Film The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies  

Ranker Film
323 votes 182 voters 5.1k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite martial arts films that were released in the 1960s

The greatest ‘50s kung fu and other martial arts movies are a diverse group of films from all over Asia. Production companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan made influential and well-regarded movies full of epic battles, devastating betrayals, and beautiful fight sequences.


So what are the top ‘50s kung fu and other martial arts movies? In the 1950s, the Hong Kong film industry had not yet reached the levels of sophistication it would go on to achieve in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Many martial arts films of the ‘50s told the story of Huang Fei Hong, a popular Chinese folk hero and martial arts master. This character practically dominated the box office, appearing in countless films of the decade.

Japan also began to produce some of the best ‘50s kung fu and other martial arts movies. One director is responsible for a great many of these classic titles: Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa directed Seven Samurai (the film that inspired the classic western, The Magnificent Seven), The Hidden Fortress, and Rashomon.


On this list, you’ll also find Bruce Lee’s first starring role as a 10 year-old boy in
The Kid. Lee would go on to appear in many of the best ‘70s kung fu movies. Vote up the best martial arts films of the '50s, and let us know what you think in the comment section!

1
45 8
Ranker Video
Seven Samurai Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Eijirō Tōno Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film takes place in 1587 during the Warring States Period of Japan. It follows ...more

2
26 7
Ranker Video
Rashomon Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Machiko Kyō Rashomon is a 1950 Japanese period drama film directed by Akira Kurosawa, working in close collaboration with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa. It stars Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyō, Masayuki Mori ...more

3
28 9
Ranker Video
The Hidden Fortress Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Makatari Fujiwara The Hidden Fortress is a 1958 jidaigeki film directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune as General Makabe Rokurōta and Misa Uehara as Princess Yuki.

4
19 7
Tiger from Tjampa is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies
Tiger from Tjampa Wahid Chan, Nurnaningsih, RD Ismail Tiger from Tjampa is an Indonesian black and white drama film released in 1953, produced by Perfini, written and directed by D. Djajakusuma. It is still highly regarded today in Indonesia as an ...more

5
15 5
The Kid is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies
The Kid Bruce Lee, Feng Feng, Lee Hoi-chuen The Kid, also known as Kid Cheung and My Son A-Chang, is a 1950 Hong Kong drama film starring the then 10-year old Bruce Lee in his first leading role in the title role of "Kid ...more

6
14 5
Huang Fei Hong Vied for the Fi... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies

7
13 7
Rickshaw Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies
Rickshaw Man Toshiro Mifune, Chishū Ryū, Nobuo Nakamura Rickshaw Man is a 1958 color Japanese film directed by Hiroshi Inagaki. It tells the story of Muhōmatsu, a rickshaw man, starring Toshiro Mifune who becomes a surrogate father to the child of a ...more

8
16 11
Pendekar Bujang Lapok is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies
Pendekar Bujang Lapok P. Ramlee, Aziz Sattar, S. Shamsuddin Pendekar Bujang Lapok is a 1959 Singaporean comedy film directed by P. Ramlee. It is the second in the Bujang Lapok series of films, and stars the trio of P. Ramlee, S. Shamsuddin and Aziz ...more

9
10 8
Samurai Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies
Samurai Vendetta Shintaro Katsu, Ichikawa Raizō VIII, Saburo Date Samurai Vendetta is a 1959 Japanese Chambara film directed by Kazuo Mori starring Raizo Ichikawa and Shintaro Katsu, originally released by Daiei Film. It is seen as a depiction of the early ...more

10
6 5
The Five Heroes’ Deadly Spears is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies

11
5 4
The Boxer of Nanhai is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies

12
5 4
Heroine of Deadly Darts is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies

13
4 3
The Silver World of Stardom is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies

14
4 3
Ranker Video
slaft added Kung Pow! Enter the Fist Steve Oedekerk, Philip Kwok, Lau Kar-wing Kung Pow! Enter the Fist is a 2002 American martial arts comedy film that parodies Hong Kong action cinema. Starring Steve Oedekerk, it uses footage from the 1976 Hong Kong martial arts movie ...more

15
7 7
How Huang Fei Hong Vanquished ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies

16
2 9
How Shaolin Monastery was Redu... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '50s Martial Arts & Kung Fu Movies