Towards the end of the Shaw Brothers film production run, they seem to give new directors some shine. Enter Liu Shih Yu whose other film besides this was the fast-paced New Tales of the Flying Fox. I initially thought this had to be a Liu Chia Liang given the cast in this film (Gordon Liu, Wong Yu & even Wang Lung Wei). Obviously that wasn't the case regrettably.
This appears to be the origin movie for the legendary Beggar Su of 10 Tigers from Kwangtung fame. Gordon Liu plays the titular character in the movie. He & his brother, played by Wong Yu, are half-brothers due to their father marrying twice. The family has a wine business & if you're familiar with the story of Beggar Su then that would seem fitting. As the wine drinking son, he would be the heir of the business much to the chagrin of his stepmom. So a plan is hatched between herself, her brother & a rival businessman (Wang Lung Wei) who happens to be pretty good at kung fu. If you can make it through the inane comedy which includes what looks like the introduction of Catholicism in a martial arts film (now that's a first!), it seems the scholarly teacher at their school (Jason Pai Piao) has a hidden past that is integral to the plot. Eventually he takes Liu under his wing as his sifu & teaches him the art of drunken boxing. That sets up for the final explosive ending.
Gordon Liu was fine in this, but to me not as proficient as he would normally be in a Liu Chia Liang production. To put it in context, 8 Diagram Pole Fighter came out the prior year & this film in no conceivable way compares with that. Also don't look for Wong Yu to do much in the way of martial arts. I can see why he's in this though. The chemistry between him & Gordon Liu is as good as it gets. Jason Pai Piao performed well as Liu's teacher. Wang Lung Wei was his normal ruthless self & probably displayed the best skills of anyone in this film. Kuan Feng also makes an appearance as Wang Lung Wei's business partner. And a SB film wouldn't be a SB film without the ever present Ku Feng. My problem with him here was that he's more buffoonish than I've ever seen him & to me that doesn't fit him all that well. And the endfight in this left me wanting more.
All & all, if you're a SB fan I'd imagine you should see this. But prepare yourself to be underwhelmed.