One Armed Swordsmen - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

One Armed Swordsmen Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2008
Dated but solid flick.
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2008
Beautiful and well paced film about an honourable swordsman who finds strength after receiving a horrible injury. A great character who I can totally see why he has become so beloved in Hong Kong cinema (the other film I saw the with him was the awesome Master of the Flying Guillotine), and a great hero. It's odd with Asian action cinema, how having a handicap isn't the end of the world, in fact it can make them stronger. The one armed swordsman, Zatoichi and numerous other blind fighters, the Crippled Master, the list goes one. Compare that to American action cinema, where our action heroes are either buff bodybuilders or look like they could be underwear models. There is no place for the aged or handicapped in our films in heroic roles (granted if they did make one, Blind Fury comes to mind, the audience stays away in droves, so society is probably more to blame than the filmmakers). All this is just leading me to say that Ash in the Evil Dead is a kick ass character because even after he loses his hand he still whoops ass. So there.
Back to the movie at hand (punny?), it's a great martial arts film that I'm certain I'll respect more in a historical context after watching the special features on the always awesome Dragon Dynasty DVD series.
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2008
For old school Hong-Kong it's hard to get better. There's alot of symbolism that's interesting and the plot keeps moving and remains kick A-double scribble throughout. I feel I should write more about this, but I can't, been writing too many essays. But amazing. Like anyone cares.
August 6, 2008
That chick cut his arm off!!!


For some reason I really wasn't expecting that.

A friend of mine asked how to tell the difference between a bad kung-fu movie and a good one.

This is a great movie.

The story is simplistic, yet rooted in what a majority of kung-fu films are about.

Revenge and struggle.
August 6, 2008
Not quite as good as it's cracked up to be. Pretty much everyone involved went on to do better things.
February 19, 2016
A young boy sees his father killed by bandits and has his arm lopped off into the bargain. He's out for some revenge and a pointless love story. But the action is fun and OTT
November 29, 2015
Terrific martial arts film from Shaw Brothers Studio about an orphaned boy at a martial arts school who loses his arm in a fight and is run out of the school. However, he returns to the school as a one armed swordsman to protect his master from bad guys "Long-armed Devil" and "The Smiling Tiger Cheng." Production values are hight, the story is strong and the martial arts are solid, even if they are a bit dated. The film was directed by Cheh Chang, who also made "Crippled Avengers" and "Five Deadly Venoms."
½ April 16, 2015
I would have rated this movie higher if it weren't for such a lame twist at the end. The movie itself is rather really good. It starts out as a formulaic crossover movie, with stars David Chiang and Jimmy Wang Yu crossing their one armed blades, but become friends. Then they must solve a murder, leading them to the heart of the Shaolin Temple. The temple in most martial arts movies is during the day, and they are places of training montages and goodness. Not in this movie. The shaolin temple is a dark and mysterious place full of people who are eager to kill rather than listen to reason. The movie is suspenseful and action packed, up until the ending. This is a pretty decent movie nonetheless, and its good to see David Chiang's smarmy grin in the One Armed Swordsman role once again.
November 11, 2012
another early chop-socky pic from my faves, the shaw brothers in 'shawscope'!
½ January 7, 2012
Another Shaw Brothers classic.
June 16, 2011
The reason why it's a classic is there to see: a tale about crippled swordmanship and all things broken and unbalanced in life: you cannot heal, or save, repair them, nor right the wrongs done; only find a new state of body, mind, soul..., and move on, and move on...
June 16, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011

(1967) One Armed Swordsman

Popular film in Hong Kong which inspired many sequels about a very disciplined decipher who decides to leave, accidently gets his right arm chopped off( in unconvincing low budget fashion) and upon running away, comes across a one time lonely orphan who nurses him back with a brand new transformation!

Manage to get this "Dragon Dynasty" copy used and was very dissappointed to see that Cantonese was not one of the options of languages spoken since it was originally released in Cantonese and it was not until the return of Hong Kong back to China that most period films were redubbed again to Mandarin, so instead of listening it redubbed to MandarinI thought it'd be better watching it on dubbed! In terms of the action, one should be able to tell which were the real swords and which're the fake ones since on some scenes some have a mirror reflection and they're others that don't have that at all and very mediocre in terms of the action in comparison to Hong Kong films started in the late 70's! The story seems to be original which is preventing this low budget material from getting a negative rating which encouraged studios to spawn sequels and copycats!

This film deserves a pass for it's originality and not for the martial art scenes at all!

2.5 out of 4
½ October 5, 2010
Great opening, but far too slow and long. Extremely primitive. The sound and visual effects are terrible, the directing is often wobbly and the action cuts are just sad. Even the final battle is underwhelming. Easily the worst Shaw Brothers movie I've seen.
March 6, 2010
a memorable Shaw brothers classic. of course this is one-armed swordsMAN we're talking at. one-armed swordsmEn was one of it's sequels from 1976 wang yu and david chiang (he's absent from the original). the cover art is from that movie.
September 29, 2009
I was expecting better choreographed fight scenes and more action. It wasn't bad, it had it's moments, but coming from Shaw Brothers I was expecting something great (along the lines of " 5 Deadley Venoms" or the "36th Chamber of Shaolin") . Nevertheless it was still enjoyable so I've rated it just above avarege.
March 5, 2009
I can't stop watching this movie, i love it.
½ August 8, 2008
‚??One Armed Swordsman‚?? is one of the all-time classics of 20th century HK cinema. While it‚??s relatively slow and restrained in comparison to today‚??s action flick standards, ‚??One Armed Swordsman‚?? broke some new ground in 1967 when it was first released. It made a bone fide star out of its leading man, Jimmy Wang Yu (former competitive swimmer). Drawing much from the spaghetti westerns that were so popular at the time with western and eastern audiences, the Shaw Brothers and Chang Cheh created their own anti-hero with Wang Yu‚??s one-armed swordsman in the mold of such classic anti-hero‚??s as Clint Eastwood‚??s ‚??man with no name‚??. While certainly not the most gifted martial artists in the Shaw stables, Wang Yu was a presence to be reckoned with on the screen. The dude could carry a scene dramatically with a simple look or attitude like few others at Shaw‚??s could do (one notable exception at the time in this reviewer‚??s mind was Ti Lung), and he certainly holds the ‚??One Armed Swordsman‚?? together and the viewers attention when otherwise the movie slows. Yet, the movie has an impressive ‚??workman‚?? cast who do an admirable ensemble job, including Tien Feng (who played the baddie opposite Lo Lieh in another SB classic ‚??King Boxer‚??), Ku Feng (‚??Vengeance‚?? and ‚??Deadly Duo‚??, each with David Chang and Ti Lung), and Cheng Lui (‚??The Chinese Boxer‚??, another Wang Yu vehicle). Beyond the cast and action, the musical score for ‚??One Armed Swordsman‚?? is very good and is original in large part (if again harkening to the spaghetti westerns of the day with a very European flair). The cinematography in this movie is top notch, with very high production values ‚?? some of the best the Shaw‚??s had to offer in their heyday. The colors used in the film are vibrant and vivid (think the original Star Trek series from the same time); Chang Cheh didn‚??t (like in so many of his movies) skimp on the use of deep red blood ‚?? the scene where Wang Yu loses his arm is particularly striking ‚?? bloody arm lying on the snow covered ground ‚?? not disturbing by today‚??s desensitized standards but certainly graphic and visually striking for ‚??67. Although slow in parts, essentially everything works well in this flick to give the viewer a fun ride. 4.5 stars.
November 3, 2008
A classic of the swordplay genre. Definitely a breakthrough for action movies. A basic storyline is made to be more than what is by Jimmy Wang Yu's amazing and convincing portrayal as the title character. This should be One Armed SwordsMAN, not MEN.
½ October 22, 2008
On the plus side: a classic of Hong Kong martial arts film-making, whose style, choreography, and plot would go on to influence countless other films throughout the 70s and later.

On the minus side: the production values, including the sets, costumes, and colouring, all seem vastly dated, and its influential status means that the plot and characters are familiar to the point of being cliched.

For fans of the genre it's a must-see. For everyone else it's a fun but ultimately shallow curiosity.
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