The Skyhawk (1974) – Blu-ray version

Hong Kong cinema legend Kwan Tak-hing returns as Wong Fei-hung, backed by Sammo Hung and Carter Wong in this 1974 classic, “The Skyhawk”!

It’s presented on Blu-ray as part of the Eureka Classics range in its UK home video debut from a stunning 2K restoration. The first print run of 2000 copies will feature a Limited-Edition O-card Slipcase and Collector’s Booklet.

“THE SKYHAWK” is OUT TODAY, 21st August 2023 on Blu-ray – so order your copy now from Eureka Video or Amazon!



Hong Kong movie legend Kwan Tak-hing reprises the role he had played over seventy times, the legendary “Wong Fei-hung“. Wong Fei-hung was a real-life martial arts master who taught the Hung Gar style of kung fu, which he learned from his father, Wong Kei-ying, also a popular master. He has been portrayed in over one hundred films and television productions, most famously by Kwan Tak-hing, but also successfully by Jet Li and Vincent Zhao. Jackie Chan played a comic version of the character in the “Drunken Master” films.

The legendary Sammo Hung stars as “Fei Fei/ Fatty”. In a career spanning six decades, he has worked with some of the best in the business, from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan. His work as a performer, choreographer and director helped to reshape and evolve modern screen fighting action as we know it.

From his earliest works such as “Iron Fisted Monk”, “Warriors Two”, “Knockabout”, “The Prodigal Son”, to his comedies and collaborations with his fellow “Fortunes” opera brothers, including “Encounters of the Spooky Kind”, “My Lucky Stars”, “Eastern Condors”, “Wheels on Meals”, to modern-day hits such as “SPL/ Kill Zone”, “Call of Heroes”, “Ip Man”, “Paradox” and “The Bodyguard”, there are very few others who have delivered such a variety of action to consistently high quality levels over such a long career.

Martial arts actor Carter Wong co-stars as “Leo Hsiao Sze-Tzu/ Little Lion”. A renowned martial arts instructor, Wong kickstarted his long acting career appearing alongside Angela Mao and Sammo Hung in the film “Hapkido”. He went onto feature in dozens of classics, particularly director Joseph Kuo’s more popular hits. He achieved worldwide fame as “Thunder” in John Carpenter’s cult classic “Big Trouble in Little China”.

Korean actor and renowned Hapkido expert, Hwang In-Shik stars as the villainous “Renegade Master”. He famously faced off against Bruce Lee in “Way of the Dragon”, and was also the villain in Jackie Chan’s movies “Dragon Lord” and “The Young Master“.

Hong Kong actress Nora Miao guest stars as “Hsiang Lan”. Contracted to Golden Harvest, Miao appeared in all three of Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong films (“The Big Boss”, “Way of the Dragon”, and “Fist of Fury”), and became the only actress to share an onscreen kiss with the legendary icon in “Fist of Fury”. She later appeared in the Jackie Chan movies “New Fist of Fury”, “Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin” and “Dragon Fist”. She continued to act in film and television until 2019. Miao currently lives in Toronto, Canada and hosts a radio program, “Coffee Talk”, on CCBC Radio.


Master Wong and his disciple Fei Fei are paying a visit to Thailand when they come across hot-headed street fighter Leo Hsiao Sze-Tzu.

The noble Master Wong takes Leo under his wing and trains him in martial arts alongside Fei Fei. Meanwhile, Wong’s friend Chu is facing trouble from the local crime boss, Ku, who is trying to seize control of Bangkok’s lucrative opium and shipping trade.

With a deadly renegade martial arts master and his henchmen enforcing the will of Boss Ku, it is not long before Master Wong is forced to take up arms.


Although only aged 22 at the time, Sammo Hung action directs with a maturity that belies his youth.

THE SKYHAWK “They’re molesting the boss’ wife”

In the scenes where Sammo Hung and Carter Wong get to let loose, we get hints of the harder-hitting style, initiated by the movies of Bruce Lee, that would become a staple of Sammo’s later choreography.

Aged nearly 70 at the time of filming, Kwan Tak Hing still manages to bring that noble, Chinese operatic style of movement and posture when performing his kung fu, albeit he is obviously doubled for the more acrobatic techniques.

The film wastes no time in getting down to some classic kung fu fighting. In the opening scenes, Carter Wong dispatches five would be assailants using some nice traditional strikes, arm holds and takedowns. The same poor five thugs are instantly punished by way of introducing their Master, played with relish by real-life Hapkido expert, Hwang Ing Shik.

THE SKYHAWK – Sammo Lets Loose

After a very tense scene in a sawmill, we are treated to a better glimpse of the legendary Kwan Tak Hing’s kung fu skills. Using a very youthful and acrobatic Sammo Hung as his foil, Master Kwan moves with an exquisite precision, to flip and throw his young apprentice.

The warring factions collide for an epic finale. Kwan Tak Hing busts out the weapons, starting with a long wooden pole and working his way to some close quarters combat.

Again, at such an early stage in his career, Sammo’s inventive choreography has Carter Wong throwing in some chin na (seizing and trapping) in between the high kicks and thundering fists.


“The Skyhawk” can probably be considered the last “true” Wong Fei Hung movie starring Kwan Tak Hing. He would still guest star as the eponymous hero in later productions such as “Magnificent Butcher”, “The Magnificent Kick” and “Dreadnaught”. However this film is much more in keeping with the scores of classics that he was front and centre of since he first starred in 1949’s “Story of Wong Fei Hung (Part 1)”.

The film plot itself is fairly standard fare, using a familiar template from the Wong Fei Hung films, and indeed many kung fu movies, that preceded and followed it. If it ain’t broke!

Although the camerawork features lots of de rigueur crash zooms, as was the fashion in the 1970s, the vast majority of the film is shot very well.

The 2K restoration complements the beautiful cinematography, which takes full advantage of the exotic Thai scenery. The music score is also very good, riffing on the classic Wong Fei Hung theme, whilst producing something slightly different at the same time.

THE SKYHAWK (Eureka Classics) Blu-ray Unboxing Video

The Eureka release comes packaged with a very informative booklet written by James Oliver. The “Bodie & Doyle” of entertaining audio commentaries, Mike Leeder and Arne Venema deliver another jovial and insightful narration.

Alternatively Asian film expert Frank Djeng also adds to his impressive catalogue of informative audio commentaries for these Eureka projects.

For the cinema academic in you, there is a great new featurette in which the aptly named Blade Po, who is an author, film critic, and Research Director specialising in martial arts films at the Hong Kong Film Archive, discusses all aspects of the movie.

The Skyhawk is an entertaining glimpse into the end of one era of martial arts movies in the style of stars such as Kwan Tak Hing, and what was to come, following the successes of Bruce Lee’s screen work. Solid viewing for fans of the old, old school!


  • Some of the Thai locations have been used in many other films including The Big Boss, Kickboxer, Time Rush and Mortal Kombat.
  • The original Wong Fei-hung sequence of films ended in 1970 and Kwan Tak Hing went into semi-retirement. During this period, Kwan opened a martial arts school and a number of herbal centres, whose branded soup and an ointment for bruises were well known in Hong Kong.
  • In 1974, Golden Harvest revived the role, pairing Kwan with Sammo Hung in The Skyhawk. Magnificent Butcher (1979), Magnificent Kick (1980), and Dreadnaught (1981) followed. TVB also aired a 13-part television series featuring Kwan as Wong Fei-hung in 1976. By this time, he was in his 70s and although he was doubled for the more athletic scenes, he still demonstrated remarkable fitness and suppleness.


Film Rating: 7/10

“THE SKYHAWK” is OUT TODAY on Blu-ray – get your copy from Eureka Video or Amazon!

Have you been enjoying these newly restored classics? Are there any kung fu flicks that didn’t do so well the first time around that deserve airing to a modern audience? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

IF YOU LOVE old school HONG KONG ACTION, discover more TREASURE GEMS in the KINGDOM of FU along with these Top 10’s, Top 5’s, exclusive interviews, own a bigger piece of nostalgia in KFK wear, and subscribe for more Golden-Days of FU on YouTube!

Glen Stanway

Influenced by the movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Glen began training in martial arts and gymnastics in 1995. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Glen is the author of "The Art of Coaching" and "Fearless The Story of Chin Woo Kung Fu", and runs a kung fu & kickboxing school in Hertfordshire, England.

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