User Reviews (2)

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  • I first watched this movie in 2013 and made notes like "I have no idea what is going on." I watched it again in 2015 because it is a good movie with plenty of fights but I still missed the plot and details. For my third watch I finally get it but for brevity I'll just summarize. An official is suspected of supporting the Mongols so four special agents are sent undercover to investigate. They are two men and two women and after appearing in the opening scene when they appear again they have taken on different identities and roles. This is the first place for the viewer to get confused. Plus another hero played by Chuen Yuen enters the story and his true motives are hidden until the end.

    Lee Wan Chung played one of the special agents. When I started watching these movies I had trouble telling the actors apart. I focused on physical features or quirks to differentiate them. Lee Wan Chung. for me, was "Mr. Smiley". This guy had the greatest smile in Asian movie history. This movie he gets to do a lot of smiling and I loved it!

    This movie has 28 minutes of fight time which was probably the world record in 1972. The fights are mostly brief but frequent. All the action looks good and is not repetitive. The rest of the movie features such as costumes, set, color and such are all top notch as expected in Shaw Brothers movies of the era.

    I rate it as above average and recommend it for all fans of the genre. You can certainly enjoy it without getting all the plot and story details so just play it and enjoy the show.
  • poe42628 February 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    THE IMPERIAL SWORDSMAN opens with a rather funky shot of a miniature castle (this proves to be a detriment to the film throughout: there are numerous miniatures used that only serve to detract from the story being told,), though the sets themselves are often outstanding (including the darkened ruins of several buildings and some mountain caves and tunnels). We meet our hero, Yin (who looks and acts like a Toshiro Mifune wannabe, down to a sword hidden in a staff), camping out in some ruins. He meets an Official and his retainer, who are promptly attacked by bandits. He saves them, of course, and runs into a mysterious masked assassin who he chases off. The Official hires Yin to protect him on his journey into the mountains (his destination is the Devil Cliff hideout of a band of bandits). En route, they meet up with Lady Shi and her retainers (who are being pestered by a pair of ne'er-do-wells- one of whom, Gu Wan, is played by Lu Wei, who wore the horned helmet and flew through the air like a missile in THE BLACK TAVERN), who clearly manipulate Yin into letting them join his caravan. The group arrives, after much tribulation, at the mountain stronghold. Before long, it becomes apparent that Lady Shi isn't the fragile flower she has been pretending to be, after all. Nor is the Official. Will our hero manage to extricate himself from this mess in time, or will the bandits win out in the end? Check it out and see.