The East Is Red (1993)

The East Is Red, also known as Swordsman III is loosely based on the character Dongfang Bubai from the novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer written by Louis Cha. I’ve not had the pleasure of reading the novel so I don’t know if the events in the third installment of the Swordsman trilogy has anything to do with what happens in the Wuxia novel.  The movie focuses on Dongfang Bubai or Master Asia.  Master Asia has since retired from jianghu which left a power vacuum in the martial arts community.  Instead of taking power in their own right you find that dozens of sects start imitating Master Asia.  Asia soon returns to jianghu to kill all the impostors while naval admiral, Gu Changfeng tries to stop him.

The East is Red is a great film in its own right and takes a twist that it no longer focuses on the character Linghu Chong from Hua Mountain Sect. You don’t see other familiar faces from the Sun Moon Sect either.  Some websites credit Snow as being Cici (from Swordsman II) and others do not. Either way it is a good conclusion to the trilogy. The script is good and the action lives up to the reputation of the other two films. The only complaint I had was the scene between the Ming Naval camp and the final battle seemed cut, as if several scenes between the two were left out.

The dvd that I purchased was distributed by Optimum Releasing (Now known as Studio Canal) offers original Cantonese with English Subtitles as well as English Dubbed.

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Raymond Lee Wai-Man, Director
Tony Ching Siu-Tung, Director & Action Director
Roy Szeto Wai-Cheuk, Script
Charcoal Tan, Script
Tsui Hark, Script & producer
Dion Lam Dik-On, Action Director
Ma Yuk-Sing, Action Director

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Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia (Swordsman II, The Bride with White Hair 1 & 2) as Invincible Asia
Joey Wong Cho-Yin (A Chinese Ghost Story 1 & 2, Butterfly and Sword) as Cici / Snow
Jean Wang Ching-Ying (Once Upon a Time in China IV & V, Iron Monkey) as Dai
Yu Rong-Guang (Iron Monkey, The Storm Riders, Musa, Tsui Hark’s Vampire Hunters) as Officer Koo Cheung Fung
Lau Shun (Once Upon a Time in China, Green Snake, The Legend of Zu) as Disguised Invincible Asia
Eddy Ko Hung (The Butterfly Murders, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, The Bride with White Hair) as Hon Ching
Lee Ka-Ting (The Shadow Whip, Golden Needles, Butterfly Sword) as General Tin Kai Wan
Kingdom Yuen King-Tan (Flying Dagger,The Monkey King 3: Kingdom of Women) as Brothel keeper [uncredited]
Yen Shi-Kwan (A Sword Against Five Dragons, The Spiritual Boxer,Iron Monkey) as Master Wu [uncredited]

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The Spinning Image review

hkfilm review

Variety review

Los Angeles Times review

Other Adaptations of The Smiling, Proud Wanderer

The Proud Youth (1978 film)
The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (1984 TV series)
The Swordsman (1990 film)
Swordsman II (1992 movie) a.k.a. The Legend of the Swordsman
The East Is Red (1993 film)
State of Divinity (1996 TV series)
State of Divinity (2000 TV series)
The Legendary Swordsman (2000 TV series)
Laughing in the Wind (2001 TV series)
Swordsman (2013 TV series)

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One thought on “The East Is Red (1993)

  1. Pingback: All Men Are Brothers: Blood of the Leopard (1993) | wuxiacinema

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