Here is a film beautifully delivered by the skillful director Chang Cheh. While Chang is more known and praised for his blood soaked work with the venoms crew and his earlier team with David Chang and Ti Lung, the man is phenomenal. That is, this is an earlier swordsman film filled with intrigue, a love story, and men of honor.
It feels somewhat like Chinese opera and at times a bit surreal, but these are the techniques Chang employees to get his visions across. As usual with Shaw Brothers you can expect the wonderful set designs and costumes, so there are lots of vibrant colours to contras and to depict the mood of the various characters.
Normally when I do reviews I try to stay away form the actual story in terms of what the movie is about, I find it better to just sit and watch a film, but then again that’s my view so here goes. Wang Yu plays a young man who flees a town after killing the man who killed his father and leaves behind his only love who is introduced to a honourable swordsman by her father in the hope they will get married. However, she is unwilling to give her heart and the swordsman understands. He promises to help her find Wang but as he gets closer he steps further into the dangerous path of the mountain villains.
By this time another young girl befriends Wang in the little village where he hides. Unwilling to share his past and believing that he could never return to his love, he apparently decides not to get involved with her which seems unavoidable, but soon his past will come knocking at his door as he must face the murderous mountain clan.
So will the swordsman find him or will he die before ever seeing his love again? That’s for you to find out. Take the trip and see why this piece of jade is worth having, it’s not about the fights, it’s about the story and how it was filmed for movie made in 1967.