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Trail of the Broken Blade (1967)

Duan chang jian (original title)
A young aristocratic knight Li Yueh renounces his sword, identity & the woman he loves after going on the lam for assassinating a corrupt official responsible for his father's demise. While... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Li Yueh
Ping Chin ...
Liu Chen-erh
Chuang Chiao ...
Fang Chun-chao
Chiao Chiao
Hung Lieh Chen ...
Tu Lung
Lei Cheng
Cliff Lok ...
(as Chin Tung)
Ping Ou Wei
Feng Tien
Ying Lee
Peng Peng
Mei Sheng Fan ...
Hu-tzu
Ma Wu
Ti Tang
Chung Lin
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Storyline

A young aristocratic knight Li Yueh renounces his sword, identity & the woman he loves after going on the lam for assassinating a corrupt official responsible for his father's demise. While living incognito as a lowly stable-hand in a country tavern, Li's past catches up with him when he meets by chance Fang Chun Chao, a platonic benefactor of Li's betrothed whom he assists to reunite with Li. Meanwhile Fang himself is trailed by his own sworn enemies, the Tu clan of Flying Fish Island where all converge and where Li is forced out from his undercover existence and back to the way of the blade. Written by Kenny Woo

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Musical | Drama | Action

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4 March 1967 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Trail of the Broken Blade  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Solid early effort from Chang Cheh
11 April 2015 | by (Alabama) – See all my reviews

In 1967, the conventions of the Chinese martial arts film as we know it were still being established. Shaw Brothers had released King Hu's groundbreaking swordplay drama "Come Drink with Me" the year before, and it established a trend toward better, more realistic action choreography. Chang Cheh was contributing to the evolution of the swordplay film, too: "The Magnificent Trio" (1966) was rough around the edges but showed a lot of promise, and Chang's approach had become considerably more sophisticated and streamlined by the time he directed "Trail of the Broken Blade". Critics don't care much for this one, but it really was the prototype for every subsequent Chang Cheh movie...and for just about everything else, since Chang was so widely imitated. All the elements of his formula are here: a stern, chivalrous hero (Wang Yu) who faces seemingly impossible odds; a comic book-type villain (Tien Feng) who resides at the center of an impregnable fortress and whose henchmen wield an array of exotic weapons; and, of course, messy stomach wounds. Watch any Chang Cheh film made after "Trail of the Broken Blade" and you'll see how it built on the foundation laid here. The action (choreographed by Tang Chia and Liu Chia-liang) is too infrequent but holds up surprisingly well, especially during the bloody final battle. (In my opinion, the fights in "Trail" are superior to those in Chang's later--and more successful--"The One-Armed Swordsman".) There's some fine acting, too, particularly from supporting players Chiao Chiao and Wei Ping-ou. Any fan interested in the origins of the genre should see this film.


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