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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is also known as The Snake, The Tiger, The Crane and
features martial arts hottie Carter Wong (Hwang/Huang) etc and a bunch
of other 70s stars. Not a bad plot, print was bad, with what looked
like bad focus in the original negative.
If you like Michelle Yeoh you will like this---the women kick butt. Here is a synopsis.
The Emperor is under attack and he is so depressed with his failure to protect his people so of course he decides to kill himself. He also decides to maim his daughter, Third Princess by cutting of her arm (There is a tradition of one armed fighters in Hong Kong cinema) She wanders around and tried to get people to help her who either prove to weak to fight off the bandits or betray her. Her faithful servant girl cuts her own arm off to impersonate Third Princess (also called, unbelievably, "Champagne") and dies. Third Princess goes crazy until she meets handsome Carter Wong, the gentle brute of a butcher who is caring for his Buddhist nun mother. He promises his mom on her death bed he will marry the now lunatic princess.
I won't wreck the end but I thought the above shows what kind of movie this is---the kind of fearless Hong Kong cinema where there are the kind of plot twists that Hollywood would never allow. Also, Hollywood would never allow two sword wielding women to star in their own movie either, certainly not in 1979 when this was apparently released.
Not bad overall, not Ang Lee but kind of fun. Carter Wong as the hero a definite plus.
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