6.6/10
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Nu xia mai ren tou (1970)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure | 1970 (Hong Kong)
This tale is about a decapitating swordswoman who will let nothing stand in her way when she falls in love with a bandit's son. Chiao Chiao, made famous in One-Armed Swordsman, is the girl ... See full summary »

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(as Chang Ho Cheng)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Huo Bi-Lien
Liang Chen ...
Lu Hung Hsin
...
Pao Tzu-an
Miao Ching ...
Huo Chen Fang
Helen Ma ...
Pao Chin-hua
Li Tung ...
Huo Tien-peng (as Kang Hua)
Yanyan Chen ...
Madam Lu (as Yen-yen Chen)
Cho-Cho Lai ...
Madam Hua
Ai Lien Pan ...
Hsiao Hsiang
Pao Chin Yeh ...
Hsiao Hung
Lei Cheng ...
Mei Lao
Chun Liu ...
Yu Ching-erh
Liu Hung ...
Pai Hua-she
...
Wan San-chu
Sau Kei Lee ...
Dr. Chang Kuo Yang
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Storyline

This tale is about a decapitating swordswoman who will let nothing stand in her way when she falls in love with a bandit's son. Chiao Chiao, made famous in One-Armed Swordsman, is the girl who won't let such trifles as craniums keep her from freeing her man from jail. The one villain who manages to keep his head (in every definition of the phrase) is Fan Mei-sheng.

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Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

1970 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Heads for Sale  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

HEADS FOR SALE - Chiao Chiao shines in offbeat Shaw Bros. adventure
31 March 2008 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

HEADS FOR SALE (1970) is distinguished by two contributions—it's got fight direction by Simon Hsu (aka Hsu Er Niu), the talented but unsung fight choreographer responsible for the action in such other 1970s Shaw Bros. adventures as DUEL FOR GOLD, BROTHERS FIVE, AMBUSH, THE FLYING GUILLOTINE, and A TASTE OF COLD STEEL, and its lead actress is Chiao Chiao, who normally played the swordsman's loyal girlfriend (ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN, THE ASSASSIN). Here Chiao Chiao gets to be a swordswoman herself and puts on quite a good show for the most part. She plays the daughter of a reformed bandit (Ching Miao) and when her marriage proposal is reportedly rejected by a local hero, she goes ballistic and attacks his villa with swords in hand trying to kill him. It's all a misunderstanding and the hero (played by Korean actor Chen Liang) spends the rest of the movie trying to make amends with her. But the heroine's chance assist of a peasant husband whose wife has been taken by local gangsters to pay off gambling debts leads to a series of escalating confrontations between the good guys and the gang leader's growing band of thugs (one of whom is kung fu great Chen Sing). After numerous contrived twists and turns in which the screenwriter brings in new sets of characters to keep things moving every time the plot hits a dead end, it all culminates in a big battle at the villains' stronghold with dozens of combatants leaping, flipping, slashing, stabbing and dismembering with glee. Finally, the heroine and the lead villain have a dramatic duel on a rope bridge over a perilous gorge—filmed on location.

The title refers to a scene where the heroine announces "heads for sale" after she's beheaded two of her opponents in a fight at the villain's headquarters and then attempts to get herself arrested with one of the heads so she can join the hero in jail to help rescue him and use the other head to get a local doctor framed so he can join them in jail as well and cure the ailing hero. (I told you it gets contrived, but at least it's never boring.)

If you don't demand too much from the storyline and don't mind the B-list Shaw cast, there's a fast pace, short running time (81 min.) and lots of action, much of it filmed on outdoors locations. Chiao Chiao was one of the studio's more serious actresses and it's a treat to see her cut loose here and have some fun as a high-leaping, horse-riding, temperamental swordfighting heroine at the center of the action. She's no Cheng Pei Pei, but she's certainly good enough for this film.


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