After defeating The Long-Armed Devil and his armies, our nubbed hero has been living in retirement as a farmer, but circumstances causes him to come out of retirement and take on The Eight ... See full summary »
Lei Li lost his right-arm in a sword duel with the master of a martial arts school, long ago. Now, he is able to defend himself well with just his left arm, and kung fu techniques. That he ... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
After his students are killed by the One Armed Boxer, a vengeful and blind Kung Fu expert travels to a village where a martial arts contest is being held and vows to behead every one armed man he comes across.
A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »
Chi Ming-sing is a former disciple of a gang run by overlord Yoh Xi-hung. Yoh's disciples hunt Chi relentlessly as he travels on a soul-searching journey. He comes to the aid of a seemingly... See full summary »
An evil gang attacks the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu. One student sacrifices his life to save his teacher and his school, his dying wish is that his son be taken in as a student. Young Fang Kang grows up in the school and treasures his father's broken sword and the memory of his father's sacrifice. The other students (including the teacher's daughter) resent him and try to drive him away. The teacher's daughter challenges him to a fight and when he refuses she becomes enraged and recklessly chops off his arm! He retreats, broken and bloody, and is found by a young poor girl living alone who nurses him back to health. Meanwhile, the evil gang who originally attacked the Golden Sword school develops a weapon that renders the Golden Sword useless and starts killing off all of the schools students. Fang Kang eventually recovers with the girl's help but must now face a life with only one arm. Will he be able to recover and live to defend the school as his father did? Written by
Fred Cabral <email@example.com>
"One-Armed Swordsman" is an early work of Chang Cheh, the practical godfather of kung fu cinema. Without wasting any time with describing the plot I'll dive into what I liked and didn't like.
This one is chalk full of great themes: ascension to manhood, honour, revenge, jealousy, hatred, redemption. Fairly unique in this genre is the love story between Fang Gang and Hsiao Man, which is actually quite touching.
I found it interesting, when the rival clan threatens Fang Gang's former teacher and school, how he has to choose between the martial way (protecting his teacher, seeking revenge and entering the cycle of violence again), and settling down in a comfortable life with Hsaio Man. The idea that the only thing that can save the school is Fang Gang's broken sword, that his father left him upon dying, was poetic.
The plot has all the makings of a great martial arts film. Where the film falls down though, is in the badly choreographed sword fights and really cheap sets and bad lighting. The swordfights are often wooden and slow.
I ask anyone who has raved about this film here, to look at the choreography critically... it does not come close to the best in the genre.
Granted, the fact that it is an early work (1967) probably explains this, but still does not change it.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this