films seen
32
average score
2.62*
nationality
China - 87 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Legendary Shaw Bros director who set himself apart by introducing more fantasy elements into his work, next to the mandatory martial arts exploits of course. His rich and expansive oeuvre is sure to keep you occupied for years to come.

Solid pieces

Perils of the Sentimental Swordsman

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Chu Liu Xiang Zhi You Ling Shan Zhuang
Specifics
1982 / 87m - Hong Kong
Genre
Fantasy, Adventure
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Perils of the Sentimental Swordsman poster

One of Chor's best. The film is quite short and to the point, contains some nifty action sequences, some stand-out fantasy elements and it benefits tremendously from Chor's trademark colorful and atmospheric cinematography. It's everything a great Shaw Bros film should be, and it delivers in spades.

Heroes Shed No Tears

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Ying Xiong Wu Lei
Specifics
1980 / 111m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Heroes Shed No Tears poster

A very fine epic by Yuen Chor. There are some moments of genuine beauty here, making this one of Chor's best films. At the same time the film isn't entirely without fault, which keeps it from becoming and all-time Shaw Bros best. But Shaw Bros fans owe it to themselves to seek this one out.

Like many of Chor's best films, Heroes Shed No Tears has strong fantasy elements. Not so much in the plot or characters, it's the setting that feels very fantastical. Moody lighting, beautiful sets and plenty of smoke make for an extremely atmospheric film. The fitting score also adds to the film.

The action is solid, but nothing you haven't seen before. My main critique is that the film's a bit too long. Some scenes are extremely talkative and the plot/characters aren't that interesting to warrant so much dialogue. Some tighter editing would've helped, but in the end Chor's amazing direction prevails.

Iron Chain Fighter

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Cha Chi Nan Fei
Specifics
1980 / 96m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Iron Chain Fighter poster

Yuen Chor doing what he does best. While Chor didn't mind jumping between different genres, few will contest that he made his best work when he stuck to doing martial arts cinema. Though there aren't any fantastical elements here, the atmospheric lighting immediately betrays Chor's hand.

The plot offers a rather basic revenge story. Teng Piao spends 15 years in jail after being framed for drugs trafficking. When he's finally out, he cares about only one thing: getting back at the guy who framed him. Piao knows he goes by the name Black Leopard, but he doesn't know what the guy looks like.

Iron Chain Fighter is a pretty typical Shaw Bros production, except that Chor adds tons of visual flair. The action scenes are cool, the sets look stylish, the plot is simple but fun. If you don't like Shaw Bros films this one won't change your mind, but fans of the studio will find a very accomplished film here.

Duel for Gold

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Huo Bing
Specifics
1971 / 100m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Duel for Gold poster

One of Yuen Chor's finer martial arts films. A film that feels at least 10 years ahead of its time, as it would've worked quite well as a bridge between the typical Shaw Bros productions and the early martial arts work of Jackie Chan. That's quite something for a project made during the early years of the Shaw Bros boom.

The plot is basic, but what did you expect with a title like Duel for Gold. A safe house houses a big stash of gold, which attracts a few interested parties. They all want to get their hands on the gold, but the house is guarded by a pretty capable martial artist. They'll have to work together to get by him, but splitting up the loot afterwards may prove to be just as treacherous.

The fight choreography is pretty imaginative for its time, performances are solid, there's a lot of backstabbing and changing dynamics that keeps the plot interesting, and he sets have that typical Shaw Bros charm. Solid genre fun with some standout moments that make this a worthy Shaw Bros classic. Oh, and one of the best Shaw Bros endings ever.

The inoffensive

Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Ai Nu Xin Zhuan
Specifics
1984 / 88m - Hong Kong
Genre
Romance, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan poster

Not long ago I completely dismissed Yuen Chor's ability to do romance, now I have to retrace my steps. In a typical history/Shaw Bros setting, it appears Chor can work his magic. De mix of romance and action is solid, the film looks nice enough and the drama actually hits. An interesting experiment that is a lot classier than I expected it to be.

The Roving Swordsman

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Shen Sheng Yi
Specifics
1983 / 84m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action, Mystery
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Roving Swordsman poster

Moody and atmospheric martial arts film. One of Yuen Chor's later films, and it shows this came from a seasoned director who felt at ease making the kind of films he likes. Not the most original or surprising film in other words, but well executed and decent filler for people who can't get enough of the Shaw Bros library.

The Spirit of the Sword

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Huan Hua Xi Jian
Specifics
1982 / 92m - Hong Kong
Genre
Fantasy, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Spirit of the Sword poster

Another solid Yuen Chor film. Plotwise it doesn't differ too much from all the other Shaw Bros films, but Chor's trademark touch of fantasy is what makes his films stand out. Set design and some rudimentary but effective special effects create a fantastical atmosphere that is well ahead of its time. Good, but only for fans of the Shaw Bros films.

Duel of the Century

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Liu Xiao Feng Zhi Jue Zhan Qian Hou
Specifics
1981 / 94m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action, Mystery
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Duel of the Century poster

A fine Yuen Chor martial arts film. The sets look pretty cool, the camera work is on point and there's plenty of action. The plot is not quite as interesting, but because the production design is well above average Shaw Bros quality, that's not really an issue. This is the kind of film Chor built his reputation on.

The Black Lizard

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Hei Xi Yi
Specifics
1981 / 82m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Black Lizard poster

The Proud Twins

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Jue Dai Shuang Jiao
Specifics
1979 / 112m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Proud Twins poster

Yuen Chor going the Jackie Chan route, but within the comfort of the all too familiar Shaw Bros context. Compared to his other films the comedy elements jump out immediately, the rest of the film is very much in line with the Chor's typical style. A fun diversion for fans of the Shaw Bros studio, but not as good as Chan's stand-out films from that era.

Swordsman and Enchantress

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Xiao Shi Yi Lang
Specifics
1978 / 89m - Hong Kong
Genre
Fantasy, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Swordsman and Enchantress poster

Shaw Bros, Yuen Chor style. That means classic martial arts action, but with pointed fantasy touches. Chor is definitely one of the better SB directors, not in the least because he also pays attention to more than just the action. His films look better than the average SB film, without taking anything away from the fighting. Good stuff.

The Sentimental Swordsman

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
To Ching Chien Ko Wu Ching Chien
Specifics
1977 / 96m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Sentimental Swordsman poster

The Magic Blade

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Tien Ya Ming Yueh Tao
Specifics
1976 / 86m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Magic Blade poster

The Web of Death

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Wu Du Tian Luo
Specifics
1976 / 87m - Hong Kong
Genre
Fantasy, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Web of Death poster

If Cheh Chang is the SB grand master of traditional martial arts, Yuen Chor is his equal when it comes to fantasy/martial arts blends. The Web of Death is an amusing, yet cheesy and somewhat inconspicuous film in his oeuvre. There's a lot of fun to be had here, but apart from the fact that it's "something with spiders", it's not too memorable.

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Ai Nu
Specifics
1972 / 86m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan poster

The Lizard

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Bi Hu
Specifics
1972 / 99m - Hong Kong
Genre
Fantasy, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Lizard poster

Clans of Intrigue

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Chu Liu Xiang
Specifics
1977 / 102m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action, Adventure
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Clans of Intrigue poster

Vintage Yuen Chor. Though maybe one of the Shaw Bros directors who tried out working in the most different genres, he is best known for his particular blend of martial arts and fantasy, focusing more on mood and mystique than action and acrobatics. Clans of Intrigue is a perfect example, making this a prime entry film for people wanting to explore Chor's oeuvre.

Hsiang is known in the world of martial artists as a master thief. When three prominent men are found dead, poisoned, people suspect Hsiang is the killer. He claims he is being set up, but the only way to prove his Innocence is by unmasking the real killers. He sets off on a perilous journey, guided only by a handful of clues.

After seeing oodles of Shaw Bros films, something like Clans of Intrigue does have trouble standing out. The characters, the plot, the trademark sets, it's everything you'd expect from a 70s Shaw Bros production. But Chor's set designs and eye for visual detail do stand out. Not as much as with some of his best films, but it makes that Clan of Intrigue is a worthwhile genre flick.

Death Duel

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
San Shao Ye De Jian
Specifics
1977 / 90m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Death Duel poster

A typical, solid Yuen Chor/Shaw Bros production. Death Duel is an ideal introduction for people who aren't familiar with either or neither. It's a classic 70s Hong Kong martial arts film that showcases Chor's typical strengths and weaknesses, and does so neatly within the 90-minute timeframe.

Every century, a battle is staged between the best Chinese and Japanese martial artists, to decide which one can claim the ultimate title. The reigning Chinese representative isn't too interested in this showy spectacle and decides to stage his own death, hoping to avoid all the hassle.

Chor's martial arts scenes are no match for those of Cheh Chang or Chia-Liang Liu, but he's easily the most capable of all the Shaw Bros directors. Impressive set designs and smart use of color and lighting give Chor's films some extra shine. The rest is pretty basic Shaw Bros material. Amusing, but quite repetitive.

Sex, Love and Hate

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Wu Yi
Specifics
1974 / 89m - Hong Kong
Genre
Romance, Musical
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Sex, Love and Hate poster

Like Cheh Chang, famous Shaw Bros director Yuen Chor also loved to branch out once in a while. Unlike Chang, he had a penchant for romance. That sounds like a recipe for disaster (and sometimes it was), but Sex, Love and Hate is actually a pretty decent film. No doubt a bit sappy at times, but overall I liked it quite a bit more than I expected.

Three women in contemporary Hong Kong are sharing a house together. They each have a very different idea of what love is supposed to be. Pai Mei wants to marry rich and live a comfortable life, Chu Tai just wants to get married at all cost and Yao Yao is saving herself for the right man. But love isn't that straightforward.

The soundtrack isn't great and the drama is a bit much, but the cinematography elevates the film above the usual Shaw Bros fare and the film is actually quite atmospheric. Performances are decent and even though the characters are a little too stereotypical, Sex, Love and Hate succeeds in what it sets out to do. Not bad, just don't expect a typical Chor martial arts epic.

The Bastard

by Yuen Chor
Specifics
1973 / 102m - Hong Kong
Genre
Romance, Action
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Bastard poster

Another trademark Yuen Chor film for the Shaw Bros studios. He's clearly one of their most skilled directors, though his tendency to mix in other genres (like drama and romance) sometimes backfires. The romance certainly isn't the strongest part of The Bastard, the rest of the film offers plenty of compensation.

The plot is very basic. We follow an orphan who was brought up in a monastery. When he is of age, the monk sends him on a quest to find his father. On his way he befriends a female beggar, who joins him on his quest. When he finally meets up with his father, he isn't the man he hoped he would be.

The cinematography is well above par for a Shaw Bros production, the action scenes are proper, and the finale doesn't disappoint. The romance never quite finds its footing though and the performances are borderline acceptable. Chor's martial arts films rarely disappoint though and they offer a nice diversion from the more standard Shaw Bros productions.

Worthy but flawed

Full Moon Scimitar

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Yuan Yue Wan Dao
Specifics
1979 / 95m - Hong Kong
Genre
Romance, Action
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Full Moon Scimitar poster

A somewhat run-of-the-mill Shaw Bros production. The trademark elements of Yuen Chor are present, but the execution felt a bit lazy. The action scenes are a little dull, the fantasy look isn't entirely on point and the romance can't quite carry the film either. It's not a bad production, rather basic Shaw Bros filler that should only appeal to core fans only.

Killer Clans

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Liu Xing Hu Die Jian
Specifics
1976 / 97m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Killer Clans poster

Visually quite accomplished and a clear step above the usual Shaw Bros films, but the strong focus on an uninteresting plot keeps this film from becoming a true Shaw Bros classic. The somewhat mediocre fight scenes don't really help out either. Decent Chor production, but he should stick to pure fantasy and action cinema.

Dubious filler

Sleazy Dizzy

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Xiao Tou A Xing
Specifics
1990 / 89m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Crime
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Sleazy Dizzy poster

Bat without Wings

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Wu Yi Bian Fu
Specifics
1980 / 88m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action, Mystery
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Bat without Wings poster

Lover's Destiny

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Xin Ti Xiao Yin Yuan
Specifics
1975 / 89m - Hong Kong
Genre
Romance
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Lover's Destiny poster

Yuen Chor takes another stab at romance. I'm actually surprised he made so many movies outside the martial arts genre, though I get why these films didn't travel well. The direction here is in fact quite nice, but the plot is pretty dull and the acting is well over-the-top. I'm sure there's an audience for these films, but I'm not part of it.

The Villains

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Tu Fei
Specifics
1973 / 80m - Hong Kong
Genre
Romance, Action
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
The Villains poster

Not one of Chor's better films. It's a pretty straightforward martial arts flick, with some romantic squabbles in between. The action feels a little muddled and the romance is overdone. Luckily it's a short film and the pacing makes sure it never lags. Not an entire waste of one's time, but hardly a priority for Shaw Bros fans.

Hong Kong 73

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Heung Gong Chat Sup Sam
Specifics
1974 / 95m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Hong Kong 73 poster

Yuen Chor directs a full-blown comedy. Compared to other Shaw Bros directors, Chor seems to be more versatile. Or at least more willing to try out different genres, as his talent for comedy turns out to be very limited. There's no lack of loud, nervous banter here, but actual jokes are few and far between.

Hong Kong is doing very well in the 70s. The Hang Seng Index is soaring and Hong Kong citizens are eager to play the stock market, even though they have little to no experience. A security guard and his landlord get lucky and hit it big, but their sudden wealth comes with its own set of problems.

The most notable element of this film is the soundtrack, which almost sounds like it was made for a video game, only video games didn't really exist back then. Performances are mediocre, and the comedy is limited, luckily the pacing is solid, and the runtime is pretty short. Chor feels a bit lost with this material, but it's interesting to see him take on all these different genres.

Plain forgettable

Diary of a Big Man

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Daai Jeung Foo Yat Gei
Specifics
1988 / 86m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Romance
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Diary of a Big Man poster

The idea of Yuen Chor and Chow Yun-Fat making a comedy may sound appealing, but the fact is that both just aren't made for the genre. It feels more like a cheap Jing Wong comedy, with some lame jokes, atrocious acting and a boring, repetitive plot. Best to just skip this one, unless you really like the people involved.

Fascinating Affairs

by Alfred Cheung, Yuen Chor, Jing Wong
Also known as
Hua Xin Hong Xing
Specifics
1985 / 94m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Romance
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Fascinating Affairs poster

Regardless of all the big names involved, Fascinating Affairs is a pretty rushed and flat hotchpotch of genres that never really finds its footing. Loud, poorly acted, lazily directed and often aimless, it's a film that seemed confident that star power would be enough to attract people. Poor filler, only for true completists.

Haunted Tales

by Yuen Chor, Tun Fei Mou
Also known as
Die Xian
Specifics
1980 / 61m - Hong Kong
Genre
Horror, Thriller
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Haunted Tales poster

A horror anthology from the Shaw Bros studios. If you can call it that, as it's really just two middle-length films back to back. Hong Kong has a pretty meager track record when it comes to horror cinema, but with Chor Yuen involved as director of the first film, I was willing to give this one a shot.

Chor is pretty good with atmosphere, so on paper he should be a great fit for horror. Some of his martial arts work had promising horror elements too, but it seems straight up horror isn't really his thing. Performances are poor, effects look shabby and the ghost story isn't scary at all.

The second film comes from Tun Fei Mou, who fares even worse. The story has supernatural elements, and that's about it really. It isn't until the very last minute that we finally see some blood (read red paint), the rest is just cheep and disappointing. Not a very good Shaw Bros film, it's rare to see them do well outside the martial arts genre.

The Big Holdup

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Da Jie An
Specifics
1975 / 92m - Hong Kong
Genre
Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
The Big Holdup poster

Attempts of the Shaw Bros studio to branch out have rarely been successful. Yuen Chor takes his usual martial arts crew and turns them into bank robbers, coming out the other side with a veritable heist film. Safe one or two decent action scenes, the result is a rather slow and overly sentimental misfire.

Five men with no prior history as criminals band together and plan a heist. The heist itself goes surprisingly well, but as is always the case with this type of film, the problems start afterwards. When they get the police on their tail and the members begin to distrust each other, a fated ending seems unavoidable.

Yuen Chor doesn't do much with this film. The plot isn't anything special, the cinematography is bland, the pacing is too slow as the tension is lacking and the drama is way overblown. It's understandable that the Shaw Bros wanted something to fall back on when martial arts would inevitably go out of style, but there's more to it than just jumping from one genre into the next with the same team of people. Not very good.

Big nopes

The Forbidden Past

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Xiao Lou Can Meng
Specifics
1979 / 81m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
The Forbidden Past poster

Cheh Chang doing contemporary action is a little awkward, but it has nothing on Yuen Chor doing romance. The film is incredibly cheesy, from the poor performances to the horrendous soundtrack and the tepid drama, nothing works. It's a disaster from start to finish, though somehow it's an oddly compelling disaster if you're familiar with Chor's work.