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The Prodigal Son [DVD]

Price: £19.73
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Product details

  • Actors: Sammo Hung, Frankie Chan, Lam Ching Ying, Yuen Biao, Lung Chan
  • Directors: Sammo Hung
  • Producers: Raymond Chow
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Hong Kong Legends
  • DVD Release Date: 29 July 2002
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068OWI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,225 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Martial arts classic starring Yuen Biao as Leung Chang, a tardy Kung Fu student from a wealthy family. Lueng Chang puts little effort into his studies but still continues to beat his opponents as his father always pays them to take a fall. Leung Chang is ashamed when he finds about this and pledges to make a fresh start by asking a true Kung Fu master to take him on as a student.

Customer Reviews

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. T. Whitaker on 14 Sept. 2002
Format: DVD
This is a classic period martial-arts movie that remains timeless a couple of decades later. Directed by Sammo Hung, it is based on a true story and contains some of the earliest signs of the Hong Kong style of martial arts action as we came to know it when it finally took a decent stranglehold in the west with 'The Matrix' (whose action sequences were choreographed by Yuen Woo-Ping, a veteran of HK cinema who gave Jackie Chan his big break in 1978).
The story centres around Leung Jaan (Yuen Biao), who believes he is the best fighter in town. However, an encounter with a homosexual Chinese Opera performer named Leung Yee-Tai (played by the late great Lam Ching-Ying) soon has him thinking differently, as Yee-Tai's Wing Chun mastery far outclasses the 'talent' Jaan possesses. It is then that Jaan learns the truth: his dad had been paying his previous opponents to lose so that Jaan wouldn't lose face (ironic, considering the guy who had supposedly been considered the town's champion brawler has just been duffed up with the greatest of ease in front of a whole Opera troupe!).
Jaan tries many desperate measures (including his father purchasing Yee-Tai's whole opera troupe) to get Yee-Tai to take Jaan as a Wing Chun student, but after having seen Jaan's cocky nature, constantly refuses. It is only after an attempt on Yee-Tai's life (in which Jaan intervenes to allow him to escape), not to mention a fight challenge from the best fighter of another town — Lord Ngai, played very well by Frankie Chan — where Yee-Tai has a sudden asthma attack, that he may have to consider passing on his knowledge to a willing student in case he is suddenly slain and his knowledge lost forever...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By saltypepper on 26 July 2006
Format: DVD
When asked what the greatest kung fu film of all time is, people always expect the answer to involve a Bruce Lee film. But, frankly, Lee's films were all pretty weak. Actually, the answer that might be given is "The Prodigal Son".

The film was directed by Hong Kong kung fu master Sammo Hung and utilises stunning sets and scenery, brilliant, unrelenting fight scenes and fantastic acting from the cast. For fans of Wing Chun kung fu, this is a must: the only film in history that has managed to utilise this form of kung fu and make it look good on screen (by combining it with Shaolin stances). The story itself revolves around the real Wing Chun masters Leung Yee Tai, the Chinese Opera performer and his pupil, Leung Jaan. In a nutshell, Leung Jaan is a spoilt "Prodigal Son" whose father pays opponents to lose fights to him. When he realises this, he sets out to become a truly great fighter under the tutelage of Leung Yee Tai. Unfortunately, the opera star is not so willing to be his Sifu.

The standout sequences in this film are whenever Leung Yee Tai is fighting using his Wing Chun, the brilliant Chinese Ninja assasination sequence, the comic/training sequence with Sammo Hung and Leung Yee Tai in the small village retreat and the climactic battle at the end.

Indeed, as is pointed out in the fantastically astute audio commentary by the enthusiastic, mannered Bey Logan, the film utilises shots unseen in Chinese cinema: they have stunning depth, lighting and scale giving the film a vibrant, living feel. My personal favourite is the haunting shot when Leung Jaan offers tea to Leung Yee Tai in the country retreat. Other DVD extras include a great interview with Yuen Biao with, thank god, somebody pointing out just how important he is to his Western fans.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lee Stephens on 3 April 2004
Format: DVD
This is simply the greatest martial arts film of all time.
The film has a great story. Our hero Leung Chang (Yeun Biao -Once upon a time in China, Project A )is the son of a rich man in Fats Shun. He believes he is the greatest fighter in all of Fat-Shun, however the truth is a little different.
His opponents are payed to lose, because his mother and father are afraid of him getting hurt. Chang soon finds out when his cousins upset the leading lady at the local opera. This opera star turns out to be a man, a Wing-Chun expert called Leung Yee-Tai (Ching-Ying Lam - Game of Death, Iron Fisted Monk).
Upon this revelation, Leung Chang decides to ask Yee-Tai to become his master. Yee-Tai refuses outright, so using the help of his rich father, Leung Chang purchases the Opera Troupe. Yee-Tai still refuses to teach Leung Chang, buts makes use of Leung Chang by having him perform in the opera. Leung Chang is mistaken for someone else and has to fight back stage. The battle spills out onto the stage where Yee-Tai is performing in the opera, being watched by Lord Ngai (Frankie Chan - Armour of God, Operation Condor)He is on a mission to spar with skilled Kung-Fu experts. His father is a very powerful lord and has sent two bodygaurds with Ngai, with orders to kill Ngai's oppenents without Ngai knowing. Yee-Tai helps Leung Chang fight his opponents and Yee-Tai's skill is shown to Lord Ngai. Ngai challenges Yee-Tai at a dinner and during the battle Yee-Tai suffers an asthma attack and cant continue. Ngai then challenges Yee-Tai when he is feeling better.
Without spoiling the plot that follows, you can expect stunning perfomances from Sammo Hung as Wong wah Bo and James Tein as a one armed Wing-Chun expert.
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