19 user 37 critic

Du bei dao (1967)

A noble swordsman, whose arm had been chopped off, returns to his former teacher to defend him from a villainous gang of rival swordsmen.




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Credited cast:
Chung-Hsin Huang ...
Wei Hsuan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pei-Shan Chang ...
Sun Hao
Hsiung Chao ...
Chuan Chen ...
Chi student
Shao-Peng Chen ...
Chi student
Yanyan Chen ...
Madam Chi (as Yen-yen Chen)
Lei Cheng ...
Teng Chung
Lung Chiang ...
Chi student
Yuan Chieh ...
Lu Chen
Chun Chin ...
Street gambler
Siu Loi Chow ...
Bandit Hsu
Dan Fan ...


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 <ftcabral@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

26 July 1967 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

El espadachín manco  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(restored print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was the first of a new style of wuxia films emphasizing male anti-heroes, violent swordplay and heavy bloodletting. See more »


Chi Pei-erh: Don't you know I've always loved you?
Fang Kang: Loved me? You always did your best to torture me! You cut off my arm!
Chi Pei-erh: Only because you were cold and arrogant.
See more »


Followed by Xin du bi dao (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Good elements, but a little disappointing
14 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

"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.

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