The Spiritual Boxer (1975)

I doubt this film will ever be mistaken for a giant classic of world cinema, but it’s certainly more fun than many of those giants. Stars the other Wang Yu (i.e. not the one called Jimmy), who brings terrific physicality to the lead role of a young con artist who passes himself off as a spiritual boxer, and who finds his talents for kung fu fakery inspiring others for real. This delightful tale of faking something to the point where it becomes real (and Wang brings a conviction to his scenes of faking it that is at times jaw-dropping) was the directorial debut of Lau Kar Leung, who introduced a comedic tone to the hitherto poker-faced Shaws martial arts film and thereby made Jackie Chan’s eventual career possible.

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