7.6/10
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28 user 59 critic

A Touch of Zen (1971)

Xia nü (original title)
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1:51 | Trailer

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A lady fugitive on the run from corrupt government officials is joined in her endeavors by an unambitious painter and skilled Buddhist monks.

Director:

King Hu

Writers:

King Hu, Songling Pu (story) (as Sung-ling Pu)
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Feng Hsu ... Yang Hui-ching
Chun Shih ... Ku Shen Chai
Ying Bai ... General Shih Wen-chiao
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Chan ... East Chamber guard
Ming-Wai Chan ... (as Ming-Wei Chen)
Ping-Yu Chang
Yi Kuei Chang
Yun Wen Chang
Shih Wei Chen Shih Wei Chen
Roy Chiao ... Hui Yuan
Ying-Chieh Han ... Hsu
Li Jen Ho
Chung Mou Hsieh Chung Mou Hsieh
Han Hsieh ... Dr. Lu Meng
Hsing-Chun Hsu Hsing-Chun Hsu
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Storyline

An artist, Ku, lives with his mother near an abandoned fort, reputed to be haunted. One night, investigating strange noises, he meets the beautiful Yang who is living there. She is being pursued by agents of an Imperial noble who have murdered her family. Ku finds himself caught up in her struggle to survive, and many fierce battles take place before all is resolved. Action adventure with a lyrical feel, this is a kung fu film with a strong spiritual element. Written by Richard Hills <R.Hills@wlv.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | Taiwan

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

18 November 1971 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

A Touch of Zen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director King Hu stated that the Ming Dynasty was a period "when Western influences first reached China", and that he conceived his films as critiques of the unjustified killings depicted in such Western movies as the James Bond film franchise, where the hero indiscriminately guns down faceless enemies. See more »

Goofs

The candles seen in the film are clearly modern paraffin candles. 14th-century Chinese candles made from tallow or whale fat did not have that bright white color. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original cut of the film was over 400 minutes long. No extant prints of this edition are believed to have survived. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Matrix (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shining star of the Asian cinema
29 June 2007 | by The_True_MellerSee all my reviews

Touch of Zen is one of those movies that are on a class and genre of their own and probably never in the movie history will find their match. King Hu certainly lived up to his name, when crafting this piece of art that deserves even more respect and admiration than it has already had.

Blending different genres seamlessly together and paving the way for many movies to come, everything here is well balanced and thought over. The story that begins as a ghost story starts slowly but rewardingly layering up, developing and getting more dimensions, moving into Wu Xia styled action and politics drama, then leaping into the territory of Seven samurais -style tactical warfare depiction, finally getting some deeply mystical aspects in the end. Settings and photography are stunningly beautiful, and all the visuals are breath-taking timeless.

Looks like time simply cannot touch this movie, and that's why I compare this one to the works of Sergio Leone. Definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen. Now, if only my wish come true and we had some day better than watchable DVD release of this true classic, preferably fully restored from original film. One can only hope...

This is my truth. What is yours?


14 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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