Have Sword ' Will Travel
Chang Cheh delivers a blistering ride of suspicion and Male Bonding in this Heroic Bloodshed film which stars his two favourite actors , the happy go lucky David Chiang and the Imposing Ti Lung.
Both here looking remarkably young in this 1969 filmed action film.
The story is one Friendship ,Admiration and Greed .
When Trusted leader of a security company and famed Invincible Martial artist Lord Yin loses his Martial Arts ability he becomes worried that his annual promise to the government to transport Millions in Gold to the Capitol may be at risk.
Rumour has it that a band of thieves Known as the Flying Tigers Stockade plan to rob the transport.
He agrees to do the job without letting on about his disadvantage and sends word for help.
Siang Ding and Yun Pao Pao are his saviours as they travel forth to meet Lord Yin and help escort the Transport.
Li Yu is a traveling Vagabond with a deadly sword who stumbles across a tower to rest in but is driven out by a bunch of suspicious men led by Chao Hong of the Flying Tigers.
A chance meeting of Li Yu and Siang Ding and Yun Pao Pao near the tower arise suspicions in Siang Ding about Li Yu's intentions.
The three part ways after a showing of skill of the sword .
Have Sword 'Will Travel is a film that builds up to a climatic battle , Li Yu a man who just wants to get to his destination of Louyang and find work to feed himself and his trusty horse is aman who requires little to survive but likes keep his dignity while doing so.
Siang Ding on the other hand is dutiful to his job and loyal to Yun Pao Pao , his future Wife.
It's this battle of wits that occurs between the two men that endangers them the most . When they should be looking elsewhere .
Future meetings between the men arise more suspicions and there's no doub't that Siang Ding's more concerned about the effect that Li Yu has on Yun Pao Pao as it's most evident that Jealousy is rife even though Li and Yun have done nothing more then share a gazing glance .
At a little over a Hundred minutes the running time is no slouch but this constant battle of minds between the two men carries the film to it's end.
But in the end it is the final scene where the Flying Tigers attack the Transport and Siang Ding and Yun Pao Pao must help defend Lord Yin and the Gold. Ambushed at the very place they where weary of , a striking Pagoda Tower and it's here that viewers of Martial arts films will go ' Blow Me '.
As the battle ensues around the tower and Siang Ding and Yun Pao Pao fight of the legions of Flying Tigers it is Li Yu who comes to there defence.
But it's when we enter the tower that you realise that your watching a scene out of Game of Death , a film that had not even been made yet.
The way the fight ensues up the tower to where Chao Hong is waiting , Siang Ding fights his way through swarms of fighters to reach the top , the variety of weapons on show is quite outstanding , from the use of Opening swords which turn into spears .,chain like throwing knives and so much more.
But it's when David Chiang enters to help that the whole Game of Death scenario comes to mind. Now you have to take it from the scenes that Bruce Lee shot and the outtake scenes that where taken out of the films cut.
Bruce Lee's story had James Tien and himself climbing the tower to rescue his girlfriend. It 's those out takes which amount to about twenty minutes that your find the connection.
Siang Ding is the character that would be Bruce and Li Yu could be James Tien Character .
Some of the styles and mannerisms are so close.
Have Sword ' Will Travel is a must see film if only to see how Chang Cheh came up with the end scene three years before Bruce Lee filmed his footage of James Tien and himself .
So did Bruce watch Have Sword ' Will Travel and thought I could use that?
Once again the mastery of Chang Cheh shines through in what for 1969 is quite a bloodthirsty film , with lots of splatter and untold injuries that the characters entail only to keep on fighting.
Have Sword 'Will Travel is Heroic Bloodshed in it's rawest form and to think it stems from the days of Chang Cheh and the term had not even been been created yet.
Review Date 09-08-2020
Review By : Sertes Nake
Watch our Live Action Review at the bottom of this page
Viewed on Prime Video in HD in Mandarin with English Subtitles.
(c) Image Copyright 1969 Shaw Brothers / 2002 Celestial Pictures
Release Year : 1969 December
Director : Chang Cheh
Screenplay: Ni Kuang
Language : Mandarin
Studio: Shaw Brothers
Running Time : 101 Minutes
Country : British Hong Kong
Ti Lung – Siang Ding
David Chiang- Lu Yi
Lee Ching – Yun Pao Pao
Ku Feng- Chao Hong Flying Tigers Stockade Leader
Chan Sing – Mao Bao
Cheng Miu – Lord Yin Ke Feng
Hung Lau – Chui Tin Hou a Flying Tiger
Cliff Lok – A Flying Tiger
Cheng Liu – Wong Chuen
Wang Kuan Yu – One of Lord Yin's Men
Wong Ching Ho – Government Official