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Movies That Displayed Real Chops

November 19, 2000

Most of these stars learned their choreography from the Yuen brothers, Wo Ping and Cheung Yan. A quick guide to landmark martial arts films.

"Come Drink With Me" (1965)

Star: Cheng Pei Pei.

Director: King Hu.

The first martial arts film with a female lead. The movie made Cheng a star and launched a series of martial arts films starring women.


"The Big Boss," released in the U.S. as "Fists of Fury" (1971)

Star: Bruce Lee.

Director: Lo Wei.

Lee's first international hit demonstrated his innovative street-style of kung fu fighting. His style eventually eclipsed that of female protagonists and more choreographed martial arts.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday November 26, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Page 2 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
Wrong credit--Tsui Hark received sole director credit for the 1991 film "Once Upon a Time in China." A story in the Nov. 19 Sunday Calendar erroneously gave credit to more than one director.


"The Drunken Master" (1978)

Star: Jackie Chan.

Director: Yuen Wo Ping.

The second collaboration between Yuen and Chan. The film launched Chan's career, effectively fusing comedy and kung fu.


"Once Upon a Time in China" (1991)

Star: Jet Li.

Directors: Yuen Cheung Yan and Tsui Hark, among others.

Won Yuen and Tsui the best action director award at the Hong Kong Film Festival and the film that made Jet Li a star.


"Supercop" (1992--released in the U.S. in 1996)

Stars: Michelle Yeoh and Jackie Chan.

Director: Stanley Tong.

Yeoh became the highest-paid female star in Hong Kong after starring in this hit film with Chan.


"The Heroic Trio" (1992)

Stars: Anita Mui, left, Michelle Yeoh and Maggie Cheung.

Director: Johnny To and Chiang Siu-Tung.

Major action film starring women as a trio of crime-fighters.


"Wing Chun" (1994)

Star: Michelle Yeoh.

Director: Yuen Wo Ping.

Another popular film starring Yeoh as a small city's martial arts star who protects her sister and friends from menacing bandits.


"The Matrix" (1999)

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne.

Directors: Larry and Andy Wachowski.

A breakthrough futuristic film that effectively fused special effects and martial arts. It was also the first Hollywood film choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping.


"Charlie's Angels" (2000)

Stars: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu.

Director: McG.

The first Hollywood film to be choreographed by Yuen Cheung Yan.


"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000)

Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Cheng Pei Pei, Zhang Ziyi and Chow Yun-Fat.

Director: Ang Lee.

The first martial arts film directed by Ang Lee. The movie updates the old martial arts films of the director King Hu.

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