The emperor dispatches an officer and a small band of men to deal with pirates.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Feng Hsu ...
Wu Re-shi
Ying Bai ...
Wu Jiyuan
...
Yu Da-you
Chia-Hsiang Wu ...
Lin Mao-he
Wei Tao ...
Wang She-ke
Kong Lau ...
Tang Ke-jian (as Chiang Liu)
Ying-Chieh Han ...
Xu Dong
Wei Yang ...
Zhou Lide
Wen Tai Li ...
Lo Shao-tang
...
Hakatatsu (as Yuan-Lung Chu)
Nan Chiang ...
Lin Tong
Li Jen Ho ...
Li
Ming-Tsai Wu ...
Zhou Fa
Siu Tin Yuen ...
Monk (as Hsiao Tien Yuan)
Lei Zhao ...
Emperor Jiajing (Guest star)
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Storyline

The emperor dispatches an officer and a small band of men to deal with pirates.

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Plot Keywords:

martial arts | fighting | See All (2) »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

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Details

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Release Date:

19 February 1975 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The Valiant Ones  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the director, Jackie Chan acted as an extra and he requested for more work as he need the money. King Hu found him cute and hardworking but hide his face away from the camera so that he could work more times, repeatedly as a killed pirate. See more »

Connections

Featured in Chop Socky: Cinema Hong Kong (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful and pure example of how to film action.
5 August 2006 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Late in the 70's Kung Fu cycle, director King Hu shows how to direct classic Wu Xia. This swordplay film focuses mainly on action. The setup is minimal, characters are barely introduced, if at all. No story, little exposition, no romance. Just a series of scenes where the heroes, always outnumbered, cleverly draw the pirates into traps, and then fight them. Hu is mostly interested in the tactics and cunning. His direction of the action scenes is exemplary and a joy to watch: dynamic movement, jump cuts, fast camera movements, quick strokes, rhythmic dancelike movements. The fight choreography is presented more like the films of the 60's, emphasizing rhythm and movement over clarity. This is not the movie to watch if you want to study different fighting styles. The most exemplary scene is the last one, which features a duel between Ying Bai and Sammo Hung. It does not matter that Sammo is a much better martial artist, the scene is so dynamic, cut with quick strokes at the fast rhythm of clanging swords, that the viewer cannot observe for even a short moment what each fighter is doing, but gets taken instead by the sheer momentum and mayhem. Only in the 80's did Tsui Hark and Honk Kong Cinema pick up where King Hu had pioneered.

The performers are charismatic, in particular Ying Bai as the cool hero (very 60's in style), and the lovely Feng Hsu as the cool, silent but deadly wife. She is such a striking presence in this film, that it is not surprising that King Hu featured her in practically all his movies during this period. Sammo Hung is appropriately menacing as the head Japanese pirate and was responsible for the fight choreography. The landscapes (possibly Taiwan) are impressively and beautifully filmed, creating great settings for the action scenes and adding to the pure enjoyment of watching this well orchestrated and graceful film.


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