Dirty Ho (1976)
"Lan tou He" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Drama  |  October 1981 (USA)
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A prince enlists a thief to serve as his bodyguard to protect him from assassins.



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Credited cast:
Yue Wong ...
'Dirty' Ho Jen
Wang Tsun Hsin - 11th prince
Lieh Lo ...
General Liang
Lung Wei Wang ...
Fan Chin-Kong
Hou Hsiao ...
Hsia Liu (as Hsiao Ho)
Wilson Tong ...
Mr. Chu (as Tang Wei Cheng)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lung Chan ...
Bitter Face
Ming-Wai Chan ...
(as Ming-Wei Chen)
Szu-Chia Chen
Wing-Hon Cheung ...
(as Yung-Han Chang)
Han Chiang
Tien-Chu Chin
Miao Ching
Ming Fung
Bao-Hsing Ho


Prince Wang is the 11th prince of Manchuria and an excellent martial artist, but prefers not to draw attention to himself and keeps a low profile, posing as a merchant who deals in wine, antiques and paintings. He has a run-in with Ho Jen, a simple thief who makes a living by stealing and spending loot wherever he can. The Prince takes a liking to the thief and enlists him to be his bodyguard, something Ho takes to very reluctantly at first. But when a conspiracy unfolds and the Prince is targeted for assassination, Ho must undertake a serious training regime to protect his master. Written by Shaw

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dirty Ho  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


'Dirty' Ho Jen: [looks at the wine merchant assassins Wang dispatched] What happened to them?
Wang Tsun Hsin - 11th prince: They're... uh... drunk.
'Dirty' Ho Jen: Huh? What about you?
Wang Tsun Hsin - 11th prince: Just a bit...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits feature Dirty Ho fighting off competing robbers for loot, and Prince Wang engaging in a sparring match. The two run into each other, and the Prince forces Ho to face his own opponents. The credits end with Ho declaring the Prince as his master. See more »


Featured in Films of Fury: The Kung Fu Movie Movie (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Proof that martial arts films can have depth
28 January 2002 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

If anyone thinks that martial arts films are unsubtle escapism, with violence and little else, then Dirty Ho is a shining example of what they can be. Even from the point of view of the fight sequences, the two 'disguised' fights whilst drinking wine and admiring antiques are as well choreographed as any fights before and since.

However, the nature of the relationship between the Prince and Ho is very deliberate and complex. The Prince, a Manchu, and thus regarded with a great deal of suspicion (if not outright hostility) by southern Chinese, is throughout the film the model of a good Confucian, knowledgeable about all manner of fine art, wine and antiques. Ho is uncouth, rude and violent towards him, yet the superior (and distinctly Chinese) virtue of the Prince ultimately convinces him to serve him.

This is not only a obvious difference from a majority of Hong Kong films, in which the Manchu dynasty tends to be portrayed in a very negative light, as foreign, barbaric invaders, Dirty Ho provides a balance, indeed in some ways in represents the way the Manchu (Qing) dynasty, initially a foreign and, to the Chinese, barbaric people, soon was assimilated to become more Chinese than the Chinese.

And besides that, it is a fantasticly crafted martial arts film, with all the usual training sequences and an absolutely brilliant stylised fight sequence during the opening credits.

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