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Chinatown Kid (1977)

Cast: Alexander Fu-Sheng, Alexander Fu-Sheng, Shirley Yu, more...
Director: Chang Cheh, Chang Cheh
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Studio: Ground Zero
Genre: Action, Foreign, Hong Kong, Martial Arts
Running Time: 100 min.
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This title is currently out of print.

This delightfully dated Hong Kong martial arts film from Shaw Brothers Studios stalwart Chang Cheh is a visual feast for fans of polyester, funky music, and bad haircuts. The main reason for less camp-oriented genre devotees to watch is another outstandingly charismatic performance from the late Alexander Fu Sheng as Tan Tung, an ambitious young man who falls under the influence of the triad crimelord Chu Ho (Johnny Wang). Chu Ho is impressed by Tung's martial arts skills and also realizes how easily he can be manipulated. Tung, however, betrays Ho by helping one of the kingpin's hookers escape from captivity, so Ho has the young man framed for drug possession. Tung flees to America, where he meets a college student from Taiwan named Yang Ching-wen (Sun Chien). The pair get a room in San Francisco's Chinatown and work illegally in a local restaurant, where the brash young Tung soon crosses paths with the leader of the Green Tiger gang (Lo Mang). Tung beats up most of the gang in the street, impressing their competitors, the White Dragon gang, whose boss (Phillip Kwok) quickly enlists his aid in wiping out the Green Tiger completely. As the White Dragon grows in power, Tung grows in status, at least until he discovers that Yang has become a hopeless drug addict, and begins to have second thoughts about his participation in the White Dragon's narcotics trade. Tung's efforts to end the gang's drug business mark him as a target for elimination, setting up the climactic final battle between the principled young fighter and his ruthless employers. Ha Ping co-stars with Kara Hui and Dick Wei. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

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