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Kung Fu: The Complete First Season [DVD] [2004]

[Dual Disc Format]*
74 customer reviews

Price: £10.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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*This Item Contains a Dual-Sided Disc
Please note that some or all of the discs in this product are in a dual-sided format. This means that the disc must be turned over halfway through to view the content in its entirety.
£10.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: David Carradine, Radames Pera, Keye Luke, Philip Ahn, James Hong
  • Writers: Ed Spielman, Herman Miller, Kittridge Buston
  • Format: Box set, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, Dutch, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 July 2004
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001XLY2O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,445 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Pilot episode and all 15 episodes from Season 1 of the 1970s series set in the 1870s and starring David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a half-Chinese, half-American Shaolin priest, who is roaming the Wild West in search of his missing brother. In the pilot epsiode, 'Kung Fu: The Way of the Tiger, the Sign of the Dragon', Caine runs away from his native China after accidentally killing the Emperor's nephew. He ends up in the American West, where he becomes the champion of the oppressed workers building the transcontinental railroad. Bounty hunters are after Caine in 'King of the Mountain', threatening the safety of a widow and homeless boy Caine has befriended. 'Dark Angel' sees Caine mentoring Serendipity Johnson, a poor preacher who has been blinded by the Indians, and helping him to develop his other senses so that his blindness is less of a handicap. In 'Blood Brother', Caine discovers that the narrow-minded, bigoted residents of a small town have killed a priest of whom they were suspicious and mistrusting. A young woman approaches Caine in 'An Eye for an Eye' to enlist his help with getting revenge on the soldier who raped her. In 'The Tide', Caine relies on the protection of a beautiful and mysterious Chinese girl to protect him from bounty hunters after sustaining serious injuries. 'The Soul is the Warrior' sees Caine encountering a sheriff who is facing imminent death. In 'Nine Lives', Caine meets an Irish miner who has accidentally killed his camp's mascot: a beer-drinking cat. In order to return to work he must find a replacement - and quickly. 'Sun and Cloud Shadow' sees Caine acting as mediator between a small Chinese mining village and a powerful rancher who claims that the mine they are working belongs to him. In 'Chains', Caine finds himself shackled to an angry and bitter man, and teaches him how to control his hatred and be at peace with himself. Jodie Foster, then a relatively unknown child actor, guest stars in 'Alethea' as a young girl who speaks out against Caine, testifying that that she witnessed him shooting a man, after he is put on trial for a murder he did not commit. In 'The Praying Mantis Kills', a young boy defends a jail against the gunmen who killed his father, the sheriff. Caine is captured and forced to labour as a slave in a silver mine in 'Superstition'. The mine then caves in, trapping him and the other miners. 'The Stone' sees Caine get tangled up in an affair involving a priceless diamond, a Brazilian slave, and the three revenge-seeking sons of a woman spurned by her lover. In 'The Third Man', a gambler who has been injured by thieves is then shot by an anonymous gunman. Finally, 'The Ancient Warrior' sees Caine attempting to honour the death wish of an Indian warrior who wants to die at his predestined burial place - which just happens to be in the middle of an Indian-hating community.

Synopsis

He is a man of peace in a violent land. He is Kwai Chang Caine, schooled in the spirit-mind-body ways of the Shaolin priesthood by the blind, avuncular Master Po and the stern yet loving master Kan. Caine speaks softly but hits hard. He lives humbly yet knows great contentment. He is the Old West's most unusual hero. But hero is not a word Caine would use. He would simply say, "I am a man."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By G. McMASTER on 25 April 2004
Format: DVD
I was still a teenager when this show was first screened all those yearsago, and I am pleased to say that the show has not lost any of it'soriginal appeal. The transition to dvd is good and the overall quality isvery good. The portrayal of David Carradine as half american, halfchinese Shaolin Priest Kwai Chang Caine is excellent as he demonstrates anaivety combined with a zen like wisdom as he deals with the people andpoblems that happen along his way. He is gentle and softly spoken with anability to endure but is sometimes left with little option but to use hismartial arts skills and strategy in resolving, as gently as he can, theconflicts and prejudices he encounters. Very watchable and a highlyrecommended buy. Enjoy! This review is based on the region 1 format dvdset. Another box set to seriously consider is Shogun... anyone whoenjoyed The Last Samurai (Watanabi/Cruise version) should really enjoyShogun... made years earlier but quality viewing.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Carvalho on 4 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although this is a fine series and an excellent return to an influential icon when I was a kid (everyone was dodging Indian arrows and oriental influences at school...) I'm angry with the fact that the picture has been "zoomed", and therefore damaged, to fit a full 16:9 screen. I find this a true insult to the original format and a very bad service to the people who worked to get their vision on the screen way back then. As a customer, I strongly feel that there should be a clear warning about this. Bad form.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lionface on 22 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
5 STARS for the tv series. 2 STARS for the transfer.

The square 4:3 frame this was originally shot in, has been chopped at the top and bottom in order to fit widescreen tvs.

The result? The same great series but minus loads of shoes and the tops of hats. People throw playing cards down into an abyss where once there were tables. Cowboys are thrown onto saloon floors and disappear before they hit the ground.

Even poor David Carradine as he takes his legendary walk through the sands at the end of each show - he now has no footprints! He is cut off at the knee. They have turned the drifter into a wader. And worst of all, nearly every close up of his face is without a chin!

Why oh why oh why do they do it?!! Do they not trust us to find the 'aspect' button on our tv remote?

It is an insult to the directors, cameramen and cinematographers who laboured over these programs, and all that effort put into shot compositions.

All that aside, it goes without saying that the show itself is a real classic. The picture and sound quality of this re-issue is excellent, and i am still watching and enjoying every episode despite it being about 80% of every shot - it just deserves a proper full frame transfer as intended.

Snatch the pebble from my hand (providing it hasn't been cut off to fit widescreen tv's)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When Kung Fu was first aired in the Granada region, way back in 1973, it used to be on every other week because the TV execs weren't really sure how audiences would respond to its rather radical (as then!) ideas about life/death, good/evil, etc. Mysticism, Ying-Yang, Buddhism and a host of other eastern philosophies were only just beginning to make their mark on our rather blinkered outlook on life. But nobody should have worried. Kung Fu was groundbreaking stuff, it's true, but the acting, story lines and the atmosphere generated by the show made it an instant hit. David Carradine was superb as Caine; it's hard to imagine now anybody else playing the role! Stories about Bruce Lee coming up with the original concept are rather spurious; this legend, first told by Lee, has been perpetuated ever since by his fans but it's quite clear from the documentary that is included in this 3-disc set that this not quite the case. Lee actually had an idea for a similar show which was to be called 'The Warrior' and I understand some of it was filmed, but never aired. I can't imagine Lee playing Caine and it just shows you what a wonderful thing karma is - for this show, with Carradine, Keye Luke, Philip Arne and a tremendous host of guest stars is head and shoulders above anything else that has been produced for television. The fight scenes are extremely good - they are actually BELIEVABLE. Caine often gets punched, kicked and thrown to the ground, he never jumps as high as a three-storey building, and he never executes a flying forward summersault. And how refreshing is that! This is mostly due to David Chow, who choreographed all of the fight scenes and was one of the great exponents of Kung Fu before he 'mysteriously' died!Read more ›
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Ben Lockwood on 3 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD
The original showing of Kung-fu pre dates me and for years I didn't know where the 'grasshopper' reference came from. When I picked up Kung-fu I instantly saw why this was such the legend it was. Each episode is packed with just the right mix of action and story with frequent words of wisdom that are easy to take to heart. All potential proverbs in their own right.

Kung-fu does not strike me as OVERLY dated at all compared to some things. Although in one episode (either this series or the next) contains a scene with a raven that I'll never forget, it was so ridiculously fake and the wires/string were easily visible. The fight scenes aren't quite as hectic as modern shows have either but when Caine beats his arrogant foe it still leaves you with a smile on your face. Kung-fu makes you feel good time and time again and I think everyone who has ever seen it has, at one point in their lives, wanted to be Kwai Chang Caine. And quite rightly so.

Well worth the money for this wonderful classic that deserves all the praise it receives.
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