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The Lady Hermit (1971)
"Zhong kui niang zi" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama  -  1971 (Hong Kong)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 198 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 12 critic

A young Kung Fu student (Shih Szu) seeks a reclusive teacher so that she may learn to defeat the evil Black Demon. She doesn't realize that the servant woman she befriends (Cheng Pei-Pei) ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
'Lady Hermit' Shang Yu-ling
Lieh Lo ...
Wu Chang-chun
Szu Shih ...
Chin Tsui-peng
Hsieh Wang ...
Black Demon
Mien Fang ...
Chief Wang
Hsiung Chao ...
Shang Sheng - Demon brother #1
Yuan Chuan ...
Chiu Yun (as Kang Chia)
Tien Hsi Tang ...
Wang-Xiang - Demon brother #3
Hsiao Chung Li ...
Sheng Hsia - Demon brother #1
Han Lo ...
Chia Yun - Demon brother #5
Chia-hsi Hu ...
Demon brother #6
Hua Hsiao ...
Demon brother #7
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Siu Hung Cham
Szu-ying Chien
Chun Chin
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Storyline

A young Kung Fu student (Shih Szu) seeks a reclusive teacher so that she may learn to defeat the evil Black Demon. She doesn't realize that the servant woman she befriends (Cheng Pei-Pei) is actually the kung fu master she seeks. After Black Demons henchmen attack, the master reveals herself and eventually takes on the student to train her so that they may both defeat the villian. A love triangle complicates things when another student (Lo Lieh) asks for training as well. Written by Fred Cabral <ftcabral@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Action | Drama

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Release Date:

1971 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The Lady Hermit  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was refused a UK cinema certificate in 1972. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Little Red Riding Hood (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Generally enjoyable characters, plot and action with engaging turns from the female leads in particular – only the tone of some of the violence put me off
20 August 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having been injured by her enemy Black Demon, the legendary swordswoman Lady Hermit has been in hiding. This is known to young Tsui Peng, who has decided to seek her out to become her student. Tsui Peng's search takes her to a small town where she is taken in by a family after meeting their servant – totally unaware that the servant is indeed the Lady Hermit she seeks. Tsui Peng learns that the Black Demon is running a scheme of selling very high priced protective trinkets in a temple to offer protection from spirits – and people are happy to pay since those that don't buy them get murdered by ghosts in the night. When she learns that these "ghosts" are the Black Demon's men, she intervenes which forces the Lady Hermit to reveal herself – starting a master/student relationship which is not always smooth and is filled with danger.

This is quite a lively film which has the added appeal of having two female leads and all the male characters tending to be supporting players. The plot is quite nice and it doesn't overdo the "living in secret" thing more than is reasonable. From this point the training is quite good and the series of fight sequences are mostly enjoyable. The climatic fight on and around a pagoda is the best but all the skirmishes are enjoyable (and there were plenty). The one thing I didn't care for was some of the graphic gore – so people taking needles to the eyes and the like, it felt unnecessary and a bit gaudy. The "normal" violence was well done and I liked that it had a certain dramatic impact due to some main characters being in real danger. There are little moments of comedy too, but mostly it is a harder film in terms of action and events.

The cast is pretty good. I liked Cheng Peipei but I did think she did look a little too young for the role; the irony is that I think she was over 30 when she did this film, but she looks a lot younger and it didn't fit my vision of this legendary master. Shih Szu is must better cast; she has a sass of youth to her and has the bright eyes of enthusiasm which can give way to hurt or disillusionment well. Lo Lieh works well with both of them and, although a bit hammy, I enjoyed Wang Hsieh as the villain of the film. The filming is professional and makes good use of external locations and the action is well put together without being excessively choreographed.

Some of the violence didn't really work for me personally, but other than this I did enjoy the characters, the plot and the action. It was an added bonus to have it be all female leads and for both actresses to be good in their roles (although Shih is the better of the two.


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