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In the second half of the 1960s, the era's biggest studio, Shaw Brothers, inaugurated a new generation of wuxia films, starting with Xu Zenghong's Temple of the Red Lotus (1965), a remake of the 1928 classic.

These Mandarin productions were more lavish and in colour; their style was less fantastical and more intense, with stronger and more acrobatic violence.

Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry's global fame.

It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling, aesthetic traditions and filmmaking techniques, to create a culturally distinctive form that nevertheless has a wide transcultural appeal.

Hu soon left Shaw Brothers to pursue his own vision of wuxia with independent productions in Taiwan, such as the enormously successful Dragon Inn (1967, aka Dragon Gate Inn).

Animation and special effects drawn directly on the film by hand were used to simulate the flying abilities and other preternatural powers of characters; later titles in the cycle included The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute (1965) and Sacred Fire, Heroic Wind (1966).

He was succeeded in the 1980s by Jackie Chan—who popularised the use of comedy, dangerous stunts, and modern urban settings in action films—and Jet Li, whose authentic wushu skills appealed to both eastern and western audiences.

The innovative work of directors and producers like Tsui Hark and John Woo introduced further variety (for example, gunplay, triads, heroic bloodshed, and the supernatural).

Chang's only competitor as the genre’s most influential filmmaker was his long-time action choreographer, Lau Kar Leung (aka Liu Chia Liang in Mandarin).

Lau began directing his own movies for the Shaw brothers in 1975 with The Spiritual Boxer, a progenitor of the kung fu comedy.

In recent years, the flow has reversed somewhat, with American and European action films being heavily influenced by Hong Kong genre conventions.

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