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What Price Honesty? (1981)
"Mu wu wang fa" (original title)

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Title: What Price Honesty? (1981)

What Price Honesty? (1981) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Credited cast:
Shen Chan ...
Prison Governor
Han Chiang
Nan Chiang
Kin Ping Chow
Hsin Nan Hung
Danny Lee ...
(as Li Hsiu Hsien)
Lily Li
Hsiu Chun Lin
Lieh Lo
Jason Pai Piao
Chien Sun
Yu Chang Tang
Ching Ho Wang
Tien Tsai Wei
Siu Ming Wong


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2.35 : 1
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"What Price Honesty" - Corruption drama with some martial arts
18 May 2007 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

An obscure film from a two time only director, this feature one of the "venoms", Sun Chien, and solid martial art actor Danny Lee and a whole lot of familiar Shaw supporting actor faces. Lo Lieh has a modest role as the "King of Robbers".

Three graduates from constable academy are sent to their rookie jobs in a modest sized town. Instructed to enforce a royal edict to end all gambling, the three friends immediately run afoul of a corrupt magistrate and his crooked police force. The police captain regularly confiscates criminal's loot and shares it with the police officers, he also gives some back to the criminals and lets them free! The three new officers are taken aback by the rampant corruption and are not sure what to do. One wants to fight the system, Sun Chien doesn't want to endanger his family's income and the third rookie just wants to quit. Finally they take a vow to uphold justice but immediately are sent to capture the "King of Robbers". The wicked police captain doesn't back them up hoping that the "King" will kill the idealistic rookies for him. The third rookie is killed but the "king" is captured. The King is given a light prison sentence and the two remaining rookies are distraught at the injustice of the system. Meanwhile the corrupt magistrate and the police captain are conspiring against them.

Despite the cast, this film is heavy on drama and while there is a good amount of action it's rather uninspired unless Shen Chan, Sun Chien or Lo Lieh are in the action. The action highlight is a duel between Lo Lieh and Danny Lee. Unfortunately Sun Chien's character is sort of a coward and therefore the script doesn't allow him to do anything like he does in the "Venom" films.

An interesting story gets a Shaw assembly line treatment. Nothing terrible, nothing special. The film is choppy in several places and goes off track about 40 minutes in with an unnecessary, extended attempted rape that has some actress running around naked for a couple of minutes. Once that's over the film goes back to the story and is watch-able again. There are some gory scenes and a lot of scenes of men getting beaten.

Nothing to go out of the way to see.

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