copyright© Shaw Brothers 1968
Spring of Shaw Season Review – Film No' 9
Golden Swallow – 1968
aka ''The Girl with The Thunderbolt Kick'' - USA
Shaw's 1968 film Golden Swallow is a result of the success of King Hu's ''Come Drink with Me'' , with Cheng Pei Pei making a name for herself as the films heroine it was of course natural for Shaw to want to carry on with the character.
But of course by 1968 Shaw also had another hit on there hands in the form of 1967 One Armed Swordsman with Jimmy WangYu.
Now King Hu had of course left Shaw Brothers and gone to Taiwan to make the films he wanted without the constraints imposed by Shaw Brothers.
This of course meant another director would have to take on the job for Golden Swallow ,step in Chang Cheh who had shot to fame as a director with 'One Armed Swordsman''.
Story wise Golden Swallow is as much a action piece as it is a love triangle.
Golden Swallow is visiting her friend and protector Golden Whip ( Lo Lieh) ,together they reminisce about there lives in the tranquil valley that Golden Whip lives.
Meanwhile Silver Roc ( Jimmy Wang Yu) a heroic man who fights injustice with brutal enforcement goes on a spree of killing many well known bandits and corrupt clans .
The thing is he leaves behind at each scene a dart associated with Golden Swallow ,thus framing her for the acts. This of course puts a price on the head of Golden Swallow who along with Golden Whip set out to find Silver Roc and find out why he has been doing this.
First thing you notice with Golden Swallow is the way the title character is portrayed more lady like ,clothed in more feminine clothes and colours,where as in King Hu's classic she was more tomboy ,dressed in blue,dark green and more manly attire.
What's strange is also Silver Roc is also quite a pretty boy with his white clothes and ribbons ,other then a facial scar he is more akin to many characters found in Japanese Anime.
I suppose it was in contrast to the more rugged unshaven look he featured in ''The One Armed Swordsman''.
Action wise Chang Cheh's film is as mesmerising as King Hu's but my only gripe was the fact that Cheng Pei Pei did not have as many scenes as the title character and that the film highlighted the story behind Silver Roc's character more.
Not that the film any less enjoyable ,just not what was expected .
It was great to see legendary actor/Director and screenwriter Wu Ma in the role of Flying Fox busting some moves ,and he does not seem to age as he looks the same here in 1968 as he does in later Golden Harvest films some twenty or more years later .
Lo Lieh as Golden Whip ,who is the only true Martial artist out of our trio shows some cool moves and his execution in the fight scenes really does steel the show for me.
Golden Swallow is a fine entry in the Wuxia genre from Shaw Brothers ,but does not come close to what director Chang Cheh delivered in the following years after this entry with films like King Boxer / Blood Brothers and many more.
Also due to the age of the film the restoration process seems not as perfect as others in the Shaw library , with some scenes showing signs of deterioration especially in the focus department. . Obviously unlike some films like One Armed Swordsman or King Boxer the original print must have been in a poorer state .
But I suppose some where worse as out of the one thousand plus films the Shaw Brothers Made ,only seven hundred and sixty where purchased by Celestial for restoration , or so I believe.
Score out of Ten = 7
Review Date : May 4th 2014
Review By : Sertes Nake
|Directed by||Chang Cheh|
|Produced by||Runme Shaw|
|Written by||Chang Cheh |
|Starring||Cheng Pei-pei |
|Music by||Wang Fu-ling|
|Editing by||Chiang Hsing-lung|
|Studio||Shaw Brothers Studio|
|Distributed by||Shaw Brothers Studio|
|Release dates|| |
April 4, 1968
|Running time||104 minutes|
Cast and Characters
Cheng Pei-pei as Golden Swallow
Jimmy Wang as Silver Roc
Lo Lieh as Golden Whip
Chao Hsin-yen as Mei Niang
Wu Ma as Flying Fox
Yeung Chi-hing as Poison Dragon
Hoh Ban as Golden Dragon Branch chief
Lau Gong as Li Wan
Cheng Miu as Cao Tien-lung
Tang Ti as Cao's brother
Ku Feng as Chang Shun
Nam Wai-lit as Iron Face Sheng Yong's brother
Lam Kau as Golden Dragon Branch leader
Lau Kar-leung as Golden Dragon Branch leader
Mars as Chang Shun's son
Bak Yu as Chang Shun's wife
Wang Kuang-yu as Lin Qian
Cliff Lok as Fang Ying
Tung Choi-bo as revenger after Golden Swallow
Ng Yuen-fan as Golden Dragon Five Heroes (in red)
Lau Kar-wing as Golden Dragon Five Heroes (in black)
Yuen Cheung-yan as Golden Dragon Five Heroes (in white)
Yuen Woo-ping as Golden Dragon Five Heroes (in green)
Hsu Hsia as Golden Dragon Five Heroes (in brown)
Hung Ling-ling as prostitute
David Chiang as brothel clerk
Wong Ching-wan as courtesan with Cao Tien-lung
Yee Kwan as waiter
Chui Chung-hok as Golden Dragon thug in restaurant
Tong Gai as Golden Dragon thug
Wong Chung as Golden Dragon thug
Yen Shi-kwan as Golden Dragon thug
Chan Chuen as Golden Dragon thug
Lo Wai as Golden Dragon thug
Yeung Pak-chan as Golden Dragon thug