Xiao shi yi lang (1971)

  |  Action, Adventure, Drama

Xiao shi yi lang (1971) Poster

There's a sword called the Deer Knife that everyone in the martial world is after.


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14 April 2019 | ckormos1
| The real rambler plus the real blade equals real average
Wai Wang or Frankie Wang started acting in Taiwan then came to Shaw Brothers in the late 1960s. He had a wide range of roles including martial arts but not as a lead martial arts until this movie. This seems to be his only lead martial arts role.

Tina Chin Fei's career at Shaw Brothers is typical of so many young ladies of the time. She played the usual hot chick roles for about twelve years then married a rich guy and career over.

The same could be said for Margaret Hsing Hui but for only nine years.

Sammo Hung plays the bandit and rapist and dies in the opening scene. His career lives on.

The other star is the sword (or knife). Special swords need awe and fear inspiring names. Much seems to be lost in the translation regarding this sword. I think the idea is you can cut a deer in half with one swing of this blade. That would be an impressive sword. It seems hard to put that special ability into just two or three words and maintain the power.

After the opening credits Chang Yi's escort company is attacked by Chen Hung-Lieh and gang. After a brief and bland fight Chang Yi dies standing up and full of arrows. Tina arrives and is not pleased that Chen Hung-Lieh is posing as Hsiao the Rambler and quickly kills him. Her weapon is the whip. I usually do not like this as a weapon in these movies because it really is not a weapon. It is used for safety. Learning to use any weapon the first rule is do not hurt yourself or your partner with the weapon. Even a wooden sword can do serious damage to an actor with no martial arts experience. A whip is almost harmless but gives the impression it could hurt. Plus, if you go along with "movie physics" the whip can do amazing things.

Wai Wang and Tina meet. They talk about the plot for a long time and the movie starts to drag. The story resumes when the Deer Knife is easily stolen from its owner. It gets complicated because there are fakes so who has the real one pretty much sums up the rest of the movie.

I watched this movie twice before watching it again for this review. My notes on the first view rated it as only average and not enough action. The second time I felt less critical. For my final review I rate this only average. The movie's main flaw is the story drags at times and always for the same reason. Everything stops because the actors talk about the plot and just say things the audience already knows. This is symptomatic of a movie that has too short a run time and is getting padded. It would have been better with a shorter run time or more fights instead of expository dialog.

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Plot Summary


Action | Adventure | Drama


Release Date:

22 October 1971



Country of Origin

Taiwan, Hong Kong

Filming Locations


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