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Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd. (Chinese: 邵氏兄弟(香港)公司) was Hong Kong's largest film production company. Based in Clearwater Bay in downtown Hong Kong, it operated between 1925 and 2011. It was founded by the brothers Shaw Run-jie, Shaw Run-mei, and Shaw Run-de, with the youngest of the brothers, Shaw Run-run, being appointed executive producer and in charge of cinematic productions.

The studio is known for their massive, large-scale Wuxia martial arts films that dominated Hong Kong cinema in the 1960s and 70s, and making "Shaw Brothers" a name synonymous with kung fu. At its peak of operations the studio had 5,000 extras available at any given time, allowing multiple films of varying genres to be made all at once.

Having produced over 1,000 films throughout its existence, and launched the careers of numerous martial arts icons from Gordon Liu to Ti Lung, Shaw Brothers would last until the late 90s when its remake of Boxer From Shantung, titled Hero (1997), would be its last major production before it closed down. Nowadays, the former Shaw Brothers studio backlot is more popular as a tourist attraction. It briefly re-opened in 2002, for filming the House of Blue Leaves scene in the first Kill Bill movie, directed by Quentin Tarantino.

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Notable Action Legends from Shaw Brothers:

  • Jimmy Wang Yu - the first megastar developed by Shaw Brothers and their penultimate icon in the 1970s, Jimmy would spearhead one project after another until he eventually jumped ship to Golden Harvest, culminating in Run-run Shaw blacklisting Jimmy from finding work at Shaw Brothers and choosing to develop Ti Lung and David Chiang as a backup.
  • Ivy Ling-po - one of the studios' earliest starlets, who debuts a decade before Cheng Pei-pei below, Ivy Ling started acting at age 12 before being spotted by Shaw director Richard Li.
  • Cheng Pei-Pei - the quintessential Action Girl of martial arts cinema, Cheng had her breakthrough role in Come Drink With Me at age 18 before becoming the studios' top pick of the 1970s.
  • Yueh Hua - Early in the studios' Golden Years, to develop a love story in a martial arts epic, Yueh Hua would be often cast alongside Cheng Pei-pei, Lily Li, Li Ching, Chin Ping and various lethal ladies of Shaw Brothers. There are rumours back then that Yueh Hua and Cheng Pei-pei are in a romantic relationship due to their various collaborations, but those rumours have since been debunked.
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  • Gordon Liu - need someone to play a Shaolin monk? Gordon Liu's your man.
  • Lo Lieh - One of Shaw Brothers' most prolific actors, having been in over 200 of their movies, Lo Lieh unfortunately remains a B-lister due to being Overshadowed by Awesome alongside the likes of Wang-yu and Yueh Hua. Most of his fans considered his roles as villains, such as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, to be his best works.
  • Chang Yi - Jimmy's real-life best friend who co-starred with him in several of his movies. He stayed in the studios for maybe a decade after Jimmy's departure before he leaves as well, although unlike Jimmy, Chang maintains a more stable, mutual understanding without any residual hostilities.
  • Chen Kuan-tai - After hanging out in the background for years as an extra, Chen Kuan-tai finally gets a starring role in The Boxer From Shantung, before making it big as a Poor Man's Substitute for Ti Lung.
  • Michael Chan Wai-man - He used to be a gangster involved in the triads, reportedly as an enforcer of the 14K Triad in Tsim Sha Tsui before the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, but he ends up becoming an actor instead.
  • David Chiang - One of two mega-stars groomed to be Jimmy's replacement, Chiang would find a life-long best friend with Ti Lung, where they will co-star in more than 50 films during their days in Shaw Brothers.
  • Chen Ping - the studio's leading icon in female fatale and their resident sex symbol, she made as many action films as Cheng Pei-pei, but her films tends to contain more nudity and is higher in the sleaze factor.
  • Philip Kwok - You either know him as one of the Five Deadly Venoms (the Lizard, to be precise), or as Mad Dog from Hard Boiled. An actor turned stunt choreographer who made his fame with Shaw Brothers.
  • Shih Szu - Also credited as Rachel Shih, she is a Taiwanese actress developed as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Cheng Pei-pei, with her breakthrough role being Cheng's student in The Lady Hermit. Still, she nonetheless remain with the studios until 1980 when she decides to return to Taiwan to make movies over there.
  • Ti Lung - The best friend of David Chiang, both Lung and Chiang will collaborate for years until Chiang decide to part way later on. Becoming the solo star of Shaw Brothers, Lung will star in classics like The Avenging Eagle and The Sentimental Swordsman films, supporting the studios until well into its twilight years.
  • Alexander Fu Sheng - If there was a Bruce Lee before Bruce Lee, it's Alexander Fu. Acting for Shaw Brothers since a teen, in multiple martial arts and action films, Fu sadly passed away at age 28 in a car accident, with 23 films in his resume.
  • Tony Liu - Also credited as Anthony Lau-wing, an award-winning actor known for his portrayal of the eponymous emperor in the Emperor Chien Lung series.
  • Lily Ho Li-li - another Action Girl heroine besides Cheng, most of her action films are set in the present day rather than period pieces.
  • Danny Lee - He wanted to be a cop. He ended up an Inframan and becoming one of the studio's main picks for modern-day crime dramas.
  • Derek Yee - The half-brother of David Chiang, who hit the ground running with his role in Death Duel at age 20, earning him a Best Actor Award and over 20 films with Shaw Brothers. Although nowadays he is more popular as a director instead of an actor.
  • Kara Wai - A somewhat later addition to the studio's catalogue of Action Girl actresses, who debuts in the late 70s and didn't gain popularity until the early 80s in the studio's last years.


A Partial List of Movies Produced by this Studio:


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