King Hu’s 1971 magnum opus—presented in the original, uncut version—is at once a sprawling epic of religious proportions and an anthology of profoundly entertaining action sequences. Fugitive noblewoman Yang (Hsu Feng), at risk of being captured and executed, hides in a small village and then escapes into the wilderness with a shy scholar and two aides. The quartet faces a massive group of fighters and is joined by a band of Buddhist monks surprisingly skilled in the art of battle. The drama weds glorious action sequences with insightful philosophy and a cinematic grace unmatched to this day.
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