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The Swordsman (1990)
"Xiao ao jiang hu" (original title)

 -  Action | History | Romance  -  22 May 1990 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,247 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 17 critic

When a scroll containing valuable martial arts secrets is stolen from the Emperor, an army detachment is sent to recover it. Blademaster, a young martial arts expert, accidentally ends up ... See full summary »

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(novel), , 5 more credits »
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Title: The Swordsman (1990)

The Swordsman (1990) on IMDb 7.1/10

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Samuel Hui ...
Cecilia Yip ...
Jacky Cheung ...
Sharla Cheung ...
Fennie Yuen ...
Blue Phoenix (as Fanny Yuen)
...
Ngok (as Siu Ming Lau)
Ma Wu ...
Lau (as Ma Wo)
Ching-Ying Lam ...
Kuk (as Ching Ying Lam)
...
Zhor
Shun Lau ...
The Eunuch
Ming Man Cheung ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yiu-Sing Cheung
Sing Kwong Lai
Chi Ming Liu
Edit

Storyline

When a scroll containing valuable martial arts secrets is stolen from the Emperor, an army detachment is sent to recover it. Blademaster, a young martial arts expert, accidentally ends up in possession, but the plot grows complex as Japanese samurai, an illegal Chinese sect, a tribe of snake-wielding women warriors, a rival martial arts school and the leader of his own martial arts school vie for the scroll. Romantic complications also ensue, involving him with his longtime chum, daughter of the leader of his school, a Japanese woman, and two of the snake- wielding tribeswomen (Blue Phoenix and their leader, Princess Yin-Yin). Written by Reid Gagle

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Release Date:

22 May 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Swordsman  »

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1.85 : 1
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Followed by The Legend of the Swordsman (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A classic, nearly as good as Swordsman 2
12 May 2001 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Since Swordsman 2 is one of my favorites, I was delighted to find part one finally released on DVD. It is nearly as good, even better in some ways.

If you have not seen either, start with this one and get ready to enjoy 4 hours of primo wuxia.

Too bad that the cast completely changed between the 2 films (except for the excellent Fennie Yuen as Blue Phoenix) Most of the players in part one are as good, and I even preferred Cheung Man as Chief Ying to Rosamund Kwan who takes over in part two. I do think Jet Li in 2 is far better than Sam Hui in this one. Jet copies Sam Hui's style and character well, but is far more athletic and intense which really helps the action scenes in part 2. Sam sings well at least, which is important considering how much singing of "Hero of heroes" there is in part one!

A note about the cast list above: Michelle Reis and Rosamund Kwan are NOT in this film. Kiddo is played by Cecilia Yip and Ying by Cheung Man.

A classic pair of films then. Too bad part 3, "The East is Red" was such a letdown. The first two films stand on their own though, so no real loss.

One warning, if you are new to wuxia or Hong Kong films in general you may find the action in these films often too fast and incomprehensible. Repeated viewing will accustom you to the pacing, as well as allowing you to savor all the rich density of the storyline and its numerous characters.


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