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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Kar Wing LAU
劉家榮 | LAU Kar Wing

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Lau Kar-wing was born in Guangdong in 1944. His older brother is renowned kung fu choreographer Lau Kar-leung. The Lau family moved to Hong Kong in 1949 and the younger Lau learned martial arts from his father and older brother at an early age.

Following in his brother’s footsteps, Lau became a martial arts performer in 1963 and then an action choreographer in 1966. King Boxer, his 1972 collaboration with Korean director Walter Chung Chang-hwa, was Lau’s breakthrough hit as action director and one of the first Shaw Brothers films to break into the Western market.

Lau also enjoyed success as an actor, starring or playing second lead in films such as Ninja Killer (1974), The Inheritor of Kung Fu (1974), Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976) and Tiger & Crane Fists (1976).

In 1977, Lau directed his first film He Has Nothing But Kung Fu and followed up with Dirty Kung Fu (1978). He also teamed up with actor-producer Karl Maka and superstar Sammo Hung to form Gar Bo Films and christened the new company with the release of the Maka-directed Dirty Tiger, Crazy Frog!, featuring Lau and Hung. The two stars shared the screen again for Lau’s third directorial effort, Odd Couple (1979). After Gar Bo dissolved, Lau Kar-wing and Lau Kar-leung formed Lau Brothers, which released the Lau Kar-wing-directed Fists and Guts (1979) and Carry on Wise Guy (1980). Lau directed two ghost-themed comedies—Till Death Do We Scare (1982) and Play Catch (1983)—for Cinema City. Till Death Do We Scare became a HK$14-million hit that elevated Lau to the status of a commercially successful director. He broke the HK$10-million ceiling twice again with 1988’s The Dragon Family (1988) and Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon (1990), the latter a reunion with Maka and Hung. In 1992, his work with Yuen Cheung-yan and Yuen Shun-yee in Tsui Hark’s Once Upon a Time in China won Best Action Choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

Lau significantly reduced his workload after writing and directing Innocent Killer (1994). Since then, he had served as second-unit director for the Hung-directed Once Upon a Time in China and America and choreographed the action sequences for Lau Karleung’s Drunken Monkey and Tsui’s Seven Swords. He continues to make occasional film and television appearances.

Year Chinese name English name Directors
1994 《叠影追兇》
Innocent Killer
1990 《瘦虎肥龍》
Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon
1989 《妙探雙龍》
City Cops
1988 《龍之家族》
The Dragon Family
1987 《小生夢驚魂》
Scared Stiff
1985 《時來運轉》
Those Merry Souls
1984 《南斗官三鬥北少爺》
Wits Of The Brats WONG Jing
1983 《少爺威威》
Play Catch
1982 《鬼畫符》
The Fake Ghost Catchers
1982 《小生怕怕》
Till Death Do We Scare
1981 《龍虎少爺》
Treasure Hunters
1980 《破戒大師》
Carry on Wise Guy
1979 《搏命單刀奪命槍》
Odd Couple
1979 《一膽二力三功夫》
Fist and Guts
1978 《鬼馬功夫》
Dirty Kung Fu
1977 《功夫小子》
He Has Nothing But Kung Fu