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Classic Martial Arts Directors: 4 Filmmakers Who Stand Out

By    |   Saturday, 14 Nov 2015 10:45 PM

A niche within the action-adventure film genre, martial arts movies require directing skills unlike most other types of films. The plots of many martial arts movies often are secondary to the action. Directors must be able to capture action sequences that will appease their audience and, at the same time, drive the story forward.

Here is a look at some directors and the classic martial arts movies that they helmed.

1. Robert Clouse
Robert Clouse had the opportunity to direct probably the best known of all of the martial arts superstars – Bruce Lee. Clouse served as director for the only movie that features Lee speaking English, "Enter the Dragon," which came out in 1973 just prior to Lee's death, according to The New York Times. He also finished the film that Lee was working on at the time of his death, "Game of Death," which Lee was directing, producing, and starring in. Crouse completed the filming of "Enter the Dragon" using stunt doubles who resembled Lee. Other martial arts-related films in Clouse's portfolio include "Gymkata," "Black Belt Jones," and "The Big Brawl."

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2. Wei Lo
Another popular Hong Kong film director, Wei Lo is often credited for launching the film careers of both Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, according to IMDb. Lee got his big break in Lo's 1971 film "The Big Boss," as well as in 1972's "The Chinese Connection." Chan made his acting debut in Lo's "New Fist of Fury," which came out in 1976.

3. Chia-Liang Liu
Although not a household name in the U.S., Chia-Liang Liu is considered one of the best filmmakers of martial arts films in his native Hong Kong. Like Chan, he worked in several aspects of martial arts movies, such as an actor and choreographer. However, his work behind the camera, such as 1978's "Shaolin Mantis" and "36th Chamber of Shaolin," 1980's "My Young Auntie," and 1982's "Legendary Weapons of China." He would later receive his most acclaim for his work on Jackie Chan's "Drunken Master II," which came out in 1994.

4. Jackie Chan
Known more for his activities in front of the camera, martial arts star Chan has been a success behind the lens as well, AllMovie noted. His best-known effort is 1986's "Police Story," which is the story of an undercover cop who is part of an effort to bring down a major crime lord in Hong Kong. The film was well received in his homeland, and earned him the Best Director award at the 1986 Hong Kong Film Awards. Chan has directed several other films in which he himself starred, including "Police Story 2," the sequel to "Police Story," and 2012's "Chinese Zodiac."

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A niche within the action-adventure film genre, martial arts movies require directing skills unlike most other types of films. The plots of many martial arts movies often are secondary to the action.
classic, martial arts, directors, filmmakers
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2015-45-14
Saturday, 14 Nov 2015 10:45 PM
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