film The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite martial arts films that were released in the 1970s

When you hear the name Bruce Lee, it automatically makes you think of some of the best kung fu movies from the 1970s. ‘70s kung fu movies are some of the most badass martial arts films of all time due to their fearless actors and fighters. The 1970s saw a backlash against wuxia-style martial arts films, which contain elements of fantasy and swordplay. The re-emergence of kung fu cinema brought gritty realism back to the silver screen. Even those less familiar with this particular era of film history will certainly remember some of Lee's most iconic films, such as Return of the Dragon.


What are the greatest ‘70s kung fu films? Robert Clouse, the famed American director of martial arts films, has several films on this list, including Bruce Lee’s only English-speaking starring role in
Enter the Dragon. You will also find numerous films directed by - or starring - Sammo Hung (the Hong Kong new wave titan.


If you’re a fan of hip-hop pioneers, The Wu-Tang Clan, you might recognize
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin as a major cultural influence on the group. This list of the top ‘70s kung fu movies has something for everyone, from Australian new wave flicks, like The Man from Hong Kong, to awesome, obscure pictures like Dance of the Drunk Mantis.
 
Vote up the best kung fu and martial arts films from the 1970s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section! 

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Enter the Dragon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse; starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. This was Bruce Lee's final film appearance before his death ...more

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Drunken Master is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Drunken Master Jackie Chan, Hwang Jang-lee, Lin Dai Drunken Master is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, and starring Jackie Chan, Yuen Siu-tien, and Hwang Jang Lee. The film was a success at the Hong Kong box office, ...more

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Return of the Dragon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Return of the Dragon Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao Way of the Dragon is a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film written, produced and directed by Bruce Lee, who also stars in the lead role. This was Bruce Lee's only completed ...more

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Five Deadly Venoms is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Five Deadly Venoms Philip Kwok, Chiang Sheng, Feng Lu Five Venoms aka Five Deadly Venoms is a cult 1978 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Chang Cheh, starring the Venom Mob, and produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio, about five kung-fu ...more

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Fist of Fury is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Nora Miao Fist of Fury, also known as The Chinese Connection and The Iron Hand in the United States, is a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Lo Wei, starring Bruce Lee in his second major role ...more

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The Chinese Connection is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies

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The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin Chia Hui Liu, Lau Kar-wing, Shen Chan The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, also known as The Master Killer and Shaolin Master Killer, is a 1978 Shaw Brothers kung fu film directed by Liu Chia-liang and starring Gordon Liu. The film follows ...more

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Heroes of the East is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Heroes of the East Chia Hui Liu, Yasuaki Kurata, Lung Chan Heroes of the East, also known as Challenge Of The Ninja, Shaolin Vs. Ninja and Shaolin Challenges Ninja is a martial arts film produced in 1978. It starred Gordon Liu and was directed by Lau ...more

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Master of the Flying Guillotin... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Master of the Flying Guillotine Philip Kwok, Lau Kar-wing, Kang Chin Master of the Flying Guillotine is a 1976 Taiwanese wuxia film starring Jimmy Wang Yu, who also wrote and directed the film. It is a sequel to Wang's 1971 film One Armed Boxer, and thus the film ...more

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Warriors Two is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Warriors Two Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Lau Kar-wing Warriors Two is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts film written and directed by Sammo Hung, who also co-stars in the film. The film stars Bryan Leung, Casanova Wong and Fung Hak-on. Leung plays the ...more

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Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow Jackie Chan, Hwang Jang-lee, Yuen Siu-tien Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Yuen Woo-ping in his directorial debut, and starring Jackie Chan, Hwang Jang Lee and Yuen Woo-ping's real ...more

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The Game of Death is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The Game of Death Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris Game of Death is an incomplete 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film directed, written, produced by and starring Bruce Lee, in his final film attempt. Lee died during the making of the film. Over 100 ...more

The Best '90s Kung Fu Movies

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Five Fingers of Death is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Five Fingers of Death Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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The Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The Street Fighter Sonny Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Tony Cetera The Street Fighter, literally Clash, Killer Fist!, is a Japanese martial arts film released in 1974 and produced by Toei Company Ltd. It was released in the US by New Line Cinema and became one ...more

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Crippled Avengers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Crippled Avengers Philip Kwok, Chiang Sheng, Miao Ching Crippled Avengers is a 1978 Shaw Brothers kung fu film directed by Chang Cheh and starring four members of the Venom Mob. It has been released in North America as Mortal Combat and Return of the ...more

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Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin Jackie Chan, Nora Miao, Kang Chin Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin is a 1978 Hong Kong action film directed by Chen Chi Hwa and starring Jackie Chan. It was released by the Lo Wei Motion Picture Company, a subsidiary of Golden ...more

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Lady Snowblood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Lady Snowblood Meiko Kaji, Kō Nishimura, Miyoko Akaza Lady Snowblood is a 1973 Japanese film directed by Toshiya Fujita and starring Meiko Kaji. It is based on a manga called Shurayukihime. It is the story of Yuki, a woman who seeks vengeance upon ...more

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Disciples of Shaolin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Disciples of Shaolin Alexander Fu Sheng, Hark-On Fung, Chiang Han

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Return of the Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Return of the Street Fighter Sonny Chiba, Shingo Yamashiro, Masafumi Suzuki Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Return of the Street Fighter is a 1974 martial arts film and the second in a series starting with The Street Fighter starring Sonny Chiba. In this sequel, Martial artist Takuma Tsurugi returns ...more

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Shaolin Temple is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Shaolin Temple Philip Kwok, Alexander Fu Sheng, David Chiang Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Shaolin Temple aka Death Chambers is a Shaw Brothers film directed by Chang Cheh. It is one of the Shaolin Temple themed martial arts films and concerns their rebellion against the Qings, with ...more

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Dance of the Drunk Mantis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Dance of the Drunk Mantis Hwang Jang-lee, Corey Yuen, Dean Shek Dance of the Drunk Mantis is a 1979 Hong Kong kung fu comedy film directed by Yuen Siu-tien's real life son Yuen Woo-ping, starring Yuen Siu-tien, Hwang Jang Lee, Linda Lin, Yuen Shun-yee, ...more

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A Touch of Zen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
A Touch of Zen Jackie Chan, Roy Chiao, Feng Hsu A Touch of Zen is a 1971 Taiwanese wuxia film directed by King Hu. The film won significant critical acclaim and became the first Chinese language action film ever to win a prize at the Cannes ...more

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Circle of Iron is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Circle of Iron Christopher Lee, Eli Wallach, David Carradine Circle of Iron is a 1978 martial arts and fantasy film co-written by Bruce Lee, who intended to star in the film himself, but died before production. The film is also known as The Silent Flute, ...more

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Odd Couple is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Odd Couple Sammo Hung, Lau Kar-wing, Bryan Leung Odd Couple is a 1979 Hong Kong film directed by Lau Kar Wing, who also stars, alongside Sammo Hung. It was the first film to be released by Gar Bo Motion Picture Company, an independent ...more

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Black Belt Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Black Belt Jones Scatman Crothers, Jim Kelly, Eric Laneuville Black Belt Jones is a 1974 American Blaxploitation action film directed by Robert Clouse and starring Jim Kelly. The main musical theme was performed by funk guitarist Dennis Coffey.

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The Trial of Billy Jack is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The Trial of Billy Jack Tom Laughlin, William Wellman Jr., Han Bong-soo The Trial of Billy Jack is a 1974 film starring Delores Taylor and Tom Laughlin. It is the sequel to the 1971 film Billy Jack and the third film overall in the series. Although commercially ...more

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Knockabout is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Knockabout Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Lau Kar-wing Knockabout is a 1979 Hong Kong martial arts comedy film directed by Sammo Hung and starring Hung and Yuen Biao.

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All Men Are Brothers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Monte Cox added All Men Are Brothers Bolo Yeung, David Chiang, Tetsurō Tamba All Men Are Brothers, also known as Seven Soldiers of Kung Fu, is a 1975 Hong Kong wuxia film based on the Chinese classical novel Water Margin. The film was produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio ...more

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Shaolin Master Killer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
I'Ron Green added Shaolin Master Killer

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Return to the 36th Chamber is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
I'Ron Green added Return to the 36th Chamber Chia Hui Liu, Hsiao Ho Return to the 36th Chamber is a 1980 Shaw Brothers Studio Hong Kong martial arts comedy film starring Gordon Liu. It was directed by Lau Kar-Leung and written by Ni Kuang. The film is the second ...more

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Dirty Ho is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Dirty Ho Chia Hui Liu, Lung Wei Wang, Wong Yue Dirty Ho is a 1979 Hong Kong martial arts-comedy film directed by Lau Kar-leung and starring Gordon Liu and Wong Yue.

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The Man from Hong Kong is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The Man from Hong Kong George Lazenby, Sammo Hung, Bill Hunter The Man from Hong Kong is a 1975 action film that marked the first Australian-Hong Kong co-production filmed in both nations. It was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith and starred Shanghai-born ...more

The Best '70s Horror Movies

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Last Hurrah for Chivalry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Last Hurrah for Chivalry Damian Lau, Lau Kong, Hoi Sang Lee Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Last Hurrah for Chivalry is a 1979 Hong Kong martial arts film written, produced and directed by John Woo, and starring Damian Lau and Wei Pai. The film is a precursor to Woo's heroic bloodshed ...more

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The Victim is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
padflix2000 added The Victim Sammo Hung, Wilson Tong, Bryan Leung The Victim is a humorous Hong Kong action film directed by Sammo Hung released in 1980. Starring Hung and Bryan Leung Kar Yan, the film is also known as Lightning Kung Fu and San bat yau gei. ...more

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Three the Hard Way is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Three the Hard Way Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly Three the Hard Way is a 1974 action blaxploitation film starring Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, and Jim Kelly, written by Eric Bercovici and Jerrold L. Ludwig and directed by Gordon Parks, Jr. ...more

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The Legend of the 7 Golden Vam... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires Peter Cushing, Julie Ege, David Chiang The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is a 1974 horror film produced by Hammer Studios and Shaw Brothers Studio. It was released in North America in an edited version as The Seven Brothers Meet ...more

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Rumble in Hong Kong is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Rumble in Hong Kong

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The Super Inframan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The Super Inframan Danny Lee, Bruce Le, Hap Wong The Super Inframan is a Hong Kong Science fiction Tokusatsu film produced by Shaw Brothers Studio in 1975. Based upon the huge success of the Japanese tokusatsu shows Ultraman and Kamen Rider in ...more

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Incident at Blood Pass is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Incident at Blood Pass Toshiro Mifune, Shintaro Katsu, Yorozuya Kinnosuke Machibuse is a 1970 Japanese drama film directed by Hiroshi Inagaki.

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Billy Jack is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
Billy Jack Tom Laughlin, Howard Hesseman, Johnny Otis Billy Jack is a 1971 action/drama independent film; the second of four films centering on a character of the same name which began with the movie The Born Losers, played by Tom Laughlin, who ...more

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The Fearless Hyena is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '70s Kung Fu Movies
The Fearless Hyena Jackie Chan, James Tien The Fearless Hyena is a 1979 Hong Kong kung fu film directed by and starring Jackie Chan. The film was co-directed by Kenneth Tsang. The film has been released on several alternative titles ...more