Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Jade Faced Assassin (1971)

Based on Khu Lung's novel The Remarkable Twins, this movie was quite enjoyable. I even prefer this one than the 1979 version with Fu Sheng and Lawrence Ng. Both movies are based on the same novel, but with limited time, it's interesting to see which material stayed and which were omitted.

At first I was a bit disappointed to see that Siao Hi-ji character was played by a female, but later I thought she was okay and played the part well. The character had a scar on her cheek, just like in the book.

Chang Chun ran from Chang Chuen Clan with his wife - the 3rd sister from the clan, and their new-born twins. On their way, they were stopped by robbers and finally killed by the 1st sister from Chang Chuen clan, who thought Chang Chun had stolen their creed. The 1st sister took one of the twins, and left the other for No.1 Swordsman Lian Lan-yan, the sworn-brother of Chang Chun.

When Lian Lan-yan arrived, one of the dying robbers told him that it was Chang Zhai who had betrayed Chang Chun. Lian Lan-yan went for Chang Zhai at the Happy Valley, but he was trapped by the criminals and became paralyzed. The baby was raised by the criminals. They named her Siao Lu-er. She was very naughty that they finally drove her out from Happy Valley.

Tse Hsin-chan (Pan Yin-tze) and Hua Yu-chun (Kao Yuen)
Siao Lu-er saved a girl from robbers who wanted her treasure map. The girl was Tse Hsin-chan, from Chang Chuen Clan. Siao Lu-er showed her later that the treasure map was a fake. Tse Hsin-chan had a martial brother, Hua Yu-chun. Hua Yu-chun first wanted to kill Siao Lu-er because he thought she had harmed his sister, and later was forced to kill her because his teacher said so.

Sweet glutinous rice. So heroes are human and love snacking like us.
But Siao Lu-er saved Tse Hsin-chan (again) when she was poisoned by Chang Ting-le. Chang Ting-le was most renowned hero and respected by many, but Siao Lu-er would prove that he was formerly known as Chang Zhai, the traitor.

Siao Lu-er befriended Yu Chi Zhao Guang the gambler. It was with his help that Siao Lu-er could saved a security bureau which had been robbed by Chang Ting-le. It was a funny scene when the security bureau owner visited Chang Ting-le to thank him for saving his carts before (he didn't know the master behind the robbery) and a moment later a man came to tell him that the carts had been robbed - again. While he was panicking, another messenger came to tell him that the carts had been returned.

Yu Chi Zhao Guang (Fan Mei-sheng) and Siao Lu-er (Lily Ho)
In the end, Siao Lu-er was about to have a duel with Hua Yu-chun, when the 2nd sister from Chang Chuen Clan stopped them and told them that they were siblings. Together they fought the cruel 1st sister and the good won, as always.

The actress who played Tse Hsin-chan was the weakest actress in this movie, in my opinion. Perhaps the camera stayed on her too long that she over-acted.

The title confused me. Who is the jade faced assassin? After giving this some thinking, I guess the assassin was Hua Yu-chun. Kao Yuen was good-looking enough (jade face = handsome) and Hua Yu-chun was sent by his teacher to kill Siao Lu-er. There was also the word 'yu' in his name (yu=jade).

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