6.4/10
35
3 user 1 critic

Sheng jian feng yun (1977)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama | 21 October 1977 (Taiwan)
After her father, a judge, is murdered by corrupt officials, a young woman must set out do recover the Blood Rain Sword, which her father had left to her, and encounters obstacles from the villainous Chao Pai.

Director:

Chi-Hwa Chen
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Cast

Credited cast:
Peng Tien
Ling Chia
Yi Chang
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dian-Wu Che Dian-Wu Che
Chin Hai Chen Chin Hai Chen
Kuang-Lung Chi Kuang-Lung Chi
Ching Feng Chiang Ching Feng Chiang
Lung Chin
Kang Ho
Po Wei Hou Po Wei Hou
Hsing Hsieh Hsing Hsieh
Ling Hsuen Ling Hsuen
Blackie Shou Liang Ko
You-Pin Liu You-Pin Liu
Jack Long
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Storyline

After her father, a judge, is murdered by corrupt officials, a young woman must set out do recover the Blood Rain Sword, which her father had left to her, and encounters obstacles from the villainous Chao Pai.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Taiwan

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

21 October 1977 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

Brave in Kung Fu Shadow See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Chia Ling (Judy Lee) in action in unsung swordplay gem
23 November 2001 | by BrianDanaCampSee all my reviews

IMPERIAL SWORD (1977, aka THE BRAVE IN KUNG FU SHADOW) is an overly complicated kung fu tale distinguished by some rousing swordplay and fight scenes featuring the exceptional female star, Chia Ling (aka Judy Lee). A graduate of a Taiwan-based Peking Opera academy, the star gets to perform her full repertoire here, doing acrobatic flips and kung fu kicks and fighting with a staff and sword. The well-staged action is captured on Taiwan locations and studio sets and occurs regularly throughout the film.

The plot has to do with the search for the Blood Rain Sword, an Imperial treasure in Judy's possession, passed to her when her father, an honest judge, was murdered by corrupt officials. Tien Peng plays a fighter forced by villain Chao Pai (Chang Yi) to try and wrest the sword from Judy. Eventually, he becomes her ally and the two join forces against Chao Pai. There's not much urgency to the story, since a minimal investigation and a diligent search by the bad guys would easily turn up Judy and her sword early on with the only obstacle, of course, being Judy and her sword.

This framework offers lots of opportunities for fight scenes and, fortunately, the film takes full advantage of them. Judy is at the forefront of all of these scenes and is quite a sight to behold. Extraordinarily beautiful, she goes into action, with her eyes blazing, nostrils wide and mouth tightened in determination, leaping about, swinging her sword, slashing and kicking bad guys, and either emerging victorious or fleeing when the odds are against her. She also uses her wits. At one point, she switches places with a kidnapped woman and is carried inside a bag into a basement dungeon. When the gang opens the bag, she leaps out and slays a number of her would-be captors before she's wounded with a poisoned dart. Later, as she is recuperating from the effects of the dart, she notices four guards searching the abandoned house in which she's hiding. As the camera prowls the rooms and courtyard of the sprawling ruins (an actual location), Judy attacks with her sword and uses the layout of the place to confuse the guards and pick them off, one by one.

The final battle takes place in a mill outside of town, recreated in full in a massive soundstage. The only problem with this otherwise superbly staged sequence is the reliance on the villain's sensitivity to light. As a result, the final fight between Chang Yi and the two heroes takes place in a deliberately darkened set, the better to weaken Chang by flashing him with bursts of sunlight when shutters are flung open. It's a contrived gimmick and only serves to frustrate viewers by shrouding most of the great fighting at the end in semi-darkness. It's Chang Yi's biggest fight in the film but he doesn't get to show off his stuff to best advantage. Still, the film remains one of Judy Lee's prime kung fu showcases.


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