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Ming jian (1980)

A swordsman and a samurai work together to find a blade.


Patrick Tam


Clifford Choi (screenplay), Shing Hon Lau (screenplay) | 4 more credits »


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Credited cast:
Qiqi Chen Qiqi Chen ... Yin Siu-yu
Adam Cheng ... Li Mak-Yin
Norman Chu ... Lin Wan
Jade Hsu Jade Hsu ... Fa Ying-chi
Eddy Ko ... Ching Ti-yi
Siu-Ming Lau ... Mad Swordsman
Yat Fan Lau ... Pigeon Man
Hoi Sang Lee ... Sau Foon
Tung Ng ... Wong Sap-kei (swordmaker)
Feng Tien ... Fa Chin-shu (as Feng Tian)
Chiu-Hua Wei Chiu-Hua Wei ... Yeun Kei


A swordsman and a samurai work together to find a blade.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Thriller


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Hong Kong



Release Date:

14 August 1980 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Schwert See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Golden Harvest Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Fa Ying-chi: You murder my father for this sword? You call yourself a swordsman?
Lin Wan: Anyone who uses a sword is a swordsman. I use a sword.
See more »


Featured in Cinema Hong Kong: Wu Xia (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

If Werner Herzog had produced a martial arts film, „The Sword" may have been it
8 September 2011 | by t_atzmuellerSee all my reviews

Germany always had a strong fan basis for so-called "Easterns", Hong Kong Kung Fu films. Few other European countries had as many "Bahnhofskinos" (sleazy cinemas by the main-stations that would cater to martial arts fans) or video stores that were as well stacked with 'Golden Harvest' / 'Shaw Brothers'-products.

Ironically, "The Sword" never made it to video in Germany; the first time I saw this film, it was shown on German public TV in the early 1990's. Ironic because a) public TV generally ignores martial arts films and b) because the movie was completely uncensored, something that is very, very rare in Germany.

Primarily this is a very quiet film. Perhaps too quiet for fans of fast-paced martial arts movies but director Patrick Tam – delivering his debut film – creates an atmosphere through colour, architecture and subtle soundtrack that is rather unique in this genre. If Werner Herzog was a martial arts fan (and my gut feeling tells me he isn't), then this would probably be his favourite movie.

About the actors: neither protagonist Adam Cheng nor cherub-faced villain Norman Chu are unknowns to the seasoned martial arts fan. However, it's one of the rarer films where both occupy the main-stage, adding to the "fresh wind" that the film delivers. Both are excellent.

It has been a major weakness of many HK-productions casting twice as many extras as are required, which usually end up loitering around on screen like false money. Fortunately the director has avoided this, casting only a handful of people which gives the film an almost Spartan yet appropriately desolate atmosphere. Eddy Ko, Lau Siu-Ming or Tien Feng are veterans of the martial arts cinema, often having stared in hundreds of martial art films and this is one of the rare films where they're allowed to not only show off their martial arts- but also their acting skills.

In addition, I should be said that the film has strong moments of blood-letting, even gore – however, not in the sensational "over-the-top"-manners of Tarantino's "Kill Bill" or the comic-book violence of "Shogun Assassin". It rather reminds us of the stylized violence of the Hammer Horror-films, where blood seems to have been applied with a very fine brush.

Special praise must go to choreographer Ching Siu-Tang, perhaps best known for his work on "A Chinese Ghost Story" (again, a major video-hit in Germany), who keeps the martial arts spectacular without allowing the strings and effects to take over the fighting scenes.

I can only recommend this film to fans of stylized, well-paced martial arts films – however, if you grew up with the fast-editing, special-effects laden Wuxia films of recent days, the film may be a little too slow for your taste.

Still gets 8 out of 10 points from me.

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