A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »
Assassin Chang and his brother Hung meet up with a soldier, Mu. Together, they form a small mountain army, but when Hung's wife arrives, emotions swell, and Mu leaves for the army. After ... See full summary »
The workers of a dye factory have their pay cut by 20% when the factory owner brings in some Manchu thugs to try and increase production. Desperate to reclaim their full wages, the workers ... See full summary »
A prince of the Sung Dynasty has been taken prisoner by Ching invaders and is being held in an impenetrable fortress by elite men of the Ching. A group of fighters loyal to the Sung set out... See full summary »
A rich young man seeks to make a name for himself by being the one to discover a lost treasure. He teams up with a streetwise kung-fu artist and together, they set out to not only find the ... See full summary »
A disgraced former Kung Fu expert makes a living as a merchant with the help of a hot headed friend. When the men are harassed by gangsters, the merchant decided to teach his friend monkey boxing so they can defend their business.
A young martial artist seeks revenge on the Ninja who kills his martial arts brothers and teacher. He finds help in the form of a new teacher (who knows Ninjitsu) and new brothers. Together... See full summary »
International favorite, David Chiang, stars as the great Chih Shim, the monk who saved the Southern Shaolin Temple. Joining him is Lo Lieh, the Shaws' first international star who returns ... See full summary »
On September 17th, 1978, Fu Sheng suffered a serious injury when he was suspended 8 feet in the air and the wire that held him snapped. He fell 8 feet backwards on his head, crashing through an urn, almost breaking his neck. See more »
TI LUNG - a change of pace - in an actioner with a misogynistic twist, and KU FENG relegated to a secondary role
THE DEADLY BREAKING SWORD stands apart from other Shaw Bros. productions starring TI LUNG in making him an unsympathetic, even an unlikeable character. The more SB films one sees, the more rewarding it can be as you see how the filmmakers would attempt to move beyond the genre formulas, even though they used the same actors and production crews.
His role as TUAN CHANGQING, the Deadly Breaking Sword, puts him at odds with the rest of the martial world. He is an aberration of his famous heroic roles, eg. THE SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN cycle: he is no longer a protector of the weak, and the old, nor is he a defender of helpless women (though one might argue, there are no so called helpless women in this story).
He looks ahead to the likes of FRANKIE CHAN's nobleman in THE PRODIGAL SON and Donnie Yen's General in the superior ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA II. A superior fighter who provokes less fighters into mortal combat; a sadist who not only provides his quarry a coffin but who also relishes detailing his deadly breaking sword technique.
The film cleverly begins with a duel with LIAN SAN (WAI-MAN CHAN) whose own reputation rests with his Throat-Piercing Halberd. The two fighters are well matched, and both sustain serious wounds. The contest ends with LIAN's flight to safety.
LIAN's miraculous recovery is brought about by GUO TIANSHENG (KU FENG). GUO hides behind a facade he has skilfully created in which he is a warm, compassionate and peace loving man. He has an ulterior motive for saving LIAN's life.
The catalyst for the ensuing action is LIU JINHUA, a successful prostitute who comes to town, and hopes to enlist TUAN's services to kill GUO, whom she believes betrayed her brother years ago.
Add to this potentially confusing mix, FU SHENG playing his patented scoundrel, except this time, he is too blind to comprehend that the beautiful LUO JINHUA (LILY LI) is totally in love with him. XIAO DAO (FU) spends most of the film trying to get out of his indentured status. His need for quick, ready cash sets him on a collision course with both TUAN and GUO (aka THE KILLER DOCTOR).
There are several scenes where the key characters confront one another: in one, the smooth, sly GUO easily deceives TUAN; in another, TUAN accuses LIU of lying to him; in others, TUAN, still fooled by the KILLER DOCTOR, attempts to stop XIAO (FU SHENG) from taking on the mission of eliminating the Doctor - for money, and then there is the drastic course of action that FU SHENG takes when he fathoms what LILY LI has been doing.
There is a lot of action, well up to the usual house standards, and well staged too. But what stayed with me was TI LUNG's character TUAN CHANGQING, who is every bit the hypocrite that the good DOCTOR GUO is. It's a great scene when TUAN sitting down with XIAO tells him how wonderful he is as a fighter, and if he only had principles...
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