28 user 56 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.



, (story) (as Sung-ling Pu)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Yang Hui-ching
Chun Shih ...
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 ...
Li Jen Ho
Chung Mou Hsieh
Han Hsieh ...
Dr. Lu Meng
Hsing Chun Hsu


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


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

18 November 1971 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

A Touch of Zen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


No. 9 in the Hong Kong Film Awards' List of The Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures. See more »


The film is set in the 14th century AD. However, the Gu family have maize (corn) drying outside their house - this crop is American in origin and did not reach China until the 16th century. See more »


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

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User Reviews

Top ten favorites. A Touch of Zen
19 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

A Touch of Zen (1969) has to be one of the best films ever made. I am one of those people who can never truly name a personnel favorite film. I feel that there isn't a film that you can say is the best ever. I still do but if I had to say five or ten, A Touch of Zen would have to be in the top five. I haven't felt this way about a movie since I saw The Seventh Seal. I love this movie. Everything from the beautiful photography down to the deepness of the picture. The acting is superb, the writing is top notch and the direction is flawless. The film has everything you could want in a movie; action, drama, and comedy. The soundtrack is haunting and the wire work is amazing. No wonder why so many movies have copied off of this film (notably Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix Trilogy). Unlike those other films this movie will withstand the test of time


This movie is awesome. A magical experience caught on celluloid. A true treasure.

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