28 user 59 critic

A Touch of Zen (1971)

Xia nü (original title)
1:51 | Trailer
A lady fugitive on the run from corrupt government officials is joined in her endeavors by an unambitious painter and skilled Buddhist monks.


King Hu


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





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 ... (as 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


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


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Although filming began in 1968, this movie was not completed until 1971. See more »


Around 02:51:15, the woman got injuries on her right cheek. Around 02:51:36, the injuries are on her left cheek. 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 »


Referenced in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

User Reviews

An adventure of grand proportions.
15 June 2012 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

This is a special kind of movie, since it's being so many different things all at once. It's a type of movie that feels more like an old fashioned Japanese samurai movie, even though this movie is being a Taiwanese production.

What I especially like about it is that it starts off as something totally different but eventually ends as am adventurous movie, with lots of material arts fights in it. It's a long movie (about 3 hours) so it takes its time to slowly set things up and let stuff develop into something different. This ensures that the movie is always slowly but gradually developing and also never stands still, so there is never being an actual slow moment in this movie.

As the story develops, things also definitely get more interesting and fun to watch. The movie turns into a real adventure, in which the main characters are almost constantly traveling and having encounters with people that want to take their lives. This ensures that there is also plenty of action to enjoy in this movie, involving sword fights but also plenty of hand-to-hand combat, with every now and then Wire Fu effects involved.

It's also being a real innovative and original movie at times with some of its editing and camera techniques. In that regard this is also being a real '70's flick, a period in which a lot of experimenting with editing and cinematography was going on. Especially the cinematography is great at times and also does a good job at capturing the right mood and brining the environments very lively to the screen.

It's just the sort of movie not an awful lot is being wrong with. It does everything well and within its genre it's being a great watch!



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Taiwan | Hong Kong



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


| (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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