One-Armed Swordsman (1967)

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One of the most amazing Wuxia films produced.  The One Armed Swordsman, directed by the famous Chang Cheh, was so popular it received two official sequels (Return of the One-armed Swordsman (1969), New One-armed Swordsman (1971)), a remake by Tsui Hark, a crossover movie with Japan’s blind swordsman Zatoichi, and many imitations.  I would certainly claim that the One Armed Swordsman is on the top 10 Wuxia movies that you must see if you enjoy the genre (even if you don’t enjoy the genre!).

Jimmy Wang is perfect for the lead role of Fang Kang and you can find some legends playing extras, and smaller roles such as Lau Kar-wing & his equally legendary brother Lau Kar-leung, Yuen Woo-ping who is known by many for his action choreography as well as directing (he is also the man who discovered Donnie Yen).  This is by far one of the most popular Shaw Brothers films and in my opinion one of Chang Cheh’s best films.  The film has a wonderful story that is not just the standard trope of Revenge, finding the ultimate Kung-Fu style, or overthrowing the current corrupt dynasty.  There is a revenge part to the plot but it is not the focus of the film.

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Chang Cheh (Have Sword, Will Travel, The Wandering Swordsman), writer & Director
Ni Kuang (The Invincible Fist, The Water Margin, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter), writer
Liu Chia-Liang (Golden Swallow, Drunken Master II, Seven Swords), Action Choreography
Tong Kai (Story of the White-Haired Demon Girl, The Avenging Eagle), Action Choreography

Jimmy Wang (Magnificent Trio, Wu Xia, The Guillotines, many “One Armed” films)as Fang Kang
Lisa Chiao Chiao (The Silent Swordsman, The Assassin, Return of the One-Armed Swordsman) as Xiao Man
Tien Feng (Revenge of a Swordswoman, The 14 Amazons) as Qi Ru Feng leader of Golden Sword school
Angela Pan (Come Drink with Me, Swordswomen Three, The Swordsman) as Qi Pei Er, daughter of Qi Pei Feng
Yeung Chi-hing (Revenge of a Swordswoman, Golden Swallow, Full Moon Scimitar) as Long Armed Devil, the main vilian of the story
Tang Ti (The Snowflake Sword, Magnificent Trio, Drunken Arts and Crippled Fist) as Smiling Tiger Cheng Tian Shou, disciple of Long Armed Devil
Fan Mei-sheng (The Golden Buddha, The Magnificent Swordsman, Postman Strikes Back) as Guo Sheng / Brother Hua
Wong Sai-git as Qin Da Chuan
Cheung Pooi-saan (The Wandering Swordsman, Killer Darts ,The Invincible Fist) as Sun Hao
Fan Dan (Return of the One-Armed Swordsman, The Wandering Swordsman) as Feng’s rich disciple
Ku Feng (The Sword and the Lute, The Lady Assassin, The Hidden Power of the Dragon Sabre) as Fang Chang, Fang Kang’s father who gave his life for the Golden Sword school
Chen Yen-yen (Trilogy of Swordsmanship, The 14 Amazons) as Feng’s wife
Wong Chung-shun (The Assassin, The Silver Fox, The Twelve Gold Medallions) as Wei Xuan
Cheng Lui (Return of the One-Armed Swordsman, The New One-Armed Swordsman, Last Hurrah for Chivalry) as Deng Chong
Chieh Yuan (Twin Blades of Doom, The Water Margin, Dual Flying Kicks) as Lu Zhen
Wang Kuang-yu (The Sword of Swords, The Heroic Ones, The Shadow Boxer) as Pei Xun
Tong Gai (The Furious Buddha’s Palm, One Duel Too Many, All Men Are Brothers, The Flying Dagger) as Ding Peng
Lau Kar-leung as Ba Shuang, I’ve linked his name to HKMDB as he has done SO MUCH
Yuen Woo-ping (The Tai-Chi Master, Iron Monkey 2, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ip Man 3) as Feng’s disciple
Lau Kar-wing as Feng’s disciple, I’ve linked his name to HKMDB as he has done SO MUCH

Trivia: 

Chen Yen-yen (as Feng’s wife) was one of last of the Manchu aristocrats who started in the film industry in the 1930’s

Wong Chung-shun married Shaw Brother actress Chin Ping

Yuen Woo-ping “discovered” Donnie Yen and cast him in the 1988 film Tiger Cage

Lau Kar-leung and Lau Kar-wing are brothers

Lau Kar-leung and Lau Kar-wing are direct decendants (master-wise) of the legendary Wong Fei Hung. Wong Fei Hung was Lam Sai Wing’s master, and Lam Sai Wing in turn was Lau Jan’s master. Lau Jan is Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar Leung)’s father and master.
In terms of titles, Liu Chia Liang’s lineage is:
Wong Fei Hung = elder master
Lam Sai Wing = grand master
Lau Jan = master

Lau Kar-leung and Lau Kar-wing are “god brother” Gordon Liu a.k.a. Chia Hui Liu

Lau Kar-leung was mentor to the late Alexander Fu Sheng, Adam Cheng, Hsiao Hou, among others (the man was simply amazing!)

Fan Mei-sheng (as Guo Sheng / Brother Hua)  Father of Fan Siu-Wong (Louis Fan)

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14 thoughts on “One-Armed Swordsman (1967)

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