36th Chamber of Shaolin (Shao Lin san shi liu fang)

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Lau Kar-leung directs this revenge thriller, widely considered to be the greatest kung-fu flick of all time. Liu Yu-te (Gordon Lau Kar-fai) is a gentle ethics scholar until his family and friends are brutally slaughtered by a band of Manchu troops. Vowing revenge, he ventures to the fabled Shaolin temple hoping to become a one-man martial arts killing machine. Rechristened San Te, his first year at the temple is spent largely doing menial chores. His begins training during his second year, which involves passing through 35 chambers where he learns the finer points of kung-fu through grueling and excruciating tests. After a year of training, he moves on to learn about weapons. He soon proves to be the finest student in the history of the temple, mastering the entirety of the training in mere five years. He is cast out of the temple, however, for wanting to teach his skills to the masses. Once out of the temple, he assembles a team of fighters and sets out to get revenge. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Shao Lin san shi liu fang)

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (1)

  • 36th Chamber's nearly hourlong training sequence overshadows the rest of the movie, but it's the stuff of action-cinema legend.

    Apr 16, 2019 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Despite its relative lack of star power and modest budget, this Shaw Brothers kung fu movie was acclaimed in its day and is regarded as a landmark of the genre.

    Apr 16, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Gordon Liu's masterpiece returns to DVD in a terrific new edition that reconfirms its classic status.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Shao Lin san shi liu fang)

  • Apr 10, 2014
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 28, 2011
    As a huge Wu-Tang Clan fan for 15+ years now, it's a little embarrasing admitting its taken this long to finally see this Shaw Brothers classic. Liu Tsai is sick of seeing his fellow man slain by a usurping clan, he goes to Shaolin to train to become a monk. There he must pass through 35 chambers. At the end of his training however, he offers a 36th chamber, to go out and teach shaolin martial arts to the world. After 5 long years of traininghe's ready to kick some serious bad guy ass. The fight sequences are very good in this movie, and I found the training scenes to be very motivational. That being said I think that the movie lags a bit in the middle when Liu is training. Aside from that minor complaint I thoroughly enjoyed this martial arts classic. A must see!
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 29, 2011
    there is a reason that this is considered by many to be the greatest kung fu movie of all time. the training sequences are among the best and most comprehensive ever filmed, the story isnt quite unique but it is well crafted, and the fight sequences are solid. an amazing fictional tale that attempts to offer a possible history of the bringing of shaolin kung fu to the masses.
    danny d Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2010
    A solid notch above almost all other Shaw films I've seen, this one was more exciting and dramatically developed than the usual. And it looked great in HD.
    Steve K Super Reviewer

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