Kid with the Golden Arm
|The Kid with the Golden Arm|
DVD release cover
|Directed by||Chang Cheh|
|Written by||Cheng Cheh
Wang Lung Wei
|Distributed by||Shaw Brothers Studio|
|Running time||86 minutes|
Kid with the Golden Arms (original title: Jin bei tong) is a 1979 Shaw Brothers kung fu film directed by Chang Cheh and produced by Mona Fong. It is one of the few Venom Mob films to include Wei Pai (Snake Venom).
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (October 2014)|
Yang Yu Heng (Sun Chien) is asked by the government to escort a cargo of gold into a famine area. However, he must contend with the vicious Chi Sah gang who boast the individual talents of leader Golden Arm (Lo Mang), plus Silver Spear (Lu Feng), Iron Robe (Wang Lung Wei), and Brass Head (Yang Hsuing). In order to protect the gold from their attentions, Yang hires the services of swordsman Li Chin Ming (Wei Pai) and his girlfriend Miss Leng (Pan Pin-Chang), the axe-wielding duo known as Short Axe and Long Axe: Yen and Feng (Chiang Sheng and Sun Shu-Pei), and drunken master Hai To (Kuo Chui).
Yang and his men proceed to deliver the gold as planned after enlisting the help of Short Axe and Long Axe, as well as Li Chin Ming and his girlfriend Miss Leng. Before meeting up with Yang, Miss Ling encounters Iron Robe whilst on her way to meet Li Ching Ming at a winery. Iron Robe assures her that he does not fight women and seemingly lets her pass through the road. However, she is attacked by a group of Chi Sah thugs. Drunken master Hai To appears and easily dispatches Miss Leng's attackers. He quickly departs before Miss Leng can thank him.
Miss Leng arrives at the winery and notifies her boyfriend of what had happened. Ming is attacked by the waiter after he pours them a drink but then tries to sneak up behind Ming with a sword. Ming disposes of him calmly while sitting down. As the owner of the winery confronts Ming about killing his employee Ming explains what had happened. The owner appears upset at the manager for hiring such man. As the manager apologizes he discretely hands a spear over to the owner. The owner attacks without warning as Ming is just missed. Ming is caught off guard and stricken with the "sand palm" which poisons him. Ming and Miss Leng narrowly escape with their lives. As the couple leaves, Hai To enters the winery. A Chi Sah thug runs into Hai To and is sent reeling backwards as he spits up blood and dies. Hai To continues to enter despite all the commotion and remain relaxed as if nothing was happening. As he sits at a table he asks the manager for wine. The manager obliges and brings a jar of wine. As Hai To is drinking the manager smashes the jar with his head. Hai To identifies the manager as Brass Head and the owner as Silver Spear and they pull off their disguises.
Silver Spear tries to persuade Hai To to join the Chi Sah gang. Hai To said that he would under three terms: he would have to be made chief number 1 of the Chi Sah gang and all the old members of the gang must be killed. Hai To attempts to think of a third term but then takes it back. A fight nearly breaks out due to his incompetence. However, they allow Hai To to leave quietly.
Meanwhile, Ming is suffering from the effects of the sand palm. Miss Leng shows concern. Ming states that he will live for at least two more days thanks to his internal control techniques. Miss Leng wishes to go out of their way to bring Ming to a doctor. Ming refuses and presses onward to meet up with Yang without Miss Leng.
Yang and the others make preparations to receive the gold they are to deliver. Short Axe and Long Axe find a Chi Sah member sneaking around the grounds and brings him to Yang. The member exclaims that he should just be killed as torture is not right. Short Axe and Long Axe agree and Short Axe slashes the member's throat with one of his axes. Brass Head appears from a secret tunnel in the floor as well as several Chi Sah thugs. Yang, Short Axe, and Long Axe deal with all of them and mortally wound Brass Head. It is now that Golden Arm makes his entrance. With Brass Head's dying words he tells Golden Arm that Iron Robe was able to intercept the cart carrying the gold, however he set up a signal as there was some apparent problem. Golden Arm tells Brass Head that he will check what the problem is. He also says for Brass Head not to worry as all three of these men were going to die. Brass Head thanks his master and collapses in death. The three warriors attempt to attack Golden Arm but to no avail. Their weapons and martial skill was useless against Golden Arm's arms. The three warriors look on in disbelief as Golden Arm exits.
Meanwhile, Hai To has pursued Iron Robe and popped off the wheel of the cart of gold. Iron Robe sets up a flare as a signal that he needs help. Iron Robe discovers Hai To and Iron Robe along with several Chi Sah thugs attack Hai To. Hai To kills the thugs and faces Iron Robe one on one. Iron Robe is eventually killed when he leaps over the wagon and Hai To throws a spear at Iron Robe from beneath him. Hai To leaves and Golden Arm arrives to observe the aftermath. Golden Arm suspects it is the work of Hai To and becomes determined to fight him as it would be an honor to fight someone as skilled as Hai To. Golden Arm realizes the cart is broken and leaves the gold as it is as there is no way of transporting it in a broken cart.
Ming encounters Silver Spear as he presses onward. They both engage in combat. However, the effects of the sand palm make itself pertinent and Ming is easily overwhelmed by Silver Spear. Hai To appears again to save Ming. Silver Spear attacks Hai To but he dodges and grabs onto the spear. Silver Spear exclaims Hai To is first person to ever grab it. Hai To says Silver Spear is the first one to ever be able to hold onto it. Silver Spear makes a last attempt to convert Hai To. Hai To reminds Silver Spear of his terms and Silver Spear continues to battle. Miss Leng arrives and Hai To warns Silver Spear that he should leave, as he would be outnumbered. Silver Spear takes Hai To's advice and leaves. Hai To picks up Ming's unconscious body and runs off with Miss Leng trailing behind.
Hai To takes Ming to a place to be cremated. He states that the ashes with the sand palm poison will fetch a good price. Miss Leng attacks Hai To infuriated but Hai To defends himself with no problem. Ming regains consciousness inside a cremation room. The heat rises as Ming yells in pain.
Yang and the others are continuing to go collect the gold. They take a rest in an abandoned spot. Yang notices that his guards are non responsive. It is revealed that they are dead. The Chi Sah gang rigged the logs they were sitting on with poisoned needles. They attempt to leave the area but another one of the guards die as they discover the ground is rigged as well. The cart of gold is discovered however and they use the wood from the cart to cover their feet as the continue to travel.
Miss Leng is in a rage and tells Hai To she will hunt him down. Ming escapes the cremation room as Hai To's actual plan was revealed. The intense heat of the cremation room would cause Ming to sweat out the poisons of the sand palm. Ming is cured of his ailment and he leaves with Miss Leng. They eventually meet up with Yang in a town. They stay in a settlement for the night. They soon realize that the Chi Sah gang has booby trapped the settlement with poison. The water around the town was poisoned along with poison gas traps being set up on torches. Hai To suggests they sleep outside. Everyone agrees as they all sleep outside. Hai To and Miss Leng become flirtatious.
Two of Yang's men decide it is not safe to oppose the Chi Sah gang and attempt to take the gold and run away. The others investigate when they hear screaming. The two men are dead. Hai To suspects the chest is poisoned and that the men attempted to steal some gold. Yang assures Hai To that there are no traitors among his men. In the morning Hai To is gone and the others continue.
Hai To is at another winery drinking. Silver Spear tracks him down. It is here that Hai To confronts Silver Spear of the trap that killed the two of Yang's men back in town. Silver Spear is confused about this and Hai To's suspicions only get deeper. Silver Spear leaves Hai To with an ultimanum: join the Chi Sah gang or duel Golden Arm. Hai To chooses to have a duel with Golden Arm. Silver Spear leaves Hai To in the winery.
The remaining men of Yang's escort become very paranoid and ask if they can leave. Yang takes offense to this and becomes angry. Ming has a different point of view and says if they are scared then they really shouldn't be there. Yang lets his men leave.
Meanwhile, Short Axe and Long Axe scout the road ahead. They encounter some Chi Sah thugs and Silver Spear. The duo seem to fare well against the thugs. Silver Spear realizes he and his men are losing the fight and understands he must kill one of them quickly. A lone Chi Sah thug enganges Short Axe as Silver Spear throws his throwing darts at Long Axe and greatly wounds him. Silver Spear then proceeds to extend his spear and impale Long Axe which kills him. Short Axe deals with the Chi Sah thugs meanwhile and fights Silver Spear one on one. The battle is close and Silver Spear appears to have the upper hand. A Chi Sah thug sneaks up behind Short Axe and impales him with a spear. Short Axe uses his dual axes to kill the thug. Silver Spear is pleased and casually walks over to Short Axe to finish him off. Short Axe uses the spear enlodged in his body to stab Silver Spear. They both back off and then appear ready to fight again. However, they both fall over due to their wounds and both die.
Yang, Miss Leng, and Ming find the bodies and make them a proper grave. Ming storms off impatiently. Miss Leng suspects he will challenge Golden Arm. Ming meets with Golden Arm and engages him in battle. Golden Arm fends off Ming without breaking a sweat. Ming defends himself decently until he loses his sword. He eventually reobtains his sword but not for long and Golden Arm bends the blade around his arm and as Ming moves forward, Golden arm lets go of the blade and it jetisons forward, mortally wounding Ming. Miss Leng arrives and tries to give Ming her sword. However, he dies on the spot. Golden Arm warns Miss Leng that she should leave. He would give her three days. Hai To runs into Miss Leng and notifies her to return to the spot in two hours, for then it would be settled.
Hai To and Yang arrive to meet with Golden Arm. Hai To and Golden Arm begin to fight. Golden Arm overwhelms Hai To, even after many uses of weapons and techniques against him including Yang's sword which Golden Arm quickly shatters to pieces. Eventually, Hai To drinks wine out of a canteen in his shirt. Later in the fight he spits it in Golden Arm's eyes which blinds him. Yang insists that Golden Arm be killed as Hai To explains that Golden Arm won't be very dangerous blind.
A man who looks exactly like Yang proceeds to jump out of the cart of gold and slash Hai To with his sword. It is revealed that this man is Iron Feet. This leaves the audience thinking of when who they thought of Yang was actually Iron feet. Long ago, Iron Feet was seen as Golden Arm's equal. When Golden Arm formed the Chi Sah Gang, Iron Feet was discredited greatly. Iron Feet and Yang joined forces to steal the gold. Hai To realizes this and explains that Iron Feet would likely kill Yang to get his hands on all of the gold. Yang is shocked and is sent reeling back from one of Iron Feet's kicks and dies.
Iron Feet attacks Golden Arm who is blinded by the wine. Golden Arm uses his hearing to know where Iron Feet is. He holds himself very well against Iron Feet until Iron Feet starts to walk softly so that Golden Arm could not hear his footsteps.
Hai To steps in for Golden Arm and they both engage in a stalemate duel. Iron Feet unknowingly makes his way over to the blinded Chi Sah leader and falls to Golden Arm who impales him from behind with his arm.
Golden Arm explains that he would now live quietly somewhere and retire. Miss Leng appears behind him and impales Golden Arm with Ming's broken sword. Golden Arm pulls the sword out of himself and holds the blade up to Miss Leng's neck and almost kills her. Golden Arm however says that it is better this way anyhow and that he could not see himself being retired. Golden Arm collapses and dies. Hai To leaves Miss Leng to escort the gold as he tells her he is going to go get drunk and walks off.
The Chi Sah gang has four chiefs. They are ranked in terms of who is the most skilled (1 being the most skillful and 4 being the least skilled of the chiefs.)
Chief Number 1: Golden Arm Golden Arm is the undisputed leader and founder of the Chi Sah gang. Golden Arm is the youngest member of the gang. He is cold and ruthless, yet has a strong sense of honor and loyalty. He finds great honor in fighting someone who can give him a challenge. As implied by his name, both of his arms are as hard and solid as gold and are invulnerable to anything. He can even rip solid metal to shreds with ease. As stated by Hai To after their duel, Golden Arm's fighting technique is unflawed and would have very well beat him had it not been for Hai To blinding him.
Chief Number 2: Silver Spear Second in command of the Chi Sah gang. His abilities with a spear are unmatched. His own spear has a special ability. When needed, the pole has the ability to extend itself. He also carries throwing darts on his belt that when prompted, he will throw at his opponent.
Chief Number 3: Iron Robe Iron Robe just as his namesake implies, wears an iron robe. His robe makes him for the most part invulnerable to most weaponry and combined with his own martial arts skill makes him a worthy opponent. He hides behind somewhat of a regal and sophisticated attitude although he is actually equally as brutal as the other chiefs.
Chief Number 4: Brass Head Brass Head's main offense in a fight is not surprisingly, striking with his head. He wears a helmet made of brass to amplify his head strikes. Brass Head's head has proven fatal to anyone who has been unfortunate enough to be struck by it.
- Sun Chien – Yang/Iron Feet
- Lo Mang – Golden Arms
- Kuo Chui – Hai To
- Lu Feng – Silver Spear
- Chiang Sheng – Short Axe
- Sun Shu-Pei – Long Axe
- Wei Pai – Li Chin Ming
- Pan Pin-Chang – Miss Leng
- Wang Lung Wei – Iron Robe
- Dick Wei
- In the Xbox game Jade Empire, the Dragon Sword is nearly an exact replica of Yang's sword.
- Rapper U-God took his name (Golden Arms) from this film.
- Wu-Tang Clan's song "Gravel Pit" mentions the movie's title in the lyrics.
- Kid with the Golden Arm at Hong Kong Cinemagic
- The Kid With The Golden Arm at the Internet Movie Database
- The Kid With The Golden Arm at AllMovie