One-Armed Swordsman (Dubei dao)

The first entry in what would become the One-Armed Swordsman Trilogy (also including The Return of the One-Armed Swordsman and The New One-Armed Swordsman). An immensely successful and influential movie for martial arts cinema and Shaw Brothers Studio in particular. It was the first Shaw movie which made more than HK $1 million at the Hong Kong box-office and also the first with heavy blood-letting.

Wang yu is a young man called Fang Cheng, who was raised by a master swordfighter after his father was killed defending his teacher's school. He has become the favorite student of his foster father, but he's scorned by his snobbish fellow students, among them the teacher's only child, the beautiful Pei (who has a crush on him, but thinks he's too humble for her). One night, after he has humiliated Pei and her friends in a minor incident, she hacks off his arm when he's not paying attention. Fang is nursed back to health by a young woman called Xiao Man, who falls in love with him, but he can't stop thinking of a life as a swordsman.

I saw the three movies as a teenager and then preferred the third entry, which seemed the must furious and spectacular of the trilogy. This movie lacks the terrific kinetic energy of The New One-Armed Swordsman, but I do admit that it has the better characterizations and story-telling. It's the best looking of the three, with a stylish, almost balletic choreography of the swordplay, and a  wonderful, occasionally hypnotic use of these soundstages of the Shaw Studios.

Of course it is dated in some aspects: some of these scenes with hacked limbs and spurting blood look a little fake and silly today, and dialogue sure sounds hokey at times. There are lots of pseudo-philosophies about honor, respect, the individual versus the collective, and the familiar opposition (also popular in Japanese movies) between those who live by the sword (samurai/swordsmen) and those who live by the land (farmers). In the end, after he has saved the honor of his teacher and foster father, Fang decides to marry the lovely Xiao Man and become a farmer. A wise decision, if you ask me, especially if have only one arm. But the film was so successful that he had to return for two sequels. Some guys never have any luck ...



FX Acteren Sfeer Originaliteit Totaal
6.5 7 8 7 7

Aanraders in overeenkomstige genres, volgens Boobytrap:
- Ip Man (martial arts / drama : 7.5)
- Jing wu men (Fist of Fury) (martial arts : 7)
- Sanbiki no Samurai (Three Outlaw Samurai) (martial arts : 7)
- Ma Yong Zhen (Boxer from Shantung) (martial arts : 7)
- Hap Ki Do (martial arts : 7)


Hoe beoordeelt Boobytrap categorie martial arts eigenlijk?
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Hoe beoordelen bezoekers deze recensie?



One-Armed Swordsman (Dubei dao)
One-Armed Swordsman (Dubei dao)
One-Armed Swordsman (Dubei dao)
One-Armed Swordsman (Dubei dao)
One-Armed Swordsman (Dubei dao)




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