7.0/10
1,819
15 user 18 critic

Xiao ao jiang hu (1990)

When a scroll containing valuable martial arts secrets is stolen from the Emperor, an army detachment is sent to recover it. Blademaster, a young martial arts expert, accidentally ends up ... See full summary »

Writers:

Louis Cha (novel), Ying Wong | 5 more credits »
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4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Samuel Hui ... Ling Wu Chung
Cecilia Yip ... Kiddo
Jacky Cheung ... Au Yeung
Man Cheung ... Ren Ying Ying (as Sharla Cheung)
Fennie Yuen ... Blue Phoenix (as Fanny Yuen)
Siu-Ming Lau ... Ngok (as Siu Ming Lau)
Wu Ma ... Lau (as Wo Ma)
Ching-Ying Lam ... Kuk (as Ching Ying Lam)
Wah Yuen ... Zhor
Shun Lau ... The Eunuch
Ming Man Cheung Ming Man Cheung ... Luk Ta Yau
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yiu-Sing Cheung Yiu-Sing Cheung
Shan Chin ... Lam Jan Nam
Sing Kwong Lai Sing Kwong Lai
Chi Ming Lau Chi Ming Lau ... (as Chi Ming Liu)
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Storyline

When a scroll containing valuable martial arts secrets is stolen from the Emperor, an army detachment is sent to recover it. Blademaster, a young martial arts expert, accidentally ends up in possession, but the plot grows complex as Japanese samurai, an illegal Chinese sect, a tribe of snake-wielding women warriors, a rival martial arts school and the leader of his own martial arts school vie for the scroll. Romantic complications also ensue, involving him with his longtime chum, daughter of the leader of his school, a Japanese woman, and two of the snake- wielding tribeswomen (Blue Phoenix and their leader, Princess Yin-Yin). Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | History

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | Taiwan

Language:

Cantonese | Mandarin

Release Date:

27 January 1990 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

Swordsman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

King Hu was credited as the director but he allegedly left the project midway, and the film was completed by a team led by producer Hark Tsui. See more »

Connections

Followed by Swordsman II (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not less epic than Star Wars!
10 June 2004 | by vid-10See all my reviews

The first part of the Swordsman trilogy can be compared to a wuxiapian version of "Star Wars": it boasts paladins of the sword and virtue, leaders of sects being deranged by thirst of power and ambition, plus a musical score no less epic than the Lucas movie soundtrack. The story centers on the theft of the "Sacred Book of Power", a scroll which can bestow invincibility on the bearer and which everyone wants to attain for themselves. The only one unaffected by the hypocrisy and egotism that such search generate seems protagonist Lin "of the Wah Mountain", who regards swordsmanship as an art rather than as a means of dominating the rivals and who would prefer a quiet life of wine and singing, but unwittingly is thrown into the turmoil of the clash between sects. Besides the epic tone, a couple of other factors contribute to the success of the movie:

  • the richness of the people who, friends or foes, surround Lin. Much attention is put to their characterization: as they have different age, background, culture and social status, every one has his/her own distinct way of speaking, of acting and harbors different desires, in accordance to their position. In particular, the character "Blue Phoenix" is full of surprises! while Sharla Cheung donates charisma, regalia and beauty to her role.


  • the awkwardness of the "hero": he and his pupil don't exactly "aid" their ally in the beginning of the movie and in general are quite fun to watch! 8/10


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