The Kid with the Golden Arm

 (136)7.11 h 21 min1979R
Director Chang Cheh reunites the Five Venoms in his second biggest cult hit in the West. It's Lo Meng's most memorable performances whose showdown with fellow Venom Kuo Chue is artistically violent while being graphically artsy.
Chang Cheh
Sun ChienLo MengPan Ping-chang
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Lu FengChiang Sheng
Runme Shaw
Celestial Pictures Limited
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Alcohol useviolence
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4.7 out of 5 stars

136 global ratings

  1. 83% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

gd31358wReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of those movies that define the martial arts genre!!!
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It seems like everyone who knows a little bit of kung fu movies have seen this & rightfully so. This is probably the 3rd most recognizable films of the entire genre ranking right behind 5 (Deadly) Venoms & King Boxer (otherwise known in the US as 5 Fingers of Death). Of course I'm excluding the Bruce Lee catalog of movies which speaks for themselves.

The movie is about a shipment of gold needed to help the famine area. Famed swordsman Yang Hu Yun (Sun Chien) is in charge of its safe passage there. Assisting him is Long Axe (Shu Pei Sun) & Short Axe (Chiang Sheng), another famous swordsman LI Chin Ming (Wei Pai) & his girlfriend (Pan Pin Chang) & the wine-drinking magnificent Agent Hai To (Kuo Choi). Of course there's a group of bandits called the Chi Sau Gang who are trying to get their hands on the gold at any cost. The gang is led by Golden Arm (Lo Mang) & members also include Silver Spear (Lu Feng), Iron Robe (Wang Lung Wei) & Brass Head (Yang Hsiung).

A lot of booby traps & trickery ensued as well as some fine martial arts skills. I thought everyone for the most part was on par, especially Lo Mang & Kuo Choi. Wei Pai's part was a little weak, but he played the role of a proud egotistical swordsman very well. When you have a lot of good action & just enough humor in it, you have a definite classic on your hand & that's what director Chang Cheh has here. If you're one of the few humans who haven't witnessed this film for yourself (either as a newbie fan or not), go view it & prepare to be hooked for life!
9 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on March 24, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best Shaw Bros releases with great characters & lots of dead henchmen
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A government official played by Sun Chien is tasked with delivering some gold to famine victims with the help of fighters Wei Pai, Helen Poon, Shu Pei Sun, Chiang Sheng and Kuo Chui. They have to face off against the Chi Sha gang led by Golden Arm (Lo Mang), Silver Spear (Lu Feng), Iron Robe (Wang Lung Wei) and Brass Head (Yang Hsiung). There’s plenty of henchmen on both sides which means lots of people are going to die. The best character is Golden Arm whose skin is impervious to weapons. He struts around like nothing matters. After that it has to be Kuo Chui who uses a drunken style. The story also has all kinds of tricks and booby traps to add to the usual martial arts scenes. It’s by far one of the better Shaw Brothers’ action films.
One person found this helpful
Def BillyReviewed in the United States on September 12, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Classic - but in HD makes it new again!
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No need to go into the story, but to keep seeing the classics in HD makes them new again! 4K is one thing, but if we can never get anything in 4K, I am satisfied with HD done right!

With HD, the sound is clearer and more defined and not like the 2nd or 3rd generation dubs they used to show on TV. Metals look metallic, fabrics are distinct, as well as colors. The only drawback is that the sets look faker and the mesh to put the wigs on are very apparent now. Other than that, this is one point!

Oh yeah, this stream was not the full 1080P as it was boxed and not formatted correctly. So a Blu-Ray version would look even better. Now where can I find the BD?

For those who claimed that there was no story... Most of these films are about showing the skills, not a story. Very few had engaging stories, and the rest knew that people just wanted to see the skills! I do admit, that when a film of this type has a great story, it IS a better film.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on November 15, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Terrible dubbing murders another classic
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I want to watch this so bad. I longingly watch the trailers and read the reviews. Ofcourse, I know that Shaw Brothers make movies that have brought me unrivaled happiness. For this reason I cannot listen to terrible English dubbing and sound effects. Shaw Brothers films were actually made with musicians waiting in the wings and creating sound effects as the strikes happened. In the English dubbed version it's the same repetitive fake sounds. Thanks, I hate it. Prime, without you I could not enjoy these films, but please know that some of us DO NOT MIND READING and enjoy the original audio of these classic films.
One person found this helpful
TahmuzReviewed in the United States on August 24, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Kung Fu Classic
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This is a classic. One of my favorites. A must see for any Kung-Fu movie enthusiast.
One person found this helpful
Eldred JonasReviewed in the United States on June 7, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Greatest Shaw Brother's Movie of All time
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I firs saw this movie on USA Kung Fu Theater back in the 80's when I was a kid. The plot is pretty good the choreography of the fight sequences is excellent and how the protagonist overcomes the invincible warrior at the end is a great surprise twist ending.

A must see for all old school Kung Fu movie enthusiasts.
3 people found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on November 4, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A beautiful kung fu movie classic!
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This one's got everything. If you're enamored of the 36 Chambers from the Shaw Brothers, you have to get this. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you have, watch it again.
J EReviewed in the United States on October 12, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
maybe i dont know better...
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there is a 1 star review describing this movie. and it nails what this 5 star movie is about.
OK, maybe not 5 stars; Shanghai Joe is 5 stars. but i still liked it.
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