Man of Iron
From The Deuce
Also Known As
- Chou lian huan (China)
- Der Mann mit der Tigerpranke (West Germany)
- Kamikaze del karate, I (Italy)
- Nouveau justicier de Shanghai, Le (France) (DVD title)
- Warrior of Steel (undefined)
- Released in 1972
- Running Time: 92 Min.
- Aspect Ratio: (2.35:1)
- Production Co: Shaw Brothers
- Distribution Co: Bardene International (1973) (USA) (dubbed)
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Chang Cheh and Hsueh Li Pao
- Written by Kuang Ni and Chang Cheh
- Starring Kuan Tai Chen, Li Ching, Mu Zhu, Ching Tien and Bolo Yeung
- Original Music by Yung-Yu Chen
- Cinematography by Ting Pan Yuan
- Film Editing by Ting Hung Kuo
Mixing elements of the gangster genre with the high-energy kung-fu fighting of Chinese cinema, Chang Cheh's Man of Iron showcases the talents of its young star, Kuan Tai Chen, exposing his skill as a fighter, as well as his capacity for conveying emotion. His performance lends a certain pathos to this tale of a fearless young crook on a mission to avenge his best friend and preserve his honor in post-war Shanghai.
Chen plays Qiu Lian Huan, a pompous and tough upstart Chinese gangster with a chip on his shoulder and a penchant for high-stakes gambling. After winning a large sum of cash from Xiao Kai, son of mob kingpin, Zhen Ting, Qiu takes a liking to the mobster's girl, Shen Ju Fang, a wealthy and gorgeous socialite. Being the brash troublemaker that he is, Qiu heads over to Shen's residence to demand that she accompany him to dinner. After fighting off nearly twenty gang henchman at her door and driving through a window on his motorcycle, the cocky juvenile seems a bit surprised that she so vehemently turns down his advances.
In response to Qiu's disrespect towards his lady, Xiao Kai sends some of his father's men (including an ever-so-buff Bolo Yeung) over to Qiu's place with orders to destroy everything in sight and rough up Qiu's partner and best friend, Geng Sheng. Too bad for them, Qiu arrives home before the intruders have left the premises and takes on the whole gang with a bicycle as a shield and the bike's chain as a weapon.
Qiu returns the cowardly Xiao Kai to his father mockingly using the bicycle chain as a dog collar. Zhen Ting respects the boy's brazen attitude and claims that he sees a bit of himself in Qiu's reckless behavior. As a reward, Zhen gives his son's girlfriend to Qiu, although she initially objects. Shen soon finds out that Qiu is a man of honor despite his rough exterior and they fall madly in love.
Unbeknownst to Zhen Ting, his power-hungry brother, Geng Bao, is sending a gang out to paddle Qiu's ass and claiming that the old man's name is on the handle. Staging an auto collision, they ambush Qiu and his men with wooden clubs, harming the "man of iron," but not stopping his unflappable force. Master Qiu absolutely demolishes them, bashing heads into poles, doing some seriously rapid chest punching and throwing a dude through a car window. The fight scene is a sight to behold and Chang Cheh & crew aren't afraid to let the battle go on long enough to show Chen's wit and scrappy charm as a resilient street fighter.
In another attempt to stir up trouble in the Chinese underworld, Geng Bao stabs Geng Sheng and drowns him by filling his stomach with lead after he pledges his allegiance to Master Qiu. Although it's a ploy to get Qiu to take down Zhen Ting's empire, the young upstart is still smart enough to realize that Zhen was too noble to commit such a heinous act. He sets his sights on the ever-growing Geng Bao empire and plots to take each of his men down one by one.
The ensuing final street battle is particularly poignant, showing a man who refuses to bow to the will of the powerful and bravely fight to the death to honor his loyal partner. It's one of the many stirring fights in this exciting Shaw Brothers' vehicle and will be particularly fun for fans of this genre.
Reviewed by Mdeapo 20:15, 8 March 2009 (UTC)