Bi xie jian: a convoluted tale of the martial world adapted by screenwriter Ni Kuang from a novel by Louis Cha (Jin Yong) that has been adapted for film and TV both before and since. There was a film version called SWIFT SWORD (1980) done a year earlier, also at Shaw Bros.; a TV series done in 1985; and a wire-fu version starring Yuen Biao made in 1993. It's evident from this film that a lot of plot has been condensed and packed into 104 minutes. Things move fast and there's an awful lot of detail to take in, much of it complicated by frequent flashbacks. It has less action and more talk than usual. Until the big fight finale, most of the fights tend to be short bouts, either friendly ones or tests of opponents' skills.
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