Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Four Assassins (1975)

aka Marco Polo.

this was on "Duel TV" Saturday night, complete in it's widescreen English dubbed form.  I was surprised, as I didn't know there was a tv station called that, and that they played martial arts movies, and that Shaw movies had been licensed like that.

anyway, this Cheh Chang masterpiece deals with the Mongols being in China and the revolution that happens.  it's a nice change of pace from the Shaolin vs Manchu story, though exactly the same!

Sheng Fu leads three other patriots to a town where "pugilism" is taught to get revenge on the Tartars who killed their brothers.  lots of painful training happens, but it pays off in the final battle.  this movie may take place before the actual establishment of "kung fu" so I am not exactly sure if there is an actual style here, but in the long run it doesn't matter. Chia Hui Liu is there in an early role as a villain, and Beardy (Ka-Yan Leung) is also present.

Richard Harrison, star of peplums and spaghetti westerns is Marco Polo, working for Kublai Khan, though won over by the locals in the end.  he's pretty good in the role, though obviously it's not his voice. he has a nice role and gets to interact well with Szu Shih in a memorable scene.

I'm hoping that the movie airing on tv means it will be out on DVD sometime soon, as the copy I have is a bootleg.  be nice to own a real version!

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