Kung Fu

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  • TV-PG
  • 1972
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.6  (6,915)

Kung Fu is a classic American television series that aired on ABC from 1972 to 1975. The show followed the adventures of a Chinese-American Buddhist monk named Kwai Chang Caine, played by David Carradine, who traveled through the American Old West in search of his half-brother and further enlightenment.

The show was created by Ed Spielman and developed by Herman Miller, who were fascinated by the idea of a peaceful warrior utilizing the discipline of kung fu to overcome violent situations. The show was unique for its time as it cast an Asian actor in the lead role, challenging stereotypes and prejudices against Asians on American television.

Kwai Chang Caine is a Shaolin monk who was born in China and raised in a monastery. He is trained in martial arts and has an incredible ability to use kung fu to defend himself and others. When his mentor is murdered by a member of a rival fighting school, Caine kills the attacker in self-defense and becomes a wanted man. To escape punishment, he flees to the American West.

Throughout the series, Caine is portrayed as a wise, peaceful and compassionate man, who uses his martial arts skills to help those in need. He often finds himself in dangerous situations, either due to his own compassionate nature or because people seek him out for help with their own problems. Caine also faces many challenges because of his race and heritage, particularly in a time and place where prejudice and discrimination against Asians were commonplace.

One of the key themes of the show is the conflict between Eastern and Western cultures. Caine struggles to reconcile his own Buddhist beliefs with the violent culture of the American Wild West. Despite this, he is able to find a balance and use his teachings to promote peace and justice.

The show was praised for its portrayal of martial arts and for its thoughtful exploration of Eastern philosophy and culture. Bruce Lee was originally considered for the role of Kwai Chang Caine, but ultimately David Carradine was chosen for the part. Carradine brought a unique approach to the character, blending martial arts expertise with a contemplative, almost mystical demeanor.

Kung Fu was a critical and commercial success during its initial run, but it was not without controversy. Some critics accused the show of promoting a "mystical Asian" stereotype, while others were unhappy that an Asian actor was not cast in the lead role. Despite these criticisms, the show remains a beloved classic and continues to have a strong following.

In conclusion, Kung Fu is a classic American television series that tells the story of a Shaolin monk named Kwai Chang Caine traveling through the American Old West in search of his half-brother and further enlightenment. The show is known for its unique blend of martial arts, philosophy, and social commentary, and for breaking down barriers by casting an Asian actor in the lead role. Despite controversies surrounding the show, it remains a cherished cult favorite to this day.

Kung Fu is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (62 episodes). The series first aired on October 14, 1972.

Kung Fu
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The Last Raid
24. The Last Raid
April 26, 1975
Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) comes to the aid of a black family and a white family whose sons are kidnapped by a renegade Confederate Army officer.
23. Ambush
April 5, 1975
Serenity Johnson, the blind preacher last seen in The Nature Of Evil, asks Caine to help escort him with a shipment to San Fransisco. What neither one of them knows is that stolen silver bars are hidden in the shipment, and people involved in the robbery are after them.
The Thief of Chendo
22. The Thief of Chendo
March 29, 1975
Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) enlists the aid of the Prince of Thieves to restore a Chinese Duke to his royal throne.
Full Circle
21. Full Circle
March 15, 1975
Brothers Kwai Chang (DAVID CARRADINE) and Danny Caine (TIM McINTIRE) stand shoulder to shoulder in a fight for their lives as they try to reunite their family. Fourth part of a four-part episode. Leslie Nielsen guest stars.
The Brothers Caine
20. The Brothers Caine
March 1, 1975
Caine finds where his brother is hiding, but is unaware that Danny has been told there is a Chinese bounty hunter who wants to kill him.
Flight to Orion
19. Flight to Orion
February 22, 1975
Indians, desert killers and a Barbary Coast overlord menace Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) as he continues to search for his brother. Second part of a four-part episode. Leslie Nielsen guest stars.
Barbary House
18. Barbary House
February 15, 1975
Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) becomes a Barbary Coast prizefighter in an effort to locate his brother before he's killed. First part of a four-part episode. Leslie Nielsen guest stars.
Battle Hymn
17. Battle Hymn
February 8, 1975
Two vagabond musicians (JOSE FELICIANO and JULIAN "CANNONBALL" ADDERLEY) join Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) in an unusual adventure about a search for a boyhood dream that leads to murder.
One Step to Darkness
16. One Step to Darkness
January 25, 1975
Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) enters the spirit world to exorcise a demon and save a woman from the horrors of drug addiction.
The Forbidden Kingdom
15. The Forbidden Kingdom
January 18, 1975
The dramatic events that forced Shaolin priest Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) to flee China unfold again as Caine relives his desperate attempt to escape the Emperor's revenge.
A Lamb to the Slaughter
14. A Lamb to the Slaughter
January 11, 1975
Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) is forced to repay a family debt of honor--by teaching a peaceful man how to kill!
The Vanishing Image
13. The Vanishing Image
December 20, 1974
Death comes in three forms when Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) confronts a killer from China, a dying photographer (LEW AYRES) and an Indian youth threatened by the death of his own spirit.
The Demon God
12. The Demon God
December 13, 1974
Kwai Chang Caine--both the boy (RADAMES PERA) and the man (DAVID CARRADINE)--confront the menace of death in a bizarre mystery of the supernatural.
Besieged: Cannon at the Gates (2)
11. Besieged: Cannon at the Gates (2)
November 22, 1974
Caine's (DAVID CARRADINE) love for the intended bride of a Chinese warlord is overshadowed by the warrior's threat to destroy the Shaolin temple where she has sought refuge. Second part of a two-part episode that begins with Besieged: Death on a Cold Mountain
Besieged: Death on a Cold Mountain (1)
10. Besieged: Death on a Cold Mountain (1)
November 15, 1974
Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) leads an attack against a Chinese warlord who threatens to destroy the Shaolin temple unless a young, novice nun is surrendered to his passion. First part of a two-part episode that concludes with Besieged: Cannon at the Gates
The Garments of Rage
9. The Garments of Rage
November 8, 1974
Disciple opposes master when Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) takes a stand against a renegade Shaolin priest (JAMES SHIGETA) terrorizing a railroad company in America to avenge his nephew's death.
The Devil's Champion
8. The Devil's Champion
November 1, 1974
We return to Caine's past in China. Caine witnesses a man defeat six others in the village. The man instructs Caine to deliver a challenge. He demands a fight to the death with Master Kan or he will kill a villager every day until he gets it.
Cry of the Night Beast
7. Cry of the Night Beast
October 19, 1974
A mystical revelation compels Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) to protect a buffalo calf whose life force is supernaturally linked to a young, expectant mother.
My Brother, My Executioner
6. My Brother, My Executioner
October 12, 1974
Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) continues his search for his American half-brother, only to learn that Danny Caine is being drawn into a shootout by an ambitious gunfighter.
The Predators
5. The Predators
October 5, 1974
A charge of attempted murder spurs Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) to invade the lair of vicious killers and kidnap the only man who can clear him.
This Valley of Terror
4. This Valley of Terror
September 28, 1974
A journey to mysterious Indian burial grounds -- and into the frightening recesses of the human mind -- awaits Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) when he encounters a young woman (SONDRA LOCKE) who has escaped from an insane asylum.
A Small Beheading
3. A Small Beheading
September 21, 1974
The Emperor's offer of a pardon is really a trap to finally kill Caine.
Blood of the Dragon (2)
2. Blood of the Dragon (2)
September 14, 1974
The life of Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) is threatened by two deadly forces--by the Chinese assassins sent to America by the Order of the Avenging Dragon and by Sara Kingsley (PATRICIA NEAL), a matriarch of a ranching family with a sinister secret.
Blood of the Dragon (1)
1. Blood of the Dragon (1)
September 14, 1974
Kwai Chang Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) is stalked by two deadly adversaries: The Order of the Avenging Dragon--who act as guardians to the Royal Household of Imperial China and have sworn to avenge the death of the royal nephew--and by Sara Kingsley (PATRICIA NEAL), the matriarch of a ranching empire, who considers Caine's insistent probing into her family's background a threat to her existence.
Where to Watch Kung Fu
Kung Fu is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Kung Fu on demand at Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    October 14, 1972
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (6,915)