Dir: Chang Cheh Scrs: Ni Kuang, Chang Cheh
Set Design: Chan Ki-yui
Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, Chiao Chiao,
Pan Yin-tze, Chen Yanyan
1967 / Colour / D Beta / Mandarin / Chi & Eng subtitles / 111min
One-Armed Swordsman is remembered as the ground-breaking film of Chang Cheh, not only for winning the versatile and prolific filmmaker the epithet “The Million Dollar Director”, but also for revamping the trend of wuxia pian (swordplay/martial arts films) in the next decade or more. In retrospect, however, one would be surprised to find it actually contains far less action sequences than remembered. The most outstanding aspect of the film belongs to Chan Ki-yui’s masterful set design and art direction. The crimson colour is sprinkled throughout the film to signify happiness, crisis, heroism and bloodshed. In the temple fair sequence, the sense of danger is created by the cramped space of the shops, while the shades of the set’s contours and its translucent structure help push forward the narrative of the plot. All in all, a magnificent display of his art.
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||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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