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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Kar Leung LAU
劉家良 | LAU Kar Leung

My father Lau Cham was a disciple of Hung Ga martial arts. His master Lam Sai-wing was the student of the legendary Wong Fei-hung, which means I am the fourth-generation descendent of Wong. When these people died, they left me an inheritance, which was king-fu.

(Taken from his acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2010.)


Lau Kar-leung was born in Guangzhou in 1937. He had only four years of formal education before beginning his training in martial arts under his father Lau Cham, who himself studied under a pupil of the legendary master Wong Fei-hung. Lau moved to Hong Kong with his family in 1949, and got work in the film industry through his father, where he started out as an extra and martial arts stuntman. From 1955 onwards he appeared in over a dozen Wong Fei-hung films as villains or minor characters.

He began working as a martial arts choreographer on films in 1963, when he partnered with Tong Kai on South Dragon, North Phoenix (1963). Their work so impressed Run Run Shaw that he invited the pair to join Shaw Brothers. Lau and Tong subsequently did martial arts choreography on Temple of the Red Lotus (1965) and The Twin Swords (1965), both directed by Hsu-Tsenghung. Later on, the pair worked frequently with Chang Cheh, and contributed to such classics as One Armed Swordsman (1967), Golden Swallow (1968), The Heroic Ones (1970), Boxer from Shantung (1972), Heroes Two (1974), Shaolin Martial Arts (1974), Five Shaolin Masters (1974) and Disciples of Shaolin (1975). At the same time, Lau continued to serve as martial arts choreographer on Cantonese films, not working full time at Shaw Brothers until 1971.

Lau made his directorial debut with Spiritual Boxer (1975), and was the first choreographer to rise to the position of director. He went on to direct various films including Challenge of the Masters (1976), The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978), Hero of the East (1978), Dirty Ho (1979), My Young Auntie (1981), Legendary Weapons Of China (1982) and The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984). He won the Best Action Film Award at the Asia Film Festival twice, for The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Hero of the East. The final film he made for Shaw Brothers was Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986), after which Lau worked with Cinema City to make Tiger on Beat (1988) and Aces Go Places V: The Terracotta Hit (1989), and acted in The Thirty Million Dollar Rush (1987) and Evil Cat (1987). After directing Drunken Master II (1994) and Drunken Master III (1994), Lau took a ten-year break before making Drunken Monkey (2003), which turned out to be his last outing as a director. The final film he worked on was Seven Swords (2005), in which he served as martial arts coordinator as well as actor. He won the Best Action Choreography Award at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan and the Hong Kong Film Awards for Drunken Master II, and the Golden Horse Best Action Choreography Award for Seven Swords.

Lau was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2010. He passed away in 2013.

Year Chinese name English name Directors
2003 《醉馬騮》
Drunken Monkey
1994 《醉拳II》
Drunken Master II
1994 《醉拳III》
Drunken Master III
1990 《老虎出更2》
Tiger on the Beat 2
1989 《新最佳拍檔》
Aces Go Places V : The Terracotta Hit
1988 《老虎出更》
Tiger on Beat
1986 《南北少林》
Martial Arts of Shaolin
1985 《霹靂十傑》
Disciple of the 36th Chamber
1984 《五郎八卦棍》
The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
1983 《掌門人》
The Lady is the Boss
1982 《十八般武藝》
Legendary Weapons of China
1982 《御貓三戲錦毛鼠》
Cat vs Rat
1981 《長輩》
My Young Auntie
1981 《武館》
Martial Club
1980 《第三類打鬥》
Heaven and Hell CHANG Cheh
1980 《少林搭棚大師》
Return to the 36th Chamber
1979 《茅山殭屍拳》
The Shadow Boxing
1979 《爛頭何》
Dirty Ho
1979 《瘋猴》
Mad Monkey Kung Fu
1978 《少林三十六房》
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
1978 《螳螂》
Shaolin Mantis
1978 《中華丈夫》
Hero of the East
1977 《洪熙官》
Executioners from Shaolin
1976 《陸阿采與黃飛鴻》
Challenge of the Masters
1975 《神打》
Spiritual Boxer