Road Rash Reviews

THE VALIANT ONES [Zhong lie tu] (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Review*****

Cert 12 | 102 mins | 1975

5 Star

The Last of a Great Era.

Written and directed by famed Wuxia filmmaker King Hu (A Touch of Zen, Raining in the mountain) is this sword based action Tour de Force, which takes us back to the thirteenth Century, as the Chinese take on Japanese pirates. It is down to a Colonel and his retainers and a married couple to take them on. So sit back and enjoy the swords being unsheathed, in this amazing restoration.

The Chinese coastline is in turmoil, mostly due to the Ming dynasty ruler Jiajing, and his corrupt officials, The coastal areas are plagued by Japanese pirates (Wokou) who team up with local bandits to rob government caravans and local villages, leaving death in their wake. The fiercest of these Wokou are Hakatatsu (Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, The Millionaires Express, Angela Mao: Hapkido & Lady Whirlwind), Xu Dong (Ying-Chieh Han, The Big Boss, Fist of Fury) and Saimon, who must be brought to justice.

Tasked with this serious job is Colonel Yu Da-you (Roy Chiao, LADY REPORTER, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) who is an excellent strategist, and his flute playing retainer Chou Fa (Ming-Tsai Wu, Legend of the Mountain), and he brings in famous sword fighting husband and wife team Wu Jiyuan (Ying Bai, A Touch of Zen, Hapkido) and Wu Re-shi (Feng Hsu, Red Dust, Ci ke).

They set up a base at Li’s (Li-Jen Ho, Enter the Dragon, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin) village, the only place that hasn’t been hit by the Wokou. With all his powers of deduction and strategy, it is mostly impatient officials that bring out the bandits, and Yu and the Wu’s have to clear up the mess they create.

But this film is less about the story and more about the wuxia, as the swords fly at high speed and the arrows fly by the hundreds.

The Valiant Ones is definitely for those that love the sound of clashing swords, and it is a slice of history, or if you are a Sammo Hung fan, also a great way into the genre.

The Valiant Ones is available on Blu-ray

27 May 2024 in the UK, and from 28 May 2024 in North America

Available to order from UK:

Eureka Store Blu-ray UHD

Available to order from US/CAN:

Diabolik Blu-ray UHD



  • Limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Grégory Sacré (Gokaiju)
  • 1080p HD presentation on Blu-ray from a 4K digital restoration of the original negatives gifted by director King Hu to the Hong Kong Film Archive
  • Uncompressed original Mandarin mono restored from the original soundtrack negative
  • Brand-new audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
  • Tony Rayns on The Valiant Ones – Brand-new interview with critic and Asian film expert Tony Rayns
  • Tsar of All Wuxia – Brand new video essay by David Cairns
  • The Life of a Lucky Stuntman – Brand-new interview with stuntman Billy Chan
  • My Father and I – Brand-new interview with actor Ng Ming-choi
  • Memories of Hu – Archival 2003 interview with Roger Garcia (Hong Kong International Film Festival Society) by Frédéric Ambroisine
  • Archival 2003 interview with actress Hsu Feng by Frédéric Ambroisine
  • Archival 2016 interview with actor Ng Ming-choi by Frédéric Ambroisine
  • PLUS: A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jonathan Clements

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Director‎ King Hu
GenreAction, Drama, History
StarringRoy Chiao, Feng Hsu, Wing Bai, Tu KUANG-Chi, Han YING-Chieh
Available to buy on : Own THE VALIANT ONES [Zhong lie tu] (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition on Blu-Ray