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Film / A Man Called Tiger

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Starring Jimmy Wang-yu as A Man Called... Chin-fu

"For most of the movie it looks like a Japanese Yakuza film, plays like a Italian gangster film, and has the fight every ten minutes pace of a Hong Kong chop-socky pic, until suddenly, without any proper set up, we find ourselves into the beginning of the film’s extended climax." - Quentin Tarantino on A Man Called Tiger

A Man Called Tiger is a 1973 Martial Arts Movie directed by Lo Wei, starring Jimmy Wang Yu. A mix-and-mash of multiple movies popular at its time, made during the peak of Jimmy's career as an action star, it is the first of a short series of movies Jimmy made while in Japan nearing the mid-70s.

Chin-fu (Jimmy) is a mysterious wanderer in Yakuza-controlled Kyoto, who is picking fights in nightclubs owned by the mob and making a ruckus everywhere he goes, resulting in the Yakuza placing a bounty on his head. As it turns out, Chin-fu is the son of a Hong Kong police inspector killed in duty while investigating the Yakuza, and Chin-fu is seeking revenge. With the help of a nightclub singer named Ayako (who also have her own reasons to oppose the Yakuza), Chin-fu will rip the Yakuza a new hole.


A Man Called Tiger contains examples of:

  • An Ax To Grind: Numerous Yakuza mooks in the penthouse finale use axes as their weapons to assault Chin-fu.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Both Chin-fu and the Yakuza's higher-ups wears tuxedos in numerous scenes.
  • Big Bad: Yamamoto leads the Yakuza and is responsible for the deaths of both Chin-fu and Ayako's fathers.
  • Blood Is the New Black: Chin-fu in the finale, fighting the whip-wielding Yamamoto while wearing all white.
  • Cable-Car Action Sequence: One of the film's key action setpieces has Chin-fu fighting a pair of Yakuza assassins in a cable car's gondola, whose doors are opened. It ends with Chin-fu and one of the assassins Hanging by the Fingers outside the gondola while the second mook tries a Hand Stomp on Chin-fu, but Chin-fu managed to get back in after forcing the first assassin to fall into the bay above the gondola before climbing back to finish off the second.
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  • The Chanteuse: Ayako the nightclub singer.
  • Cloth Fu: In the final battle, Yamamoto attempts to slice up Chin-fu with a metal whip. Chin-fu responds by taking off his coat and using that as a weapon.
  • Disney Villain Death: Yamamoto after being sent over a tall balcony at the end of the film.
  • Film Noir: The first half of the film, having a noir feel of detective thrillers with Chin-fu infiltrarting the Yakuza to investigaste the truth behind his father's death. It goes back to kung-fu fighting territory at its second half.
  • Genre Mashup: Crime thriller, romance, kung fu, and a bit of noir.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Chin-fu's methods of dealing with the Yakuza. Expect plenty of fistfights and beat-downs throughout the film.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During the derelict building fight, the mook leader gets impaled through the midsection by a metal bar courtesy of Chin-fu.
  • Non-Indicative Title: There are NO characters named "Tiger" in the film. It's very likely a Shout-Out to Jimmy Wang-yu's other film, Rage of the Master, which he plays a character named Tiger Wong in that other film, but not this one.
  • Punched Across the Room: Chin-fu tends to do this (or kicking) to most of the mooks he fights, notably this is how he defeats Yamamoto at the end. See below.
  • Railing Kill: Yamamoto gets kicked over a railing by Chin-fu at the end of the final battle. With a thirty-storey drop on the other side.
  • Revenge: Chin-fu is seeking to avenge his father and bring the killers to justice.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Chin-fu smokes several times throughout the film. It's meant to make him look cool.
  • Yakuza: They serve as the main villains opposing Chin-fu in the film.
  • You Killed My Father: Chin-fu's mission of infiltrating the Yakuza is to find out the perpetrators behind his father's demise and seek revenge.


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