The Kid with the Golden Arm (1979)

Directed by
One of the more enjoyable Venoms films
Reviewed by Simon on 2022-02-27

A security bureau is hired to escort 200,000 Taels of gold to provide assistance to some refugees. The Deadly Valley gang are determined to take it for themselves. An enigmatic drunkard seems to have an agenda too.

Like most of Chang Cheh's later films KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM looks cheap and didn't waste much effort on the script, it's all about the acrobatic talents of its cast. The final fight(s) put them to good use.

Kuo Chui is easily the film's MVP, shining brightest in both acrobatics and charisma... though on the second point there isn't a lot of competition.

The fight choreography is very rooted in Peking Opera, lots of somersaults and broad movements that are easy to follow from the back of the room in long takes where the performers seem to be practising a rehearsed routine with very little risk of actually damaging each other. Compared to the sophisticated choreography of contemporary Lau Kar-Leung films or the hard-hitting dynamism of Sammo Hung's it looks anachronistic, even for 1979, and it's not hard to see why Chang Cheh's budgets and audience were shrinking.

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Also known as

  • Kid With the Golden Arms