Taiwanese Swordplay Classics

HK Classics talk. Shaw Brothers, Golden Harvest and independent Classics. Share your views.
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Taiwanese Swordplay Classics

Postby Goldenswallow » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:27 pm

Precision25 mentioned he'd like to see a Taiwanese swordplay section... as it's my favourite sub genre I'll do the honours and start us off. Hopefully it'll grow to be as magnificent as the Bruceploitation thread!

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Postby Goldenswallow » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:32 pm

First up...

[B]Veiling of Hidden Sword - 1980[/B]


Che Yue-San

Tien Peng
Doris Lung Chun-Erh
Tin Hok
Siu Pooi-Yue
Wong Bo-Yuk
Chan Wai-Lau


The story starts off fairly simply, Tien Peng plays ‘Nimble Knife Li 18’ (from now on referred to as Li) who’s wife and child get murdered by the leader of the Heaven Sect (Tien Ho) and his goons. Obviously Li isn’t too pleased to discover what’s happened when he returns home but fortunately he finds a clue identifying the culprit and sets off on a bloody mission of vengeance. Along the way he gets poisoned and ends up being rescued by Doris Lung Chun Er whose village is involved in some sort of dispute with the Heaven Sect. Inevitably it all comes to a head as Li finally gets to face off against his ultimate foe for the sake of the put upon villagers and his dead family!

A lot of Tien Peng taiwanese swordplay films tend to be very similar really and storywise Veiling Of The hidden sword is pretty run-of-the-mill, for the most part the direction (by Che Yu San) is pretty average as well and falls slightly short of similar Li Chia efforts (although there are some nice touches). Where it does stand out though is in the action which is absolutely awesome! I don’t know who the action director was but he serves up some of the best sword fights I’ve seen, combining lightning fast and complex exchanges with some real effective editing - a real treat for swordplay fans! I don’t want to go too overboard in my praise but when Li took on a host of henchmen in a brothel I found myself thinking ‘mmm, this could be the best inn fight I’ve seen’ and suprisingly the finale even surpassed that as the Tien brothers squared off in a lengthy and satisfying duel to the death. The only disappointment action-wise was that Doris was in a non fighting role, you can’t have everything though I suppose.

Although the story does drag very slightly towards the end I’d still put this among Tien Peng’s top films - he looks particularly cool in his wide brimmed hat and he’s got a bit more attitude than normal. Highly recommended for 80’s swordplay fans.


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Postby Goldenswallow » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:51 pm

[B]The Jade Fox 1979[/B]


Go Bo-Shu

Action Directors
Chan Muk-Chuen
Jacky Chen Shao-Lung

Lo Lieh
Tien Peng
Doris Lung Chun-Erh
Eddy Ko Hung
Go Bo-Shu


I got this on Pete’s recommendation in another thread - what a great film!

Jade Fox has got something for everyone, it’s a swordplay/shapes hybrid with some great fighting, lovely ladies and a strong cast including Tien Peng, Eddy Kao, Doris Lung Chun Er and Lo Lieh.

Tien Peng is the Jade Fox, a cunning and invincible roving swordsman who gets drawn into a vaguely confusing plot involving the Prime Minister and a secret map which comes into his possession. Female director Kao Pao Shu also plays his nemesis who will go to any lengths to retrieve the map with the help of her top henchman Lo Lieh. Jade Fox later teams up with Doris Lung and his good mate Eddy Kao to rescue their buddy who’s been kidnapped by Kao Pao Shu. There’s plenty more going on with truck loads of twists and turns, nobody is quite what they seem and there’s a surpirising turn of events at the end - but is Jade Fox cunning enough to figure it out?

Although The Jade Fox has the look and story of a wuxia film a lot of the fighting is very much in the shapes style with Tien Peng, Eddy Ko and Doris Lung in particular busting out some decent moves. My favourite fight was Doris Lung’s introduction when she strides into a brothel looking for her hubby and kicks off in fine style thrashing any one who gives her any back chat. There’s also a young kid with extraordinary monkey fist skills (his master is an actual monkey) who later teams up with Jade Fox.

There is also a hell of a lot of bizarre weapons and gadgets on display which you would expect to see in a film like this - Eddy Kao’s iron hand was a particular favourite of mine. Kao Pao Shu has an impressively deadly sedan chair which is full of traps and spikes but perhaps the best was Lo Lieh’s rolling land boat / prison which is really something to behold - possibly the least practical vehicle I’ve ever seen on film!

If you’re a fan of swordplay films I would strongly recommend Jade Fox - Tien Peng and the rest of the cast are in top form, the story’s quite interesting and most importantly there’s tons of fighting all the way through. Great stuff!


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Postby Goldenswallow » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:16 am

[B]Fight For Glory - 1980[/B]

Got no review for this Gu Long adaptation but it's one of the best. The Norman Chu and Dave Chiang pairing is memorable for more famous films like The Loot or Challenger but don't sleep on Fight For Glory - a taiwanese shapes / swordplay classic!!!!!!!!

[Quote=Rarebastard]Fight for glory has a dark gritty feel, no comedy there folks. I love these types of swordplay flicks, a bit of undercranking goes a long way but hard to follow plots seem better to me for some reason.(better than no plot )[/Quote]

Hui Sing-Yue

Action Directors
Wong Chung-Wing
Yau Pang-Sang
Lam Gwong-Wing

Norman Chu Siu-Keung
Ching Li
Lau Seung-Him
Siu Pui-Ling
David Chiang Da-Wei
Ma Chin-Ku
Yu Chung-Chiu
Ching Paang






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Postby Goldenswallow » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:57 pm

Although my favourites are from the late 70's / early 80's no Taiwanese thread could miss out the king of Taiwanese swordplays .... Joseph Kuo. He often teamed up with one of my favourite actresses of the early 70's era the beautiful Cheung Ching Ching (who'll probably get a dedicated post later on!). Of course in those days the plots tended to be much simpler affairs than the 'mysteries' of the later era.









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Postby kaleyboy » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:44 pm

I love these swordplay classics too. My group FuSubs did Mysterious Knight & Patriotic Heroine with custom english subs. We have The Eight Dragon Sword coming up soon.

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Postby pollypolly » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:21 pm

[Quote=Eagles Claw Champ] Assassin another bad ass swordplay proper flick this one mates.

I agree, Assassin is a quality swordplay Here are a couple more stills from an old magazine I used to have:

[B]Ghost Hill[/B] is another great swordplay that, as we know, got a nice release from Hoker a year or two back. Classic male/female lead of Tien Peng & Polly Kuan and features what must be the best role ever for Sit Hon as a golden haired fox. The film gets my highest recommendation.

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Postby Goldenswallow » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:57 am

[B]Witty Hand Witty Sword - 1978[/B]



Pao Hsueh-Li

Action Director
Hsieh Hsing

Shut Chung-Tin
Pearl Cheung Ling
Tien Peng
Chung Wa
Chin Meng
Man Kong-Lung
Tin Hok

Tien Peng and Pearl Cheung star in Gu Long’s story of revenge and the search for the legendary ‘Witty Sword’ of the title.

The plot’s a bit complicated (but not too difficult to follow) so I won’t go into it in too much depth. Basically Pearl Cheung’s father is the owner of the most powerful weapon in the martial world - the Witty Sword. When a mysterious clan (with designs on the sword) kills her whole family Pearl has to go on the run. Luckily she bumps into a mysterious fisherman who trains her up in the martial arts ready to take her revenge. In the meantime her adoptive brother (Tien Peng) has got himself mixed up with the evil clan but resolves to prevent them from hurting his sister.

‘Witty Hand Witty Sword’ is a decent Gu Long adaptation that in terms of quality falls about in the middle of the scale, by which I mean it isn’t as good as something like ‘Flying Sword Lee’ (by the same director) but better than some of the more confusing efforts like Barry Chan’s ‘Last Duel’.

Although there’s plenty of great swordplay action throughout the film, Pearl doesn’t actually learn to fight until the final fifteen minutes or so which is a real shame. The final scenes where she storms the evil clan’s lair offers up the best action of the film as she defeats waves of attackers with her newly learnt mystical style. Action Director, Hsieh Hsing also worked on films like ‘Lost swordship’ and’ Lawman’ so swordplay fans should know what to expect - wirework and trick photography aplenty!

Overall a decent effort and worth tracking down, especially for Pearl fans. I had the pleasure of watching the letterbox Rarescope version which may have had slightly washed out colours but was otherwise an excellent print, definately an improvement on the fullscreen version which was previously available.

7 / 10


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The ending ...;D

Postby Athena » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:28 pm

[Quote=Pete Jr] Another great Taiwanese classic and a MUST SEE!!!
Three Famous Constables (1983)
Alias: The Elimination Pursuit

One of my favorites ! Totally underrated ..!
Very cool ending ..!

Xiexie, Athena ..

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Agree with Athena

Postby Serbianguy » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:03 am

My favorite wuxia Taiwanese movie is The Elimination Pursuit.

Best fight best choreography ever.

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