6.9/10
215
3 user 8 critic

The Delightful Forest (1972)

Kuai huo lin (original title)
Wu Sung, a military swordmaster, is acused of murdering his adulterous sister-in-law and a thug, and sent to exile in Meng Chou. At the prison camp, Shih En, son of the camp commander, ... See full summary »

Directors:

,
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Leaving the poverty of his life in Shantung to seek fortune in Shanghai, The Boxer is instead drawn into a world of corruption, gang warfare and evil... Where his only protection is his famed fighting technique.

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao
Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Li Ching, David Chiang
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A team of skilled fighters navigate a house rigged with an array of ingenious and deadly traps.

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: Feng Lu, Li Wang, Tien Hsiang Lung
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The indomitable martial arts team of director Chang Cheh and stunt choreographer Liu Chia-liang continues the compelling saga of Golden Swallow from King Hu's Come Drink with Me in this ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Yu Wang, Lieh Lo
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The final student of a dying martial arts master is instructed to locate the previous five students and defeat any evil ones among them.

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu
Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Sheng Fu, Lily Li
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tells the story of the 108 Heroes who stood up against a corrupt government. Each hero has his own unique fighting skill, but they are all willing to die to uphold justice.

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao, and 1 more credit »
Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen
Duo hun ling (1968)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Wei Fu is a seemingly unremarkable woodcutter but when his family is wiped out by psychotic marauders, Wei undertakes extensive martial arts training at the hands of an expert swordsman and sets out to exact revenge on the evildoers.

Director: Feng Yueh
Stars: Yi Chang, Ping Chin, Hsin Yen Chao
Man of Iron (1972)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Chen Kuan-tai exuded incredible power on screen, which his directors used to great advantage in this fight-filled follow-up to the smash hit The Boxer From Shantung -- which culminates in ... See full summary »

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao
Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Li Ching, Mu Chu
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During the late Ming Dynasty a heroic swordsman named Lu Fang (Jimmy Wang Yu) returns from battle to discover that several poor farmers have kidnapped a ruthless local magistrate's only ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: Ping Chin, Margaret Tu Chuan, Fanny Fan
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

As the names of Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang became legendary, all-too-often the name of their equally valued collaborator, Tang Chia, is omitted. That may be,because, unlike the previous ... See full summary »

Director: Chia Tang
Stars: Lung Ti, Tung-Shing Yee, Jason Pai Piao
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Assassin Chang and his brother Hung meet up with a soldier, Mu. Together, they form a small mountain army, but when Hung's wife arrives, emotions swell, and Mu leaves for the army. After ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen
Can que (1978)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three men, crippled by an evil warlord, become friends and learn kung fu with the help of an old teacher and his idiot pupil.

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: Kuan-Tai Chan, Feng Lu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
... Wu Sung
Mu Chu ... Chiang Chung
Ching Tien ... Shih En
Feng Yu ... Sun Er-niang
Ling Chiang ... Yu Lan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hsi Chang
Shih-Ou Chang
Chuan Chen
Shao-Chia Chen
Ti-Ko Chen
Tien Lung Chen
Chok Chow Cheung
Chuen Chiang
Nan Chiang ... Chang Meng Fang
Shao-Lin Chiang
Edit

Storyline

Wu Sung, a military swordmaster, is acused of murdering his adulterous sister-in-law and a thug, and sent to exile in Meng Chou. At the prison camp, Shih En, son of the camp commander, intercedes in his favour, to spare him the humiliating 100 bamboo lashes. When Wu Sung knows that a local thug, Chiang Chung, attacked and wounded Shih En to rob his wine cellar at the Delightful Forest, the military trainer decides to interfere. He defies the thug to a duel, in which he wins, at a cost - the thug is a drunkard who fights well, even when he has drunk too much! Later, after making sure Wu Sung has drunk too much, it's Chiang Chung who demands, and gets, his revenge. Chiang Chung moves political influences and treachery to provoke the downfall of the military instructor, again. Wu Sung returns from yet another exile, to get satisfaction. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1972 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The Delightful Forest  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The beginning music is a redone version from "Once upon a time in the west". See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

THE DELIGHTFUL FOREST -- HK adventure based on 'Water Margin'
12 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

THE DELIGHTFUL FOREST is a real Shaw Bros. gem, a hard-to-find 1972 production from the fabled Hong Kong studio co-directed by Chang Cheh and starring Ti Lung. It is one of a handful of films adapted from "The Water Margin" (aka "Outlaws of the Marsh"), the classic 14th century Chinese martial epic of heroes of the "gallant fraternity," united by their outlaw status, who defend wronged fighters and combat a steady stream of corrupt officials during the Song Dynasty. The protagonist here is Wu Song, the famed constable, known for his superior strength, who killed a rampaging man-killing tiger on Jingyang Ridge and then went on to avenge the murder of his brother by killing his adulterous sister-in-law and her illicit lover. This film picks up the tail end of that story and moves on to adventures arising after being imprisoned for his acts. The events shown in this film are found in Chapters 27-31 of the book (as published in Sidney Shapiro's 1981 translation, Indiana University Press edition).

The film opens with Wu Song (Ti Lung) fighting the lover, Ximen Qing (Lau Kar Wing), in a furious kung fu bout and killing him. During his subsequent stay in prison, he is well treated by town boss Shi En (Tien Ching) who hopes that a hero of Wu Song's proportions will agree to help defeat Chiang Chung (Jiang the Gate Guard Giant as named in the book) and get back control of the taverns, gambling houses and brothels in the village of Delightful Forest (Happy Grove in the book). Wu Song agrees, provided he is allowed to have three bowls of wine at every tavern along the way. After defeating the giant (played by Zhu Mu), he is later framed by the villain's allies on a charge of theft. The film closes with Wu avenging himself on those who engineered the frame-up and his flight out of the territory in a monk's guise. Until the final scenes, which perhaps telescope some of the events in the book, it is all a remarkably close adaptation. (The final fight is actually a lot less bloody than the one in the book where Wu Song slaughters General Zhang's entire household: wife, children, servants and maids!)

The many fight scenes offer lots of large-scale martial arts action staged by, among others, Lau Kar Leung and his brother Lau Kar Wing. It's all beautifully shot on elaborate Shaw Bros. studio interiors and backlot sets. Ti Lung may seem a bit slight to match the description of the super-strong character as given in the book, but his spirited performance brings the character to glorious life on the screen. Ti was in dozens of kung fu films in the 1970s, many of them classics of the genre, and he gives one of his most energetic and expressive performances here.

The big problem with this film, of course, is its rarity. The tape reviewed was a poor-quality dub missing huge portions of the film, particularly at the end. Its total running time was 75 minutes, unlikely for an early 1970s Shaw Bros. costume epic. When the Shaw Bros. films finally get re-released on video and DVD, this is a prime candidate for restoration.

ADDENDUM (October 6, 2007): Five-and-a-half years after writing the above review, a restored/remastered letter-boxed version of THE DELIGHTFUL FOREST has come out on Region 3 DVD from Celestial Pictures. It's 92 min. in length, 17 min. longer than the English dub seen for the review. A quick comparison of the action finale as presented in the two versions reveals much of the battle action cut from the English dub.

Since doing the original review, I've had the opportunity to see or re-view other Shaw Bros. films based on "The Water Margin" and featuring the main character here, Wu Sung (as the name is spelled in the new subtitles). This film comes after the events depicted in an earlier film, THE AMOROUS LOTUS PAN (1963), but before events depicted in THE WATER MARGIN, made the same year, 1972 (released in English as SEVEN BLOWS OF THE DRAGON). Ti Lung plays Wu Sung in THE DELIGHTFUL FOREST, THE WATER MARGIN and the latter film's direct sequel, ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS (aka SEVEN SOLDIERS OF KUNG FU). He reprised the role ten years later in TIGER KILLER (1982, aka WU SONG), which is actually a prequel to DELIGHTFUL FOREST and depicts the events that caused him to be a prisoner of the state here. THE WATER MARGIN, ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS and TIGER KILLER are all also reviewed on this site.

The music track on the original Mandarin-language version of DELIGHTFUL FOREST is very different from that of the English dub. It consists almost entirely of cues lifted from Ennio Morricone's scores for the Sergio Leone films, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and DUCK, YOU SUCKER. As a fan of both of those films and owner of their soundtrack albums, I was more than a little distracted by it. Some cues did sound like they were re-orchestrated, though. I did a spot check of the music track on the English dub and found a series of rather choppy cues from a very odd music library with lots of incongruous electric guitar riffs. So I guess I'll settle for the Morricone.


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial