Kung Fu, The Cenotaph Martial Arts(TV) 1973
One of the most popular and most unusual TV series of the early seventies, Kung Fu was an "Eastern-Western" about Kwai Chang Caine(David Carridine), a half-Chinese Shaolin monk who is a fugitive from the law in the old American West. Extensively trained in the martial arts in China, Caine eschews violence but does defend himself and defend those who are oppressed, whereever in his travels he finds them. In The Cenotaph, Caine encounters a madman McBurney(Stefan Giersach), who is hijacking a stagecoach in order to transport his dying wife. The incident prompts Caine to recall his days as a young priest in China, when he happens upon the Imperial consort May Li Ho(Nancy Kwan), who is being pursued by the Chinese warlord Kai Tong. The naive Caine falls in love with the beautiful but arrogant May Li, battling Kai Tong to defend her. Meanwhile, back in the West, Caine aids McBurney in his mad quest, hauling a large wooden box that he says contains his wife. The two stories weave back and forth, until the conclusion of The Cenotaph, when both Caine and McBurney must accept losing the women they love. Even though he is not an Asian actor, David Carridine created a very memorable character in his role as Kwai Chang Caine; his quiet strength and his Taoist spirituality made him a rare positive Chinese role model. In The Cenotaph, Nancy Kwan plays perfectly with him, as her character Mayli both transforms Caine and is transformed by him.
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