"Beautiful Swordswoman" tells the story of Yuan-Yuan (Wong Ling, "Zatoichi and the One Armed Swordsman"), a young lady who is bored to sit around at home with her brother and their rich daddy, so she secretly learns how to fight with swords. Her mysterious master asks her to become an assassin. She gets the names of her target persons and kills them, until one of the names... is the name of her father! When she tells her governess, it is impossible for her follow that order, the governess reveals a terrible secret...
After a ridiculously violent start with 20 killings within the first 5 minutes, probably to wake up the audience, "Beautiful Swordwoman" turns into a tragedy any classic Greek poet would have been proud of. Wong Ling plays Yuan-Yuan with the whole range of emotion from sweet kindness to exploding rage, and sometimes I felt like crying - it's been a long time since I wrote that about a movie. Unfortunately I could see this excellent movie only on a DVD taken from a damaged old celluloid print (which probably went through a hundred cinemas), but even if that release didn't do justice to the movie, I was impressed. An unearthed classic, indeed!
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