"Wandering Swordsman" David Chiang soundlessly somersaults in slow motion as he shadows a pair of thieves known as "the Flying Robbers," who are planning a robbery. He follows them to a tavern, where he casually tells the proprietor that "today is a bad day for thieving." The Robbers overhear him, but ultimately ignore his words of wisdom. He lays for one of them in the forest, takes the stolen gold from him, and gives it to a band of refugees whose village has been taken out on the tide. His largesse comes back to bite him when he has to sell off his short swords to pay for a meal at a tavern. The buyer, Jung (or "Chung," according to the cast list here),played by Chen Hsing, rides off. Chiang, penniless, contemplates following on foot, but comes across a trio of abandoned horses and ventures into the nearby woods out of curiosity. There, he witnesses the murder of Miss Jiang Ning's bodyguard by the robber swordsman, Jin Li Loi, "the single-bladed swordsman." Chiang intervenes on her behalf and Jin wisely moves on. After a brief, flirtatious encounter with Miss Jiang, Chiang himself moves on, using the dead bodyguard's horse to hunt for Jung. THE WANDERING SWORDSMAN is chock full of well-drawn characters played by solid performers (Yang Sze even pops up at one point as a henchman),and all move through a well-conceived story, guided by a topnotch director. The wonky wirework is minimal and serves the same purpose as the transporter effects on STAR TREK: it shorthands some of the action and allows the story to move just a bit faster at times. Martial Arts Movie Loyalists (MAMLs) will appreciate this one.
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The charismatic David Chiang joins the "queen of Shaw Brothers kung-fu," Lily Li, is an entertaining "Martial Arts World" epic about a hero who robs from the robbers and gives to the poor - making the vengeful robbers very cross indeed!
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Cutting edge classic...
This is a quite traditional Chinese Martial film, by legendary Hong Kong director Chang Cheh. The leading man David Chiang is a superstar during 70s', you'll see his face a lot in Chang's other movies.
This movie "You Xia Er"(Wandering Swordsman, in English),is about a young man who is cheated into a trap, and fight back when he finds out later. The plot is nothing special, but the way Chang put the so called "Jiang Hu"("River and Lake", means the society for swordsmen) is marvelous. The Motel, the gamble house, the guards, everything is so real and attracting. Also the way Mr. Chiang acted as "You Xia Er", with the smile always around his mouth, like he doesn't care about anything (he does in deed),is just what I thought Chinese swordsman should look like.
Excellent movie, far more better than most of nowadays cliché martial ones.
The smiling swordsman, the flying swordsman, the wandering swordsman
Movie opens with horseback riders, titles, and weeds. David Chiang spies on two guys planning to rob an escort company. At the teahouse he talks to the waiter and pushes the thieves' buttons by talking openly about a good day for a robbery. He easily takes the loot from them and gives the gold to a mob of refugees then flies away like a God on Earth. Poor planning though as now he has to sell his swords to Chan Sing to pay for a meal. In the woods he saves Lily Li from a killer. He borrows her horse to catch up to the man who bought his two swords. Meanwhile, Lily li returns to her security bureau. The movie starts out lightweight. David Chiang is just smiling like movie star. A more fitting title would be "The Smiling Swordsman". The wire work is just showing off some smooth flight action. There's just one sword fight in the first thirty minutes. This is all just to set up the viewer for a heavyweight ending. This is Bolo Yeung Sze's first movie. He is a legitimate martial artist first and actor second. Maybe actor third is more accurate as he was certainly cast for his body builder physique in most of his movies. Overall I consider this a a great martial arts movie from the golden age of martial arts movies. It was an excellent start giving David Chiang an over the top heroic figure to kick off his career at Shaw Brothers.