Da dao Wang Wu (1973) - full transcript

When legendary swordsman Wang Wu challenges the authority on a blanket arrest of men when really only one is guilty, his intervention (and its success) is observed by politician Tan Tzutung who tries to buy him a drink but is rebuffed. Later, Wang is attacked while getting his hair braided and Tan assists him, making them friends and allowing them to talk. Tan is a reformer but there are moves against such men and Wang knows it. He enlists Wang's help but within the world of politics nothing is to be trusted and soon the friends are in great danger in the name of their reforming efforts.

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Let me tell you

I really can't stand this

You guys are just lying around.

Do you expect money
to fall from the sky?

I know it's been very risky lately,
but we've got to find how to live.

Come on, just forget it.
Since my last arrest...

I'm still having nightmares.
It's less risky being a hawker.

Hey, look what I've got.

What? Back to your old business?

We've got to find
some easy money.

There ought to be
some money inside.

It's real!

Go on.

Sir, as expected, they did it.

Look, it's the stolen money.

- Take them all.
-Yes, sir.

- Come on, move.
-It's not their fault, I stole it.

Let's go.

Mr. Wang.

Have a good day, Sir.

Careful there.

Help me, Mr.Wang.

Help me, please help.

Help me, please help.

How do you do, Mr. Wang?

Wang Du, what do you want?

Nothing, he seems to know me.

- I came over to have a look.
-Mind your own business, Wang Wu.

Everyone knows you
in Hubei province.

If we would listen to you,
we'd never make an arrest.

Mr. Pei, I have nothing to say
if they're found guilty.

But your department has
arrested many innocent people.

I think you do understand me.

Wang Wu, I'll arrest you
if you keep this on.

You don't have to worry about me.
You know my name.

And you know I have
a security company.

If you wish to arrest,
you know where to go.

Mr. Wang, did you come
back from your last job?

Mr. Wen, what's with
all this modesty?

Mr. Wang, we caught
these thieves in the act.

They stole from
General Chong's brother-in-law.

Think about it, if we don't arrest
them, what report can we submit?

I did it by myself.
It wasn't their fault.

They are hawkers now. Damn! Had I
known it as general's relative...

I wouldn't dare to do it.

Mr. Wen, since only one of them
did it, arrest just that fellow.

I understand your point. You want
me to release the other three.

Mr. Wen, then...

We've got to get back
to our job, good day.

Thank you, Mr. Wang.

Have pity on my poor friends.

- Mr. Wen is very kind.
-Thank you, sir.


- Mr. Tan, what can I do for you?
-Who's that fellow?

You don't often see those officers
letting off convicts that easy.

- He's the very famous swordsman.
-Wang Wu with the big blade.

Big Blade Wang Wu.

- So you've heard of him.
-Yes, I have.

Could you please
call him for me?

- Say Tan Sitong'd like to meet him.
-Yes, Sir.

- Mr. Wang.
-Please wait.

What is it?

Please come with me. Someone
important wishes to see you.

Who might he be?

He's an eminent personality.
Governor Hubei's son.

Mr. Tan was recommended
to the Emperor...

who's to make major
advances in his career.

Please tell this Mr. Tan...

that I'm just an ordinary man.

Not used to socializing with rich
and famous. So excuse me.

Mr. Wang. Yes.

I'll convey your message.

- Mr. Tan...
-It's not your fault.

I know his kind.

He wouldn't be
so famous if he...

gets bossed around,
would he!

- Bring me the wine.

- Mr. Wang.
-Mr. Wang.

What are you looking at?

Mr. Wang.

Wang Wu, have a look!

Someone came in. We greeted
him like any other guest.

For no reason he
soon got impatient...

and asked why you
weren't there.

Then one punch and left
with this hole in the table.

Amazing skill!
Didn't spill a drop of tea.

The tea's all in here.

Was master QI here?

Yes, he was. We wanted
to fight the visitor.

He stopped us, and he
followed the man out later.

When he returns, remember
to thank him for saving your lives.

- And then ask him to see me.

Come on.

You almost scared me!

- Who's that man?
-Big trouble, I'd say.

Do you remember last year what
we did at Shanxi's Datong house?

Yes, we injured the
three brothers of Yan family.

- Their father is here.
-Yan Feng the Iron Fist?

He's got some nerve
coming all the way to capital.

And he's brought
some men along.

I think he's going to give you some
trouble. Be careful these few days.

- We don't need to be afraid.

But it's hard to avoid ambushes.

I don't have any other way.

I'm not afraid of anything.


Don't you worry
about Camomile?

Are you three looking for
our master? Have a seat.


Mr. Wang, we've heard about you.

We came here looking for help.

- How may I help you?
-We need US$300 for traveling.

- What sort of trouble are you in?
-Shall appreciate if you don't ask.

No problem.

Mr. Wang, we mean what we say.

People say that you're...

- No formalities, there's no need.
-Excuse us.

We'll make a move.

You're known to
spend money quickly.

But you should at least
let the others know...

the money is from
your hard work.

The money's gone,
there's no need to nag over.

- What now?
-Brother Yan...

we had just gone to test Wang Wu.
He's one hell of a good man.

I've hired you to help me.
Which side are you on anyway?

If you want to teach him
a lesson for your sons...

set a date for a duel with him.
Then we're all for it.

Fine, so you're now
the aides of Wang Wu, is it?

Go, I don't need you anymore.

Hope you won't go
and tell on me now.

We sure won't.
Brother Yan, you'll regret it.

You mean I am not his match?

No, even if you beat him,
you will regret it.

For he is a true hero. We're
nothing compared to him.

Get going before
I throw you out!

Inside, please.

Have a seat.

Look who's here.

Mr. Tan.

Mr. Tan.

- Fusheng is here.
-Mr. Tan is here.

I'm late.

- You're late, drink as a forfeit.
-That's right.

Good drinker.

He's different from you. It doesn't
take him half a day to drink a cup.

- Please.
-Do you hear that, Fusheng?

These are your girlfriends,
have some more.

Yes. Speaking of girlfriends...

do you have a girl
named Camomile?

We have so many girls.
Don't you like any of them?

I'd like to see Camomile though.

I've heard she's a friend
of Wang Wu.

But right now Mr. Wang
is in her room.

He's here? I'll look for him.

Mr. Tan. What time
do you think this is?

What do you think they'd be doing?
I don't think you should intrude.

That's right, sorry about it.

Who's Wang Wu anyway?

You were recommended to the Emperor.
You'll work in the Privy Council.

So you better stay away
from guys like Wang Wu.

Will you write me
a couplet for my new house?


Hurry with the paper and ink.

Come on, be quick.

You're really taking your time
braiding my hair.

Parting is such a sweet sorrow.

Since when did you
learn to talk like that?

Lately, there's been a group
of reformists coming here.

I learnt from them
at their gatherings.

The emperor entrusts
the country to reformists.

The world's going to change.

The world needs a change, but...

- I don't understand what they do.
-Wang Wu!

What's going on?

Please stay put, gentleman.
Wang Wu is fighting outside.

- Great, I'll help him out.
-Fusheng, you're crazy.


Look, this is what he gave me.

- Mr.Wang.
-Fix my hair.

Four against one?
That's not fair.


The stag at bay
is dangerous. Let them.

Had I known
they were so frail...

- I wouldn't have ruined your fun.

Are you alright, Mr. Tan?

- Mr. Tan?
-Tan Sitong of Liuyang.

The other day I saw you helped some
men from the custody of officers.

I am very impressed. Please
excuse my rudeness the other day.

No problem.

You still haven't
written me a couplet!

I've just made a friend.
I want to drink with him.

If you've written it,
then no one will bother you.

Come along with me.

Look, you've ruined the paper!
Please change it.


He's very arrogant.

Although he'll hold
a post in the cabinet...

he's going to face troubles.

Look, Brother Wang.

Our country is ruined
by useless officials.

They've turned it
into such a mess.

If I could be in charge for a day,
I'd definitely change the world.

Brother Tan,
you're a man of vision.

Only you understand me.

You cheered for me
when I wrote the couplet.

But look at the others,
they were stunned.

So, if the Emperor
wants a reform...

will Empress Dowager
give up her powers?

That depends on the Emperor's
determination, and people like us.

I'll introduce a few
good men to you later.

Kang Youwei,
Liang Qichao, Lin Xu.

They are all trying
to save our country.

I don't need to know them.
I'm already very honoured...

-to have a true friend like you.
-Well said.

- What's going on?
-The news from the court got out.

Tan Sitong, Yang Rui,
Liu Guangdi, Lin Xu.

- I only ask about Brother Tan.
-Here it is.

They'll work for the Privy Council.
They'll be working on the reforms.

And what does that mean?

I wasn't sure either,
then I asked someone.

They said it's a special decree
issued by the Emperor.

They'll hold posts in the cabinet
and make all decisions from now on.

Brother Tan will have
his wish come true.

Brother Wang,
you and Mr. Tan are friends.

You don't need the
security company anymore.

With your talents and leadership,
it's easy to get a post...

with the police department,
or as a general of the army.

Since I've known
Brother Tan, there are...

some things I don't understand.
But at least I've learnt that...

I shouldn't be taking
favors of this sort.

This is what the reformists
are most against.

- Don't ever mention it again.

But since we've
heard the good news...

would you be going
to congratulate Mr. Tan?

We are good friends.
There's no need for the formality.

As a prime minister, I'm sure
he's got other important matters.

I wouldn't wish to bother him.

Mr. Wang.

The world is changed,
the old calligraphy was cancelled.

The Emperor is getting
the reformists to do the work.

All the other royalties
have to stand aside.

The four heads will decide
everything hereafter.

I've heard that, among them...

the youngest,
Mr. Lin, is only 24.

Mr. Tan is only 33.

One of emperor's uncle cried all
night in front of the Empress.

He said that if the
reforms continue...

they'll all have to
return to the north.

The Empress was confused...

and later she was in a rage.

- How do you know?
-I know everything.

My wife's family has relatives in
the palace. They hear everything.

- What are the new orders?
-There're plenty.

Everything's changed.

I heard that the
Empress is furious.

She doesn't want the reforms.

And we're the same.

- I hope it won't involve us.
-That' s wrong.

The new policies
will make the country stronger...

and we won't be
bullied by foreigners.

Mr. Wang, someone is here.

Brother Tan!

Is this Mr. Tan?

- When was the last time I saw you?
-Almost three months ago.

This is Hu QI,
they call him the Ape.

Just tell me what
needs to be done.

If it involves using this knife...

just let me take care of it.

The Empress is against
the Emperor's reforms.

She's discreetly
held court thrice.

What do you say?

Would I need to use this knife?

Do you want to kill the
Empress in the palace?

QI, if Mr. Tan plans to do it...

-would you be afraid?
-Of course I will be.

But just one word from you, I'll
go anywhere you want me to.

I'll await your orders.

It's too late.

Just heard the news that,
by Empress' command...

Kang Youwei, head
of the Ministry of Works...

is charged of
subversion against nation...

-and would be removed.
-And the Emperor?

The Emperor has sent this.
I need your help.

- Please think of something soon.
-First we'll save the Emperor.

My contact at the palace
has gone missing.

- Please do me a favor.

Save Kang Youwei,
Liang Qichao...

-and escort them out of the capital.
-That's easy, you...

Reform has never come about
in any country without bloodshed.

In present China, no one
has sacrificed for reforms.

If it's necessary, it might
as well start with me.


Looks like we can't get out. Escort
Mr. Kang to Legation street.

Mr. Liang, Brother Tan
asked me to escort you.

- They have begun their move.
-Are you Wang Wu?

- Hurry.

Who are you?

- Wu, what are you doing here?
-Just hanging around.

Do you have any business here?

- We'll arrest Liang Qichao.
-Liang Qichao?

They say he's just a scholar,
not a criminal.

Are you sure you
need all these men?

The suspect's gone.

Wang Wu, the Empress
sent the order herself.

The Empress? I thought
we had an Emperor.

- Hurry.
-No need to chase.

- Are you trying to revolt?
-Of course not.

Everyone here knows who I am.

I haven't seen the
general for a long time.

- Please lead me to him.

We've got business
to do, move it.

Just do your own job.
But stay out of my way.

Please, go ahead.

You're doing this intentionally.

You might consider
yourself influential...

but we don't care about that.

Good night.


Great, Qichao is here.

Mr. Kang.

- Where's Wang Wu?
-He's over there.

What's going on? Why don't
you chase the suspect?

It's you, Wang Wu!

You're quite prominent.
But why arrest me?

You're in our way, it's our job.

Come on!

Go, Brother Wang!

After him!

You're back, Brother Tan.
Mr. Kang and Mr. Liang...

All nine gates are closed.

In China's thousand years arresting
two men has never been a big deal.

Luckily ambassadors helped them.
They're already out of the city.

- Why don't you leave?
-Why don't I?

I've already told you yesterday.

Brother, is this Mr. Wang Wu?

Yes, you remember,
he's my best friend.

Mr. Wang, I heard about
your world-renowned skills.

He's determined to the reforms.
Don't you have another way?

The lady is right.

Since Kang and Liang are safe,
I've made up my mind.

It'd be injustice to me
if you dare anything.

If the Empress wants
to capture Kang and Liang...

she will seek to eliminate you.
Mr. Wang can protect you.

When Liang had his braid cut
and pretended to be a Japanese...

I could have gone with him
if I had to leave.

Brother Wang,
our friendship is based...

on righteousness.
Have you forgotten?

Come, let's cherish our time
together. Let's have a few drinks.

There's no need to be depressed.

- You're right.
-I don't understand you.

You're a woman,
of course you don't.

Why are you so drunk?

The way he and Mr. Tan drink...

Mr. Wang...

Brother Wang!

Mr. Wang, Brother Wang!

Brother Wang!

- Brother Wang!
-Mr. Wang!

Brother Wang.

Stop it!

- Sir...
-They are here, aren't they?

What are you yelling about?

Move over.

What do you think you're doing?
I'm here, do you think I'll vanish?

Come on.
This is normal procedure for us.

Make this an exception.

Tan Sitong,
are you resisting arrest?

Resist arrest? Me?

Resist arrest? Me?

Brother Wang!

I've made a copy of...

Empress Dowager
Cixi's imperial edict.

The ministers of Privy Council
Zhang Yihuan, Xu.

Yang Shengxiu,
Yang Rui, Lin Xu, Tan Sitong.

Liu Guangdi to be first
removed from their office...

held for trial, and
then be prosecuted.

Brother Tan had expected
this to happen.

I've got someone
to find out his whereabouts.

Mr. Wang!

- QI.
-What's going on?

The army is in charge of the office.
The leaders Wen Ping and Pei Feng.

They brought over a thousand
soldiers. They've got Mr. Tan.

There're a few others who
got caught along with Mr. Tan.

The rumor is that reformists
are being caught and beheaded.

Mr. Tan and the others are now
transferred to the main prison.

I'll go take a look.

There's a lady here
to see you, Mr. Wang.

Brother Wang.

They've got Fusheng. Would you
really allow him to be sacrificed?

He could leave if
someone would save him.

Kang Youwei is in Shanghai,
Liang Qichao is in Japan.

Brother Wang, why does
Tan Sitong have to die?

Please return home, Miss.
I'll take care of it.

- See the lady out.

QI, it's time we do something.

Whatever it may be,
I'll be standing by you.

For three hundred
years, no one...

has ever saved anyone
from the main prison.

Neither has the court
killed a scholar.

Brother, if they will be executed...

there's a way from the prison
to execution ground.

- We...
-Fine. QI.

You go and gather
some brave friends.

Get them all here.

What do you think you're doing?

Wen Ping?

What? No visits?

You must be kidding.

Please go ahead.

After I've finished here, I'll meet
you at the Tongfengtang restaurant.

Wang Wu could be up
to something dubious.

If he calls for help,
there're plenty of men...

who will listen to
his commands.

I think he's asking for death.


The six men were ministers
of the Privy Council.

They have supporters and foreigner
friends too. We better watch out.

We don't have to worry
about the foreigners...

but there's one person
we should watch out.


- Wang Wu.

According to reports
from the camps...

when they tried to
arrest Liang Qichao...

Wang Wu was blocking them
on purpose. He dared to do so?

I'm meeting him at Tongfengtang
restaurant. General, if...

Don't do anything as yet.

Just see what he has to say first.

We've got so many soldiers.

We can deal with him.

Mr. Wen, even
if you're an official...

-you're human too, right?
-Mr. Wang.

Listen, I have to
save someone.

If you want to rat me out,
please do.

Mr. Wang, I know you
have lots of connections...

but saving someone
from the main prison?

- Mr. Wang, this...
-Officer Wen.

Let that be my lookout.

But I need a favor.

Regardless of when
we take action...

please come with us afterwards,
and escort us out of the city.

Wen Ping, I treat you as a friend.
That's why I've told you this.

This is certain to
go down in history.

You might lose your job, but
I'll make it up to you, I promise.

Sure, whatever you say.

When do you plan to take action?

Don't worry about that.

As and when I do take any
step, you'll be on the scene.

Wen Ping, I am
a man of my word.

If you can't help,
I'd rather that you'd be frank...

then I'll get someone else.

If you promise, and become an
informer, you watch your back.

Mr. Wang, about this...

Wang Wu is over confident.

General, during
these two days...

over a hundred men
from different places...

have visited Wang's company.
Looks like they're getting ready.

He didn't say when?

No, I only met him twice.
Whenever I mentioned it, he said...

I'll be on the scene.

That's strange!
When could it be then?

Wang Wu is no fool.

He's aware that it' impossible
to save someone from the prison.

It seems he'll do it on
the execution ground.

You won't necessarily be
there during execution.

I get it. From the prison
to the execution ground.

We'll have to walk
with the prisoners.

He'll take action
while we're on our path.

- Yes.
-You are right.

Be careful and investigate.

Look where they've
arranged to lay ambush.

And we'll catch them all.

This would look good
on our records.

I heard from the palace that...

those men will be executed
in a couple of days.

I've got everything ready.

Execution without trial,
that's no way to do it.

Evil lurks at this time.
They don't care about the rules.

We'll lay ambush on their path.

I've talked to one of
the battalion leaders.

Once we've saved our men,
he'll escort us to the gates.

We'll be alright after
we get out of the city.

Is he trustworthy?

That's hard to tell.
But we've no other choice.

We have to trust him this once.

I'll leave.

Mr. Wang.

Please be careful.

Look, Dun Gu.

I shall die joyfully,
that's a good line!

This poem will be
praised forever.

Mr. Wang.

Mr. Wang.

You? Still not
begun your journey?

We heard that you need
some help. We're happy to help.

Do you know what I need to do?

It doesn't matter.
We won't ask, we'll follow you.

We once requested you for money,
and you didn't ask what was it for.

In the worst case, our heads
will be cut off. Right, Mr. Wu?

Fine, come along then.

One other thing. Yan Feng
might come making trouble.

This isn't the time
to come looking for me!

Yet another day and no news!


News from the prison.

Officials from the Privy Council
and courts went to the main prison.

I think it's about time.


This is the time.

If any of you
wishes to opt out right now...

I won't blame you.

Great. You know where
we're supposed to be.

We'll go in groups.
Look at this knife.

Follow me.
Right through the West Gate.

Then we'd have
accomplished our mission.

Let's go!

We should go too.

I've been waiting
for you, Wang Wu.

- You people go on ahead.
-Mr. Wang, if you're not going...

Of course I'm going.

But if this got delayed,
without you...

I'll make it.
You go ahead.

Come on, Wang Wu.

- You've picked a really bad time!
-Come on.

Yan, I've got important
matter to attend to.

Please wait some time.

If I come back alive,
do anything you like.

If I die, then there isn't a cause
to be angry with me any longer.

Enough of your nonsense.
Let's have a duel.

I don't have time for a duel.

I'll just have to beat you
with my knife.

Fine, let's wait and see.

Brother Wang!

- QI.
-We've been duped!

Don't worry about me.

It's true that I do
like to joke around...

but I'll die for
a serious cause.




Capture Wang Wu.

It's all over,
surrender yourself.

It was horrible.

Did you come back
from the execution ground?

It was horrible,
one after the other.

I mean, with blood everywhere!

Blood's all over the coal chips
there. It was all very tragic.

Mr. Wang...

Mr. Tan and the others
died terribly.

They say the officers
would let the corpses...

to lie there for three days.

Brother Tan, I hope your
sacrifice was worth it...

and that our country
will be reformed soon.

- Hurry and help him in.

I trusted the wrong guy.

Many friends
died because of me.

I messed it all up!

Don't blame yourself, it's fate.

Help him inside. And don't
let anyone know he's here.

- Search.

Mr. Wen, are you
looking for someone?

You could have found a needle
you looked for.

Where is Wang Wu? Tell me.

What a joke, he's a guest.

The guests come in and out,
how do we know?

Mr. Wen, we hear Wang Wu's missing.
This must be discomforting for you!

Mr. Wen, if Wang Wu
is in the city...

he's like a fish in an ocean.

We've got the net.

Hope you'll catch him...

otherwise how could you
sleep well at night?

Over one hundred soldiers died.

And two battalion commanders
too. I was wounded.

- What about Wang Wu?
-Searched his office, nothing.

I've been to his lover's
place as well.

Even our supervisors
know of Wang Wu.

They said he tops the
list of trouble makers.

He's reckless
and out of control.

If we cannot arrest him,
we'll all be fired.

None of you would
want to be...

executed, would you?

We've got Wang Wu's knife here.

If those in charge pressurize us,
then we'll just give them a corpse.

General, I did it for us all.
If he comes to look for me...

Iron Fist Yan Feng?

Right, I've heard about him.

- Send him in.

Just the person we wanted!

Wang Wu's good at martial arts.
We'll need someone to fight him.

Do you understand
why I'm here?

Yes, we're all looking
for Wang Wu.

Where do you
think he'd be hiding?

It doesn't matter. He'll
resurface sooner or later.

The word is he's the
only one who got out.

Did someone sell him out?

In that case,
he'll come back for you.

Don't worry, you're the bait
and Wang Wu's the fish.

Take this to your house,
and it is his trademark.

- He'll take it back.

Lady, he's awake.

- Did he say anything?

He wanted to leave right away.
I told him to wait for you.

Where's he?

I knew he wouldn't stay long...

but he left sooner
than I expected.

- Wake up!
-What's going on?

A ghost in the
middle of the night?

Go take a look.

You go ahead.

Mr. Wang.

Mr. Wang.

You all know what
I've gone through.

I want to stay here for a while.

- Will you let me?

If the officers find out...

you'll be executed.

We're not afraid.

Those reformists who got executed
were scholars and cabinet ministers.

If we too end up at the execution
ground, I guess it's meant to be.

What's the matter
with you, Mr. Wen?

I can feel the ghosts
haunting me day and night.

Didn't you hear our
general the other day?

I'm the bait and he's the fish.

That's great! Without you,
we won't get him.

Yes. But, when you
catch the fish, me, the bait...

would be swallowed by the fish.


All in one house.

Everyone's here.
Are you still scared?

Buy a tortoise shell
and hide under it.

Watch your mouth!

Fine, I'll leave then.

Any new developments?

What? Are you dead?
Why don't you answer me?

Stop it, this isn't funny.

Wang Wu can be here
any minute, let go.

Yes, I'm really here.

I had told you earlier.

I wouldn't blame you
for not helping me.

But look what you got me into.
Do you think I'll let you go?

Wang Wu, Tan's execution
was by the order of Empress.

You guys hurry,
look for Mr. Yan.

What are you afraid of?

Say, even if
I were to spare you...

the souls of over one hundred
men won't ever forgive you!

Wang Wu.

You're here.

I reckon you're lucky, Wen Ping.

Wen Ping...