Sammo Hung is one of the most influential people in Hong Kong Cinema over the past 30 years. He has worked with all the greats including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen. What follows is 5 of my top 10 of his films, in no particular order in which he has a major role. This was not easy as he has starred and directed so many great films. (Click on the pictures or the titles if you wish to purchase these films from Amazon.).
Amazing Eastern version of the Dirty Dozen has a group of Asian American ex-con GIs, dropped into post-pullout Vietnam to destroy a cache of weapons the Americans forgetfully left behind. What follows is an amazing array of actions scenes especially one in the jungle and the 20 minute finale in a weapons dump which has some of the best bone crunching action Sammo has ever done.
Set in beautifully recreated Macau in the 1930’s Sammo is a Pedicab Driver who comes face to face with an evil crime lord and when his close friend is murdered he sets out to get revenge at any cost. Fantastic directing and acting make this a fan favourite and its easy to see why, The action is what you expect especially the brutal finale but also his fantastic duel with Shaw Brothers veteran Lau Kar Leung in a gambling den. Amazingly this is not officially available on dvd anywhere as the rights were bought up by Warners who have sat on it ever since. A disgrace as this is action cinema at its finest.
A recreation of the childhood of the Peking Opera Troup the Seven Little Fortunes and there daily training routines and how the changing face of Hong Kong in the sixties makes opera more and more obsolete.
Sammo plays his own master in the film Yuen Jim Yuen, a stern teacher who often beat his students if they did wrong. This is a great insight into the early days of training that Sammo and his famous class mates Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao went through. Sadly this is not available on dvd anywhere at the moment.
The quintessential Wing Chun movie stars Yuen Biao as Leung Jaan, who believes he is the best fighter in town. However, an encounter with a Chinese Opera performer named Leung Yee-Tai (played by the late great Lam Ching-Ying) soon has him thinking differently. After an encounter with another kung fu expert Ngai Fai (Frankie Chan) Yee Tai decides to teach Leung Jan Wing Chun and the time will come for him to face Ngai Fai for one final battle. One of the finest traditional kung fu movies ever made from the story to the intricate choreography this film has it all. A must have.
Sammo has made trends in Hong Kong cinema happen and he did it with this effort, brilliantly blending horror, comedy and action. He stars as Cheung the Brave, whose specialty is to spend the night in haunted houses. When his cheating wife hires a Taoist priest to lure him into a trap which will either scare him to death or bring about his demise, he teams up with a rival priest to do battle with deadly opponents from both this world and the next. Hopping corpses, battles on top of alters and being possessed by fighting spirits they all blend perfectly in this hugely enjoyable film.