One-Armed Boxer, The | aka The Chinese Professionals (1971) Review

"The One-Armed Boxer" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"The One-Armed Boxer" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Director: Jimmy Wang Yu
Writer: Jimmy Wang Yu
Producer: Raymond Chow Man Wai
Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lung Fei, Blacky Ko Sau Leung, Tin Yau, Sit Hon, Chan San Yat, Wong Wing Sang, To Wai Wo, Hsieh Hsing, Kwan Hung, Cheung Yee Kwai, Choi Wang, Hau Pak Wai, Lui Jun, Ma Chin Ku, Man Man, Ng Tung Kiu, O Yau Man, Shan Mao, Su Chen Ping, Wong Fei Lung, Yip Fei Yang
Running Time: 89 min.

By T. J. Gushiniere

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers.

Combine the “Dirty Dozen” with the “Magnificent Seven” and you have “The One-Armed Boxer” (retitled “The Chinese Professionals” for its release to western audiences in 1973). A Kung fu Beast, Siamese Devils, Tibetan Tiger Men, The Invincible Yoga Kahn and The One-Armed Boxer — a total of 9 masters of the martial arts to tear the screen apart!

Imagine seeing the coming attractions for this feature at your local theatre, which is exactly what happened to me, as this was my first Jimmy Wang Yu film I ever saw. Jimmy stars in, directs, and wrote the screenplay for “The One-Armed Boxer.”

Liu Ti Lung (Jimmy Wang Yu) is the number one pupil of Teacher Hang Tui. While eating a meal at the local tea house, Liu Ti Lung and his class mates witness the Hook Gang bullying a customer. Liu Ti Lung and friends beat up the bad guys, which leads to a larger fight later in a valley, where several pupils from both sides are injured. Chao, the leader of the Hook Gang, asks his men who started the fight; of course they lie and say Liu Ti Lung did…

Seeds for the old revenge plot begin!

Chao visits Hang Tui’s school demanding that Liu Ti Lung be handed over to him. Hang Tui tries to reason with him, but a fight breaks out in which Chao and his students are beaten. Worried over the Hook Gang’s reputation, Chao hires a group of mercenaries who specialize in other forms of martial arts to gain his revenge.

Enter Lung Fei and his 2 disciples, practitioners of Okinawan Karate; Blacky Ko Sau Leung and his partner, both Thai Kick boxers; Ng Tung Kiu, a Judo expert; Shan Mao, a Tae Kwon Do expert; Pan Lin Chun, who uses a deadly form of Yoga; And Last but not least are Chang Kuei Yi and Su Ping-Jen, as two Tibetan Lamas.

The stage is set and the battle begins at Hang Tui’s school…

The mercenaries challenge the best students in one-on-one duels to the death. Liu Ti Lung shows his skill as he defeats the Tae Kwon Do expert and Lung Fei’s disciple. Lung Fei becomes enraged and chops Liu Ti Lung’s arm off with his bare hands! The school is then destroyed after Lung Fei kills Hang Tui. Liu Ti Lung is the only survivor and is found and nursed back to health by a doctor/herbalist and his daughter.

Bitter that he can not defeat his enemies with one arm, Liu Ti Lung begins to brood, even though the daughter is falling in love with him. It is here that she tells Liu Ti Lung her father can give him the power to get his revenge. All Liu Ti Lung has to do is burn all the nerves out of his remaining hand, and stick it in a jar of special herb medicine that’s been brewing for 30 years!

Liu Ti Lung emerges from this ordeal with a literal iron fist. We when see Liu Ti Lung pick off his foes with Charn Kuen Do, a new fighting art for the handicapped (I kid you not!). Complete with the theme from “Shaft” (which plays in the original language version), Liu Ti Lung will not lose!

Jimmy Wang Yu is not one of the best screen fighters, but his good movies were innovative for the time and full of action and gimmicks that will make you smile. If you can ignore the fact that Jimmy is hiding his arm – as well as suspending your disbelief at the loss of limbs without major amounts of gushing blood – you may enjoy this old school classic!

For me, “The One-Armed Boxer” is one-of-a-kind.

T. J. Gushiniere’s Rating: 7/10

By Perkele

The ultimate Jimmy Wang Yu film! I recommend this totally hilarious attempt to every martial arts and trash cinema fanatics worldwide! Wang Yu offers us another bloody revenge tale filled with intense fight scenes and amusingly stupid… everything! This flick makes you wonder whether Wang Yu and company found out how to make a laughable and fun movie, or are they really just BAD filmmakers? It seems the latter statement is correct because the film tries hard to be dead serious. But I can’t believe that even in Hong Kong, back in 1970 (when the movie was a big hit), the audience could have sat through it not laughing their eyes out; And that’s only a good thing. What’s more, the actual kung fu delivers too. Brutal, entertaining, and sometimes very amusing – it’s a major improvement from Wang Yu’s previous classic “Chinese Boxer”.

The mind-dazzling plot has an evil kung fu master being beaten up by Wang Yu’s teacher and returning later with hired assassins including: Japanese karate experts (what else), tibeatian llamas, thai-boxers, a mystical yoga master and ultimately a big, long-haired karate master (complete with bushy eyebrows and two shiny vampire-like fangs) who chops limbs with his bare hands! He growls like a retard and is one of the best kung fu movie villains having a gloomy death metal-outlook. So this wild buch kills Wang Yu’s teacher and all his fellow students. Wang Yu looses his arm (and the rest of the movie he tries to keep this “cut” arm unvisible under his shirt, with quite hillarious consequences) and by accident is saved by an old man who knows how to make one arm strong as iron (by killing all it’s nerves with hot rocks). What comes next is a series of most wildest training methods ever filmed as Wang Yu trains his arm.

Perkele’s Rating: 6/10

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About T. J. Gushiniere

Former Military Police Sergeant, and currently a civillian police officer. Hobbies include viewing and collecting martial arts films. Reading fantasy/sci-fi novels and trying to stay fit. Boring but " I am the law! "
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7 Responses to One-Armed Boxer, The | aka The Chinese Professionals (1971) Review

  1. JJ Hatfield says:

    This one was quite a while ago but your vivid description brought it all back! I have an ancient VHS copy I don’t dare actually put in the VCR. Despite being stored well the outside has turned light gray and the tape itself is an odd shade of pink. I guess it should go in a museum.

    I love your reviews! You remember details about the way or style the fighters use as if it was all very real. Sometimes your reviews are so convincing I will go back and take another look at a film just because you seem to like it so well!

    Keep on writing!


    • T. J. Gushiniere says:

      Thanks JJ! I felt a little more comfortable putting this review together. Hopefully, I can get a few more out there, I’m still finding my way. I hope our mutual colleague is reading, and will get his butt out of semi-retirement!

  2. The film sounds entertaining! I’ve only seen the sequel. So, the flashback in Part II are ones that actually appeared in THIS movie?

    • T. J. Gushiniere says:

      EXactly! The flashback scene in the sequel are ones from this movie. The interesting thing is…………….that would be telling. My next review is for the sequel. If you enjoyed the sequel, you should check this one out.

  3. Talus says:

    Great review,…I saw this when it came out in 73′ only because I was able to talk my mom into taking me to see it ,( being rated “R” and me being 7-8 yrs. old at the time). It was my first taste of Asian martial arts movies. I loved it and oddly enough Mom dug it too. Now I’m going to attempt to track it down for purchase. Hope it’s out there on DVD .

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