Thursday, July 6, 2017



Released on April 24th, 1967, THE SWORD AND THE LUTE is part three of a trilogy that began with [TEMPLE OF THE RED LOTUS (1965) part one] and [TWIN SWORDS (1965) part two]. It continues the adaptation of Jiang Hu Qi Xia Chuan (Shang Xia), a wuxia novel written by Ping Jiang Bu Xiao Sheng. Produced by Sir Run Run Shaw, once again directed by Hsu Tseng-Hung and also once again screenplay and assisted directed by Shen Chiang. Song lyrics by Chang Cheh. There are no fight choreographers credited but Shaw Brothers spared no expense with this all-star cast extravaganza. Let’s get busy!

The Yin Yang Swordsmen

Chin Ping as "Gan Lianzhu"

Jimmy Wang Yu as "Gui Wu"

THE SWORD AND THE LUTE (1967) features three treasured weapons. Treasured weapons in wuxia tales are weapons made of the finest materials and include a mystical quality that can be viewed as sort of a super power. In this movie the treasured weapons are: The Invincible Sword (aka the fish intestine sword) which cuts all kinds of iron, The Phoenix Lute, a weapon of mass destruction that hurls scores of hair thin poisonous needles. The Phoenix Lute can only be destroyed by The Invincible Sword. Finally, there is The Seven Stars Stone, the Shen family heirloom that is the only way to heal someone injured by The Phoenix Lute. 


THE SWORD AND THE LUTE (1967) takes place some time after the conclusion of THE TWIN SWORDS (1965), which featured the Gan family’s raid on The Temple of the Red Lotus to rescue their third generation’s daughter, Gan Lianzhu from the clutches of the Red Lotus Clan. The movie begins with the Yin Yang Swordsmen (Gui Wu and his wife, Gan Lianzhu) leaving the Scarlet Maiden’s residence with two instructions: number 1. do not use the Phoenix Lute and number 2. destroy the Phoenix Lute with the Invincible Sword.


On their way to the Gan Residence to use the Invincible Sword to destroy the Phoenix Lute, Gui Wu suggests they cut through the woods, doing so they run right into an ambush by the Flying Tiger Clan intent on robbing whomever would pass that area of the woods. The Yin Yang Swordsmen are highly skilled but the Flying Tiger Clan is present in great numbers. Seeing the men surround his wife, in spite the Scarlet Maiden's warning not to;  Gui Wu grabs the Phoenix Lute and fires into their attackers injuring many of them and causing them to retreat. 

Gan Lianzhu scolds Gui Wu

Master Wen spying on the Yin Yang Swordsmen
One of the Flying Tiger Clan’s members is unhurt but intrigued by such an astonishing weapon and he sneakily follows the Yin Yang Swordsmen as they leave the scene of the ambush and rest near a small waterfall. He overhears some valuable information and then realizes they have left a valuable prize unguarded! Let the games begin!

Yueh Hua as Shem Shuwen

"Where is the Seven Stars Stone?"

the good: Chin Ping as Gan Lingzhu, Ivy Ling Po as the Scarlet Maid, Petrina Fung Bo Bo as Miss Sun / Gan Xiaoling, Jimmy Wang Yu as Gui Wu, Yueh Hua as Shen Shuwen, Lo Lieh as Du Ying, Pang Pang as Daxin.

the bad: Lily Ho Li Li as Wei Mei Er, Cheng Miu as Flying Tiger Chief Master Wei Fei Hu, Lee Wan Chung as Master Wen.

HONORABLE MENTION: Wu Ma, Lee Ho, Chang Pei-Shan, Tang Chia,  Liu Chia Liang, Liu Chia Yung as members of the Flying Tiger Clan.

SPOTTED: Cheng Kang-Yeh as a Shen family servant

Cheng Kang-Yeh is spotted!
FIGHT TIME: Despite Liu Chia Liang and Tang Chia both being present in this production, THE SWORD AND THE LUTE (1967) does not have any fight choreographers credited. Never the less I counted seven (7) fight scenes in the movie’s eighty-seven minutes making for a fun filled, action packed, wuxia extravaganza! For its time, the fight scenes are top notch and natural, making them easy to enjoy. I would certainly not expect any less with the many, highly experienced martial art actors on this project.

HONORABLE MENTION: The grand melee fight at the Master Shen's Aunt's Mansion is a tremendous scene of organized chaos, delightful! Also, Lily Ho Li-Li was a fantastic addition to the cast and her fighting ability lives up to the expectations for her character, bravo!

RECOMMENDATION: THE SWORD AND THE LUTE (1967) is an all-star cast, continuation of a great adaptation of a well-love Chinese novel. Not only is it presented here in great form but it is worthy, not only of a remake but adding additional chapters as well. Anyone of the major characters could also be spun-off into their own adventures. I highly recommend this movie for all viewers and collectors of wuxia movies at all costs. See you next time.


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