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Iron_Leopard

Is "The Avenging Eagle" the best...

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It's hard to think of a better one outside of the directors you mention.  From a story standpoint, I think The Flying Guillotine 1 & 2 are pretty great, though the action may not be as good a AE.  Also, Shaolin Prince, though weaker in story, has the action, enjoyment, and rewatch-ability in my mind that's comparable to Avenging Eagle.  

Good question!

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11 hours ago, massa_yoda said:

It's hard to think of a better one outside of the directors you mention.

I would propably put "jade tiger" and "soul of the sword" above Avenging Eagle. Maybe. AE is masterpiece and demands for being releasetd officially as uncut.

Maybe Bastard Swordsman too, and hard to ignome black tavern too. Not easy to put shaws into ranking order..There are so much great flicks around.

Edited by Tex Killer

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Interesting question, although if I think about it, shouldn't it actually be - Are Sun Chung films the best Shaw Brothers productions not directed by Chang Cheh or Lau Kar-Leung?

I'd probably argue yes.  Both 'Human Lanterns' and 'The Avenging Eagle' are personal favourites, but again it's hard to judge objectively considering the sheer number of movies Chang Cheh directed, both in comparison to Sun Chung and Lau Kar Leung (who compared to both other directors, only sat in the directors chair for 17 productions at Shaw Brothers).  Combine both Chung and Kar Leung's filmographies at the studio, and Cheh is still miles ahead.

I also have a soft spot for Kuei Chih-Hung's 'Killer Constable', and Chor Yuen's 'The Magic Blade'.

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9 hours ago, One Armed Boxer said:

Interesting question, although if I think about it, shouldn't it actually be - Are Sun Chung films the best Shaw Brothers productions not directed by Chang Cheh or Lau Kar-Leung?

I'd probably argue yes.  Both 'Human Lanterns' and 'The Avenging Eagle' are personal favourites, but again it's hard to judge objectively considering the sheer number of movies Chang Cheh directed, both in comparison to Sun Chung and Lau Kar Leung (who compared to both other directors, only sat in the directors chair for 17 productions at Shaw Brothers).  Combine both Chung and Kar Leung's filmographies at the studio, and Cheh is still miles ahead.

I also have a soft spot for Kuei Chih-Hung's 'Killer Constable', and Chor Yuen's 'The Magic Blade'.

Magic Blade is one of my top 50 favorite Hong Kong films so yeah I would include that movie.  Now Chor Yuen as a director is so up-and-down for me that he drives me crazy.  I have not liked one non-Shaw Brothers film of his and some of his non-martial art Shaw's like The Big Holdup are pretty low in my estimation.

I like Sun Chung, I just have not rewatched and studied him like Lau Kar-leung or Chang Cheh. And some films like Notorious Eight I was not too keen on.  I definitely need further study of the director as well as Li Han-Hsiang, Kuei Chih-Hung and a few others.

Bastard Swordsman I'm a pretty big fan of and I've liked all the Tony Liu Chun-Ku's films I've seen.

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Killer constable is quality film making but for sheer entertainment I would say five super fighters,but for me you will be hard pressed to better avenging eagle for story telling action and great direction.

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Five Fingers of Death is about as well rounded as any Shaw film, and the action holds up wonderfully for something made in the early 70s.

 

I also agree with the mention of Killer Constable. Some of Sun Chungs other films are close in Deadly Breaking Sword and Human Lanterns, but they have some tone problems IMO that keeps them from being as complete as Avenging Eagle.

 

@massa_yoda+1 on The Flying Guillotine. Very suspenseful movie, and a great acting performance from CKT.

 

Edited by paimeifist

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The Magic Blade is up there though. It just has an aura and mysticism about it. The first Chu Yuan movie I ever saw. So I started seeking out his films and came away disappointed with each movie of his I saw. Whoever designed his sets was on point though. All colorful and dreamlike. His studio backgrounds were eye-candy.

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Avenging Eagle definitely is a great film, but it's let down by a very rushed epilogue when it really needed a bit of time (though admittedly, the vast majority of Shaw Brothers films don't even have epilogues, though I'd argue many don't need them). Like several others in this thread, I think up for the title could also be Killer Constable and The Magic Blade which like Avenging Eagle are a bit more contemplative films that happen to be action films as well. I personally have a soft spot for some of the crazier ones out there like Super Inframan and Buddha's Palm just because of how much fun they are, but I doubt many would consider those two among the best of Shaw Brothers. Also, some of the early bashers are great stuff too like Five Fingers of Death and The Chinese Boxer. Jimmy Wang Yu might get some heat for being a very sub-par martial artist, but damn could he direct a movie and you won't see a better showcase of that directorial talent than in The Chinese Boxer.

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