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36th Chamber of Shaolin

36th Chamber of Shaolin

1978
Drama
Action
1h 56m
After a corrupt general occupies his village and terrorizes his family, San Te (Chia Hui Liu) vows revenge and leaves home to study the ancient fighting arts. He becomes a monk at the mythical Shaolin Temple, where he learns the secrets of all 35 chambers in a rigorous seven-year apprenticeship. But when he proposes a 36th chamber to teach the masses to defend themselves, he's cast out of the temple in this Shaw Brothers kung fu classic.
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36th Chamber of Shaolin

1978
Drama
Action
1h 56m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 68.23% from 666 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(666)
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Rated 23 Jun 2009
80
94th
Most of the Kungfu movies are fast burners, 36th is not, that's it's difference. San Ta (Clause?) loses the cocky attitude, takes his limitations with dignity as he goes on with the training. Throughout that sequence the observational moments are not only esctatic, but also happen to be quality cinema. Somewhere in between a feeling of Buddhism is developed nicely. Highly reccomended.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
80
84th
What makes this movie great is the sensible training montage and the development of San Te who is reknown in China as one of the "prophets" of Shaolin who brought it to the masses. The martial arts action is also crisp and well choreographed with an eye for realism. Even 30 years later the Kung Fu in this movie looks better than 99% of Hollywood stunt fighting which uses fast cut gimmicks.
Rated 17 Mar 2019
74
48th
The "36th Chamber" series is an excellent introduction to The Shaw Brothers. I've found that by round number two, a fresh approach was taken, which dwarfs this one in comparison, but start here. This is a classic Kung Fu flick, one that could only intensify your appreciation for what follows.
Rated 30 Jun 2016
88
75th
Martial arts movies aren't really my thing, but this one holds up well thanks to its relatively realistic approach, charismatic lead actor, and deliberate focus on the strenuous yet fascinating Shaolin training process. Very enjoyable.
Rated 08 Jun 2009
100
94th
A must see for fans of kicking, punching, and Buddhism.
Rated 11 Jan 2014
85
67th
Many call this one "simple" but I'd use the term "tame" instead. It's not strikingly original as far as kung fu films are concerned but it's terrifically executed with great battles, build-up and I'd even say dialogue, so "simple" doesn't do it justice. If you watch kung fu films you probably won't find many big surprises here but you'd be hard pressed to point out many superior flicks of its type.
Rated 29 Jun 2011
80
81st
In essence it's just one big training montage stretched out to movie length. But when the training is this cool and the fights so nicely choreographed, I ain't complainin'!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
78th
The intense training sequences are fantastic, the fight choreography is excellent, and Liu is compelling lead. The story is solid I guess, but really it comes down to the training - it's just so brutal and fascinating.
Rated 04 Oct 2018
80
79th
Ascesis is an interesting concept. While it's a renunciation of worldly affairs in the name of inner enlightenment, self-discipline can also become a means by which the agent gains strength only to return to world and conquer it. Here, the latter path is depicted as a political parable about authoritarianism vs. resistance. Liked the long sequences of pupils training, which 'educates' the viewer as well. Also, the leading actor played Pai-Mei in Tarantino's Kill Bill. Definitely a joyful watch.
Rated 08 Dec 2012
45
85th
This was awesome! Also, every 5 minutes there was a perfect 5 second animated gif just waiting to be made. I wish I knew how to make them.
Rated 20 Sep 2010
100
90th
One of the best made Martial Arts movies. The protagonist in the movie wants to take revenge on a group that killed his family, and from raw anger, he learns to have controlled aggression, by going through the various chambers. It is a must watch movie and a cult classic.
Rated 24 Jun 2015
78
82nd
The (brtual) training sequences are the best part of the movie. That's just bizarre. One of the best martial arts flicks out there.
Rated 20 Oct 2008
90
83rd
One of the best kung fu films ever made, Gordon Liu shows he got some mad kung fu skills and the training sequences are classic and realistic, often imitated by others but never achieved the same high level that this film did it. You must cop the Dragon Dynasty DVD, best version of the film available.
Rated 11 Dec 2015
81
73rd
I fucking love those whooshing sound effects.
Rated 28 Jun 2010
82
83rd
The exposition is somewhat confusing. And by today's standards, a lot of the action seems so obviously choreographed that it's difficult to get into the film in places. On the plus side, this is a kung fu movie that's basically about the power and awesomeness of kung fu, and it's very persuasive. San Te is a very charismatic lead, too. And the chambers are fun--it's rare to see a movie where the middle is so damn good. Might be the DVD I got, but the hilariously overenthusiastic foley is a plus.
Rated 07 Mar 2009
55
53rd
FUCKIN' WU-TANG CLAN BIOTCHES!
Rated 05 Oct 2008
80
67th
I liked it, but try to get the original especially in countries were such movies are to be dubbed. Mostly these dubbings are crap...
Rated 13 Dec 2008
88
70th
Great Movie that earned his place in Kung Fu History with great acting and outstaning martial art action.
Rated 02 Aug 2012
92
94th
Thankfully the movie is dubbed in English. Familiar story, a ruthless ruler who kills countless innocents, a young rebel who escapes so he can learn how to fight. Awesome Shaolin temple training school scenes. The young man grows his ability, strength and wisdom during his long training and eventually is able to help his people. The fighting was pretty decent. I quite enjoyed it despite the awkward moments and poor audio. A definite "must-see" for all Kung Fu movie fans.
Rated 17 Jun 2009
79
70th
A heck of a lot of fun.
Rated 25 Mar 2009
89
86th
Perfect 4 its type& fans of the genre won't do better than this. More than well done fight scenes, the script keeps things as simple&smooth as a parable (esp. since the hero often resembles Christ, albeit w/ less cheek-turning& more face-punching). The real stand out is the editing that briskly takes us through some outrageous training scenes while still giving a good sense of the passage of time, cutting out any unnecessary frills (take note, Tarantino!) as it speeds to its fight-strewn climax
Rated 28 Dec 2016
90
84th
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is a classic of Hong Kong cinema, especially to those of us who came to know about Hong Kong Cinema thorough the Wu Tang Clan. It is easy to understand who is good and who is bad in this movie, which helps make the simple plot easy to digest. I had fun watching this movie. The cheesy voice acting doesn't get in the way of the compelling story of a young man who wants to help save his village and other poor people from being tormented by the occupying army.
Rated 08 Feb 2007
95
98th
Almost half of this movie is training sequences devised by Liu Chia Liang. 'nuff said.
Rated 06 May 2017
80
89th
Great training and fight scenes. Even the shortest appearances and scenes are meaningful, as in the end the monk uses all his skills - his body moves in uniformity.
Rated 20 Feb 2011
85
81st
Straightforward but fun to watch.
Rated 16 Dec 2009
75
83rd
Great kung fu movie. The training sequences and battles alike are outstanding.
Rated 19 Jan 2019
68
65th
Like most HK cinema the plot is paper thin, but there is some seriously cool fight stuff going on. It does seem to be excessive in the length of the training scenes.
Rated 11 Oct 2012
85
90th
A good chinese fighting movie!
Rated 05 Aug 2018
85
80th
This is more serious than Return to the 36th Chamber. Bad thing happens, guy goes to train at the Shaolin Temple, then comes back and has an expertly choreographed final act because obviously the fighting is the star. It's just really inventive and thrilling. More blood and death than its "sequel" as well.
Rated 31 Dec 2011
60
34th
Crappy sound effects and out of sync talking distracted me somewhat (saw the original version). The plot is also quite simple so I can't rate this higher.
Rated 12 Aug 2018
3
73rd
Fun on a rainy sunday afternoon, loved it as a kid.
Rated 06 Feb 2009
86
81st
WATCH as ONE MAN is transformed into the most BAD-ASS TOUGH GUY EVER, with the possible exception of Kenshiro.
Rated 29 Nov 2009
82
72nd
Damn awesome Martial Arts movie.
Rated 31 Jan 2012
86
83rd
sweet moves, but come on a three section staff? the world would be better off if San hadn't invented such a lame weapon.
Rated 19 Sep 2018
8
90th
Fantastic cinematography, stunning visuals. A smooth and never dull journey though the chambers with a simple plot which never lands in any one place for too long. The fight sequences are thoroughly entertaining and original. Only complaints would be the sound design, namely the fact that every object, be it a fist on a fist, or nunchucks on sword, sounds like the same bell ring over and over. Secondly, the ending is quick, and fails to satisfy. The journey is very enjoyable. I highly recommend
Rated 24 Sep 2008
76
58th
Didn't hate watching it by any means, and the lengthy training sequence was especially entertaining, but the rest of it didn't push my buttons that much. However, I'm aware that this is among the top of the genre for those who are fanatics.
Rated 23 Feb 2011
82
92nd
Nice Movie
Rated 15 Jun 2014
63
60th
I wasn't expecting the training to encompass most of the movie's running time, but it's all interesting, and you do get to see some serious action eventually, with Liu preferring the three-section-staff in this one (his character actually invents it). The plot is nothing to write home about.
Rated 15 Nov 2014
84
66th
Truly excellent action sequences. The plot is nigh non-existent. The training montage takes up most of the movie, but it's entertaining throughout.
Rated 28 Jan 2017
80
77th
Well shot and presented, the main plot can almost be ignored for the training sequences. Lui looks like a star here.
Rated 29 Jan 2010
4
38th
Martial art movies do absolutely nothing for me.
Rated 22 Apr 2023
79
59th
Or: Training Montage: The Movie – overall feels like an immense build-up to a final confrontation that never really comes, and narratively speaking it’s a bit of a mess, with some dense and confusing opening scenes eventually giving way to the main event, but once Liu starts his training, it’s great fun and if nothing else a showcase for Liu’s astonishing physical virtuosity (while also pointing the way to KILL BILL).
Rated 31 Mar 2020
77
70th
77.1
Rated 16 May 2022
70
53rd
Kindamissedbeginningingo+snuckinfoodcart+startfromtoplol+konedownlol+eatonwaterlogslol+runonwater+carrywater+longstickwristweight+watchcandleheadcantmove+headtraininglol+weapons-cutarms+35in5years+superiormakeshavetobeathimfirst+makesown3sticknunchucktowin+ohhewannamakethe36thtoteachtoall-mastersnaps+thinkhesupposedtobringnewdisciples/mixesrevengeintoitlol+dopebodiesV+getschamberwish-evendrunkricemillercame/messwithhimlol
Rated 10 May 2016
70
83rd
ger; [die 36 kammern der shaolin]; ein junger mann erfährt wie seine familie von einem general tyrannisiert wird und entschließt sich daraufhin, schüler bei dem shaolin kloster zu werden um den tyrann zu entmachten - doch die 36 kammern sind nicht leicht zu bestehen.;
Rated 01 Apr 2014
88
83rd
- 8/12/12
Rated 09 Jan 2020
78
71st
This film starts a little bit slow but it picks up. The training sequences are intense and fascinating. There are several good action scenes. Overall I would recommend this film.
Rated 05 Jan 2022
80
74th
The mother of all training montages!
Rated 24 Aug 2022
75
38th
It delivers exactly what it promises.
Rated 13 Mar 2022
78
56th
02.17 Hobbit
Rated 05 Mar 2024
69
71st
83 75 66 76 54 57 53 62 73

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