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The Magic Blade: Shaw Brothers (1976)

Ti Lung , Lo Lieh , Chu Yuan  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ti Lung, Lo Lieh, Ching Li, Tanny Tien Ni
  • Directors: Chu Yuan
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00114UU9U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,376 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Two rival swordsmen in imperial China, poncho-clad Fu Hung-Hsueh (Ti Lung, Drunken Master II, A Better Tomorrow) and Yen nan-Fei (Lo Leigh, 5 Fingers of Death, 36th Chamber of Shaolin) vie with a power-hungry villain for the deadly Peacock Dart and fend off waves of expert killers during their journey.

Featuring non-stop action, astonishing touches of fantasy and an eye-popping climactic showdown on the villain's island lair, this remains one of kung-fu cinema's most staggering achievements!


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best kung fu movie I have seen in awhile March 16, 2008
By morgoth
Wow, I can't believe how blown away I was by this. Ti Lung is great as the lead. He plays it straight faced all the way through, and he uses this awesome spinning blade and gets into tons of fights. It's a wuxia, so that means that some evil dude is trying to become the leader of the martial arts world. Ti Lung has to protect some special darts from the evil guy, but as you can guess it isn't going to be easy. There are 5 assassins after Ti Lung, 4 of them played by Ku Feng, Fan Mei Sheng, Lily Li and Norman Chu. There's really no point trying to explain the story. It's just typical wuxia stuff, except it's a lot easier to understand than most of Chor Yuen's other movies. Basically, all that you need to know is that Ti Lung is super cool in this, there are tons of good fights, and the final fight doesn't disappoint. The main villain is one bad old man. It's a short final fight, but very satisfying. The sets are even better than the normal Shaw Brothers standards, and I must mention how darkly shot the film is. I only remember a couple scenes that weren't completely dark. A brilliant movie in every way, a perfect 5/5.

The Image DVD has good picture quality. Subtitles are well written and the Chinese track sounds good, and there's an English dub. Not a perfect sounding dub, but good enough. Here are a couple of my favorite lines-

"Right, I'm the 5th Swordsman, Sao Chien... Invincible, killer of many, and other things."

"I practiced 20 years to move the nerve center of my body, just one inch, so that your paralyzing blow had no effect."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magic indeed May 1, 2008
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This one had me going from the beginning to the end with the battle of the two main actors. Then they work together for awhile then we have a plot twist or two and one of the actors disappears for awhile, dead right? Hmmm maybe not you'll have to check this one out to see what happens. The action is on point they fight with a variety of weapons a revolving sword, fans, darts and hand to hand fighting as well. All the characters whether it be hero or villian are on top of their game throughout this movie. Minus a couple ooops on the subtitles all is great with The Magic Blade.

Pick it up you'll feel a part of the story by the time its through and some classic martial arts in this one as well.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must See!!! A Classic!! March 19, 2008
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This is an excellent film. The plot is convoluted, but understandable. The plot is classic good versus evil, with a few plot twists. This film, shot mainly on sets, has an otherworldly 'fantasy of China' feel to it. Ti Lung is a gifted martial artist, but also a fine actor. He brings a great authenticity to the role.

There is a small amount of gratuitious nudity and sex, but not enough to detract from an otherwise fine morality play.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "No one shall kill him for his life is mine" July 11, 2011
In lust of power and wealth, hair turns gray.
On mountains old, the pine and bamboo grow.

The prolific Chor Yuen (Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972)) whose work covers many genres was an important director with The Shaw Brothers, but today his oeuvre is known less than Chang Cheh and Lau Kar-leung. The genre that I am most familiar with from his films are the wuxia adaptations from the Gu Long novels including this one which was taken from a popular novel (the Chinese title of the film is the same as the novel). While his direction was usually fine he had a habit to trying to fit in an overabundance of plot turns and characters that can be typical in adaptations of literature. I felt this was a hindrance to many of his directed films such as Bat Without Wings (1980), but in this movie it worked quite well. So far, and I have many more films that I would like to see of his with most not available on R1, this is easily my favorite movie directed by Yuen.

The Magic Blade is a consummate wuxia adaptation in the jianghu universe (jianghu literally means lakes and rivers but has come to mean the fictional world these fighters inhabit). The best wuxia films have hearty heroes, sundry and plentiful villains, diverse powerful weaponry and a complicated plot that I will eschew discussing too much about in this review. This film has all of that. We start with the solemn hero with an absolute code of ethics bemoaning a lost love because of his quest in becoming the number one martial artist. Who better to play this than the stoic Ti Lung as Fu Hung-hsueh? He resembles Client Eastwood in the Sergio Leone's The Man With No Name trilogy* in attire while his character is much more chivalrous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good swordplay opera. May 26, 2009
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This video is very very Golden Harvest operatic. Hidden villians. Magic duels. Super warriors. Quite entertaining with pop corn and soda.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic Blade Delivers In All Departments... September 1, 2008
Wonderful film. Every treat is provided here. Fight choreographs that excell the average, tight storyline, acting with conviction by the entire cast, dialogue with principles, lavish sets, blood, violence, nudity, it's all here. A must have for fans of classic martial art cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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Ti Lung plays a poncho (!) wearing swordsman baaaaadaaaaasssss by the name of Fu Hung-hsueh with a deadly cool in this "spaghetti Eastern" directed by Chor Yuen. That's enough back-of-the-cd-case info for you - let's answer your question "is this worth buying?"

YES. Buy this. Buy it so hard. Moving on...

THE MOVIE

Ti Lung's Eastwoodian performance (hard not to make that comparison, especially with the poncho) is nicely balanced by Lo Lieh's, as he portrays a formal rival who enjoys the finer things in life who accompanies Fu Hung-hsueh for most of the film. The two enemies are brought together in the first moments of the film for a rematch of a duel; however, party-crashers show up intending to kill Lo Lieh's character Yen Nan-fei, which doesn't sit well with Fu Hung-hsueh, on principal. The two decide to take off after the one who hired the killers and settle their business later. Along the way they meet a colorful cohort of villains, including a girl with (literally) killer poetry, a mad monk, and a gamesman who plays a living chess match with our heroes. Stealing the limelight from the rest of the rogue's gallery, though, is the unforgettable Devil Grandma. As Lo Lieh says, "Devil Grandma's really nasty." (easily the best subtitle of the movie) Nasty or no, she'll steal your heart. No, I'm serious.

Our heroes, the villains, and the requisite Damsel in Distress (played by the achingly beautiful Ching Li)vie for film's macguffin, an ancient Chinese nuke, more-or-less, called the "peacock dart," through a serious of good to great action sequences, culminating in a faceoff between Fu Hung-hsueh and a mysterious mastermind who would have made a great Bond villain, Yu Kung-tzu. Who IS Yu?
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