The One-Armed Swordsman | Chicago Reader

The One-Armed Swordsman

The Sam Peckinpah of Hong Kong cinema, Chang Cheh brought a new level of explicitness to on-screen violence while developing a balletic personal style. This 1967 martial-arts adventure—produced by Shaw Brothers, Chang’s longtime studio—was one of his biggest hits, and it's been cited as an influenced by John Woo, Tsui Hark, and Quentin Tarantino. The hero (Yu Wang) is a noble martial-arts student who becomes a lone warrior after some rivals betray him and cut off his arm. Chang, who preferred outcast heroes over conventional ones, successfully portrays the character as larger than life, and his use of color and the wide-screen frame are generally eye-popping. In Mandarin with subtitles.

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