is of a good quality. It was choreographed by the great Corey Yuen, who of course would go on to make many classics during the 1980s, and thus the fights have a stylish, hard-hitting feel to them that you don't get elsewhere. Yi-Min Li is an acceptable lead and you get popular actors like Jack Long, Mark Long, and Nancy Yen in support. The usual problems of this genre exist in the film's presentation - poor dubbing, fullscreen picture quality - but 7 GRANDMASTERS works well regardless of these issues.