THE KNIGHT OF KNIGHTS (1966)
Released May 18th, 1966, THE KNIGHT OF KNIGHTS (1966) is based on a script by Chang Cheh that according to the website Hong Kong Cinemagic is one of Mr. Cheh’s first foray into the wuxia genre. [Chang Cheh was involved in the planning of TEMPLE OF THE RED LOTUS (1965) and THE TWIN SWORDS (1965)]. Produced by both SHAW BROTHERS it is directed by the multitalented Sit Kwan but unfortunately no action director is credited.
|Lee Wan-Chung as Governor Wang|
|Tang Ti as the bandit Min Kong|
|Lee Ying as Inspector Lin|
|Kiu Chong as Wen Sy Chen|
|Seven Men of Dragon School (minus one)|
Wen Suchen decides a different tact is called for and goes undercover with his two students as a scholar to Zhaoqing Monastery to face Abbot Min Kong. The three of them battle kidnapping, slavery and uncover a plot to murder Imperial Inspector Lin atop of Guanri Pagoda!
the good: Kiu Chong as Wen Su Chen. Lee Ying as Imperial Inspector Lin. Cliff Lok as Wen Lung. Chow Lung-Cheung as Wen Hu. Lily Ho Li-Li as Lin Hong Yu. Lily Li Li-Li as Hsin Yang.
the bad: Lee Wan-Chung as Governor Wang. Tang Ti as Abbot Kung Ming. Fung Ngai : senior monk. Fan Mei-sheng : senior monk. Tien Shun : senior monk.
Wu Ma, Ku Feng, Liu Liang-Hua, Cheng Lui, Chen Hung-Lieh, Chiu Hung, Wang
Kuang-Yu, Simon Yuen Siu-Tin
|Lily Ho Li-Li 's "controversial" scene for the time (1966)|
SPOTTED: Li Ching as Chin (Carpenter You’s sister) and Bruce Lee’s childhood friend (Little) Unicorn Chan as one of the fake monks in the opening of the film.
FIGHT TIME: THE KNIGHT OF KNIGHTS (1966) has no fight director credited and indeed the quality of the fights (or lack thereof) attests to the lack of skill in the execution of the fight scenes. The fights seemed to me to be very poorly done with the real martial artist looking only slightly skilled and the non-martial artists looking like they had somewhere else to go and wanted to be killed quickly. Not using a fight choreographer was a mistake and the movie suffers from it. I counted only five (6) fight scenes including the short assassination attempt on the Imperial Inspector –enough for a legit kung fu movie and wisely spaced out to keep boredom from being a factor.
HONORABLE MENTION: It is a long way into the movie but, young Cliff Lok has the best-choreographed fight in the movie and is very convincing in warding off multiple opponents. Kudos
RECOMMENDATION: THE KNIGHT OF KNIGHTS (1966) is not a bad movie per-se. It features an all-star cast and guest stars the crème de la crème of the Shaw Brother studios. The script by Chang Cheh is above average as well. It’s major failing is in the lack of martial art style or weapon focus or of martial art choreography. However because of the full back nude scene it is an asterisk in wuxia film history and so it is collectible and should be purchased for this reason. Feel free to keep it in its sealed packaging so it is worth more money. See you next time!
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NEXT UP: THE MAGNIFICENT TRIO (1966)