7.6/10
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27 user 44 critic

A Touch of Zen (1971)

Xia nü (original title)
A lady fugitive on the run from corrupt government officials is joined in her endeavors by an unambitious painter and skilled Buddhist monks.

Director:

Writers:

, (story) (as Sung-ling Pu)
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Feng Hsu ...
Yang Hui-ching
Chun Shih ...
Ku Shen Chai
Ying Bai ...
General Shih Wen-chiao
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Chan
Ming-Wai Chan ...
(as Ming-Wei Chen)
Ping-Yu Chang
Yi Kuei Chang
Yun Wen Chang
Shih Wei Chen
...
Hui Yuan
Ying-Chieh Han ...
Hsu
Li Jen Ho
Chung Mou Hsieh
Han Hsieh ...
Dr. Lu Meng
Hsing Chun Hsu
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Storyline

An artist, Ku, lives with his mother near an abandoned fort, reputed to be haunted. One night, investigating strange noises, he meets the beautiful Yang who is living there. She is being pursued by agents of an Imperial noble who have murdered her family. Ku finds himself caught up in her struggle to survive, and many fierce battles take place before all is resolved. Action adventure with a lyrical feel, this is a kung fu film with a strong spiritual element. Written by Richard Hills <R.Hills@wlv.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1971 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

A Touch of Zen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although filming began in 1968, A Touch of Zen was not completed until 1971. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not just a kung-fu masterpiece, one of the last century's great cinema triumphs
16 September 2004 | by (Somerset, England) – See all my reviews

I just never expected anything like the experience of watching "A Touch of Zen". I settled down to watch a quaint old film from 1960s' world cinema. Three hours later I was exhilarated after stumbling across of the greatest films made in the 20th century - and it wasn't a moment too long.

The film is carefully structured, in three contrasting sections. It is only when you look back that you realize just how cleverly King Hu has created those three sections. The same characters, for the most part, appear in each section, but each focuses on a different combination. The first section focuses on the artist Ku, slowly building a picture of a quiet life in a rural backwater. The second switches tempo, with amazing martial arts action focusing on the fugitive Ku and her friends. The final section calms down again, as the mysterious Buddhist monk comes into sharp focus, and the martial arts become more and more amazing.

All this takes place in the most beautiful Chinese countryside, sometimes bathed in light (the use of sunlight and the monk is particularly impressive) and sometimes in dramatic thunderstorms, making the film even more of a delight to watch. Don't be put off by the 'kung-fu' label, this is even better than "Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger".


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