Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969)

The official sequel to the One-Armed SwordsmanThe Return of is less story driven (although no less enjoyable) and focuses on one of the more common wuxia tropes of who will be the king of the martial arts world. Jua Niangzi wants him, and his seven partners, to be named king of the Jianghu world so he sets up a tournament.  Those that refuse to attend are either forced to go or are assassinated.

The version I watched was old and with poor audio quality, and only english dubbed with no subtitles.  I really must get the Dragon Dynasty or Celestial Pictures Limited release of this movie.  This made it difficult to catch the names of every character in the film, and there is a lot of them.  I would have liked to understand the relationships between all the different groups, but sadly that wasn’t possible with the version I watched.

In this film Fang Gang is much more experienced and tactical.  He defeats his opponents with wit, with a tree branch, and bamboo, as well as his sword.  Even though the action and ramped up and the story no longer focuses on the individual it doesn’t diminish the film, I wouldn’t rate it as high as the first film but I would definitely watch it more than a few times.

rotoasm

So ends the Black and White Knights.  Farewell Wu Ma

I’m getting conflicting information about the eight leaders on who played what and who had what gimmick and style.  I blame it on my older version DVD and poor information on the web.  For example my version calls actor Tung Li and Lau Kar-leung “Poison Blade” but wikipedia says Poison Blade uses a sickle where as Thunderblade wields the smoke bombs.  Bad translations.  Lau Kar-leung was using the chained sickle in the film.  So very frustrating.

Chang Cheh, Director, script
Tong Kai, Action Director
Liu Chia-Liang, Action Director

Jimmy Wang (Golden Swallow, The Invincible Sword, The Guillotines)as Fang Gang, the One-Armed Swordsman

Lisa Chiao Chiao (One-Armed Swordsman, The Twelve Gold Medallions, Vengeance of a Snowgirl) as Xiao Man, wife of Fang Gang

Lin Chia (Swordswomen Three, The Jade Faced Assassin) as Hua Niangzi (Thousand Hands King), Thousand Blade (or One Thousand Fingers) the only female King uses her sexuality to lull her targets into lowering their guard before killing them with the many knives concealed in the sleeves of her robe.

Chung Wa (The Swordmates, The 14 Amazons, One Armed Swordsman Against Nine Killers) as Lu Da, son of Lu Long

Cheng Lui (Magnificent Trio, Have Sword, Will Travel, Last Hurrah for Chivalry) as Lu Tong, son of Lu Long

Hoh Ban (Revenge of a Swordswoman, Golden Swallow, The Jade Faced Assassin) as Lu Long, head of the Tiger Sword School

Tien Feng (The Twin Swords, Adventure of Shaolin, A Fist Full of Talons) as Furtive King Ling Xu, aka Unseen Blade, the leader of the Eight Kings uses deception and distraction to confuse his opponents along with a collapsible sword whose blade can during battle along with a hidden hook blade.

Ku Feng (Shaolin Intruders, Return of the Sentimental Swordsman) as Hercules King Jiao Feng,  uses his immense strength and giant two handed sword to overpower his opponents

Tung Li (The Wandering Swordsman, Adventure of Shaolin, Revengeful Swordswoman) as Poisonous Dragon King Duan Shu, wields smokebombs and a sword whose blade conceals a smoke sprayer and a shotgun

Tong Gai (The Strange Hero ‘Flying Swallow’, The Roving Swordsman, Rendezvous with Death) as Spinning Wheels King Song Wen,  wields a pair of bladed bucklers which can also be thrown as projectiles.

Lau Kar-wing (Magnificent Trio, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, Iron Fists) as Hell’s Buddha King Shi Fu

Lau Kar-leung (The Bare-Footed Kid, Wong Fei-Hung’s Victory at Fourth Gate, Seven Swords) as Ape’s Arms King Yuan Qian,  wields a chained sickle

Yuen Cheung-yan (Have Sword, Will Travel, The Water Margin, The Tai-Chi Master) as Flying Fighter King Deng Fei

Ti Lung (Duel of Fists, The Brave Archer Part III, Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon) as Lu Hong, gets killed by Poisonous Dragon King Duan Shu

Wang Kuang-yu (The Magnificent Swordsman, All Men Are Brothers, Spiritual Kung Fu) as Lu Chun

Wu Ma ( Golden Swallow, The Prodigal Son, Swordsman, A Chinese Ghost Story II, 14 Blades) as White Swordsman Guan Shun

Fong Yau (10 Magnificent Killers, Legend of a Fighter) as Black Swordsman Guan Heng

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Director Chang Cheh had a taste for odd costumes in his films.  Bare chests and metallic colours seem to be a hallmark of his films 

Love HK Film review

Eastern Kicks review

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8 thoughts on “Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969)

  1. Pingback: The New One-Armed Swordsman (1971) | wuxiacinema

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