The 1920s gave way to the beginning of martial art movies and the legends that have made them ever-popular today. The films originated in Hong Kong and paved the way for impressive movie actors who have become heroes world-wide. This began with novel adaptions that featured the brilliant moves and swordplay in which these films are known.
The 1950s and Gordon Liu
Wong Fei Hung became a popular martial arts character who was portrayed by a multitude of actors including Gordon Liu. The character first hit the big screen in 1949 and became the inspiration for many martial artists for many years to come. You may recognize Jackie Chan among the actors who brought this character to the silver screen. Chan’s appearance occurred in the movie, Drunken Master. The real artist, Wong Fei Hung was known a the son of a Ten Tiger artist who was involved in the Shaolin monastery.
The Shaw Brothers Contributions
As the genre proceeded to grow, the Shaw Brothers capitalized on its popularity. This included a multitude of iconic films. Among them were Five Deadly Venoms, Five Element Ninjas, and The 36t Chamber of Shaolin. While these films remained primarily in the Asian movie market, it was Golden Harvest who broke through the barrier.
Chow and Cheung
Chow and Cheung presented the world with the most memorable and beloved martial arts of all time, Bruce Lee. Through the efforts of Golden Harvest, Lee would star in several films throughout the 1970s that would become the most iconic martial arts films the world would ever know. Among these efforts were Enter the Dragon, which also featured American film star, Chuck Norris. The production company continued to produce films that lead to further options for now martial arts greats, Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
The American Martial Artist
In the eighties, Chuck Norris became the ultimate action film star. What made him unique was his fighting style. It is through his martial arts training that Norris was able to break through as an American actor while continuing the tradition of showcasing this popular style.
Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Jason Statham are now top contenders among the martial arts world. These actors are known not only for their impressive martial arts stylings, but also for the fact that they do not use stunt doubles to complete these moves. Jackie Chan is known world-wide for his expoits and the many accidents in which he has suffered injuries and persevered.
Martial arts is based on a multitude of styles that originate from Japan and China. These styles of fighting are presented to movie-goers through their preferred actors and artists. The originality of these styles have presented fans with a rich history that has surpassed all expectations.