6.8/10
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Death Duel (1977)

San shao ye de jian (original title)
The Third Master (Erh Tung Sheng, aka Derek Yee, in the role that launched his career) is considered to be the greatest sword master of the day. His displays of skill and strength bring ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Chu Yuan)

Writers:

, (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Third Master Hsieh Hsiao-feng, Ah Chi
On-On Yu ...
Hsiao Li (as Candy Yu)
...
Lady Mu-yung Chiu-ti
Yun Ling ...
Yen Shih-san
David Chiang ...
Mu-yung Chien-lung
...
Hero Fu Hung Hsueh
...
Hero Huang Ting
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fei Ai ...
Yu Mien Brother 1
Kwok Kuen Chan
Shen Chan ...
Leader of Black Society
Shih-Ou Chang
Szu-Chia Chen ...
Roadside Damsel
Tien Lung Chen
Yi-Hsiung Chi
Chuen Chiang
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Storyline

The Third Master (Erh Tung Sheng, aka Derek Yee, in the role that launched his career) is considered to be the greatest sword master of the day. His displays of skill and strength bring armies of challengers to his door, seeking the title for themselves. Not to be defeated, the Third Master fights evil, saves damsels in distress, and duels rival swordsmen to the death. Written by Ananymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Action

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Details

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Release Date:

7 July 1977 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Death Duel  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Remade as San shao ye de jian (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What a kung fu film should be
7 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is what the martial arts films were meant to be like, before the hacks made them into clowns jumping all over the place, kicking and striking a thousand times, with 90 back flips in each fight.

Here, we have a crisp story, and interesting characters. The film follows mostly "Third Master" and his attempt to become a normal man, trying to elude his fame.

It reminds a viewer of the "gunfighter" in the old West, trying to hang up his guns, but with young upstarts out to make a name for themselves, trying to goad him into a fight.

The interesting thing here is the array of other characters. Some are simple folk, some helpful, some afraid, some benevolent. Others are fighters. We find that many others also hung up their swords. At least two characters, we find, were successful in "retiring" before they reached a stage that Third Master did.

The first master also drops into obscurity for a while. The reasons are made clear later. A lot of chance meetings happen for the sake of a great fairy tale, but it's okay, because it's part of the magic.

The body count is higher than it should be. A lot of the deaths are "cliche" movie deaths, and brings this film down from the classic status it could have attained. Still, the imagery is good, and there is refreshing dialog, a lot of insight. Parituclarly good is the scene where the third master thinks he is dying, and asks others what they would do if they knew they would die tomorrow.

Later martial arts movies failed because they couldn't balance action with dialog. This film has a great balance, because too much action becomes as dull as too little. This comes from a guy who is very attention deficit, so when movies are too relentless in meaningless action for me, there is a real problem.

Here, we have a nice balance, although even this film could have toned down the action some. Put it this way. It makes the normal action Western, say "The Magnificent Seven" look slow paced in comparison.

Good film. Worth watching, but has some sadness to it.


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