The Swordsman (1990) - full transcript

When a scroll containing valuable martial arts secrets is stolen from the Emperor, an army detachment is sent to recover it. Blademaster, a young martial arts expert, accidentally ends up in possession, but the plot grows complex as Japanese samurai, an illegal Chinese sect, a tribe of snake-wielding women warriors, a rival martial arts school and the leader of his own martial arts school vie for the scroll. Romantic complications also ensue, involving him with his longtime chum, daughter of the leader of his school, a Japanese woman, and two of the snake- wielding tribeswomen (Blue Phoenix and their leader, Princess Yin-Yin).

We found the record.

The Sacred Volume.

Leave us.

The record shows that the Sacred Volume

is a secret volume of martial arts.

It was written in the Ming Dynasty

It contains the teachings of a mystic art.


We cannot under-estimate this incident.

The West Securitate has always been against us.

This theft has taken place in our Library,

should the West Securitate know of this

they will be pleased to tittle-tattle on this and report to His Majesty

It will be the end of our days.

In all my years with the Royal Palace

I have never come across such bad luck

Should we find a scapegoat?

The Palace is so well-guarded.

No outsider could have stolen the Volume.

See if any guard has taken leave lately.

Don't let too many people get involved.

I understand.

To avoid complications, keep this within our own people.

In the past 10 days, 2 officiaIs have left

one has passed away through illness,

the other is Master Lam Chun Nam,

He resigned his commission to retire.

Because his arch-rival was made his supervisor.

He chose the wrong timing to leave.

He is the prime suspect. This is his country home. Master Lam is inside.

All the major roads has been blocked.

Every person in and out are in our hands.

His Eminence is in total control.

Master Lam is no longer in office,

we shouldn't have to be so cautious.

But we have our reputation and 'face' to consider

What if we do not find anything?

We have to use someone else.

Anyhow he will not live past tonight.

What's the problem?

Someone has crossed the line, Sir.

They have been deactivated. Reactivate them.

Yes sir.

This is the work of a highly trained martial artist.

Everything alright?

Someone has gone inside.

Everybody on the alert.

Someone has crossed the defense line.

Wonder who it can be?

Hide the dynamite. To arms.

To arms. 0n the alert.

Be careful.

Sir, is it the help you've been waiting for?

Can it be them?

I'm not sure yet.

Is it Grand Master Ngok, from the Wah Mountain School of Swordsmen?

Are you from the Wah Mountain School?

I am Ling Wu Chung of Wah Mountain.

I have orders to see Master Lam Chun Nam.


Shoot them!

Hurry, move it along.

So many people are welcoming us.

Is Master Lam here?

I am no longer in office.

You need not address me this way.

Why are there so many guards?

Are they all your men?

They are...


You have resigned and you still have so many guards?

We nearly couldn't get in.

My office brings me many enemies.

The court cares so much for its old ministers...

that it sends an army to protect us.

You are...

I am Ling Wu Chung of the Wah Mountain School.

I am also from Wah Mountain.

A junior student. He's like a brother to me.

I've deactivated two of your men.

Let me release them.

No need. They did not learn their art well.

They deserve this.

Guards, take them out and look after them.


My teacher asked us to deliver something.

There is a letter.

He said to read the letter before opening the gift.

Where's the letter?

The letter must be handed to you personally.

No, Master Lam.

Get the letter.

Hurry up!

What's the matter, where did you keep it?

Did I not give it to you?

You didn't.

I really did give it to you.

I did it because I was afraid of losing it.

Accept my apology for keeping you waiting.

We've found a letter by the roadside.

Probably dropped by that man.

My dear friend Lam,

I have been delayed by some urgent matter.

My unworthy student brings you a box of sleeping smoke

for your defense.

There is a trigger device in the box.

Do not open it until absolutely necessary.

Your Eminence, the dyeing room is on fire

Should we attach while they are unprepared?

Then we can do what want.

Be careful. This could be a set-up.

A mere letter can't fool me. Don't be hasty.

Yes, Your Eminence. You are most clear-headed.

Fire! Fire!

Get some water. Put out the fire.

There's dynamite. Don't use water.

Use some cloth. Cover the fire.

I found it.


What's this? Your horoscope?!

Stop this nonsense. Look for the letter.

Lock them up.

Yes, sir!

Who are you?

I told you. We are from the Wah Mountain School.


How do I know that you're telling the truth.

What? Impostor?

Don't worry. Don't get so worked up.

You should recognize my Teacher's sword-play.

I'll demonstrate it to prove my identity.

Make room, there's not enough space.

Up on the mountain.

Alone by the waters.

The wind sweeps off the leaves.

Rendering the flowers even more beautiful.

They angry sword makes the skies tremble.

The thunder roars in the rain.

No able man comes forward.

I turn back for the last thrust.

Gazing up at the bright moon.

I bow my head and...

Beware of the fire.

Oh, what a mess! I was too exited and added on my own style.

Improvisation, not the Wah School Swordsmanship.

That will do. I believe you.

No need for further demonstration.


You seem to be hesitant to speak your mind.

It's important to prove that we are not impostors.

Yet it's more important to prove your identity.

My teacher asked me to relate a verbal message

I will demonstrate to you my iron fists.

They are also very well-known.

Quite a demonstration, such power!

Really lives up to its name of the iron fists.

How do you know that he is genuine?

He's so out of breath, he's half-dead.

The least we can do is applaud.

You should be more appreciative.

Very good.

Very good.

Now that I have proved my identity, you can relate the message.

He said that he'll be late by 1 or 2 days.


He said that he'll be...

Please be quiet.

Quiet please.

Say it again.

Teacher said he would be late by 1 or 2 days.

This is the message!


Take the guests upstairs.

Excuse me. I'm too busy. Please go upstairs for a rest.

Please go up.


We will not come down unless necessary.

Come on, let's practice our singing.

Give me a break, can't you wait a while?

Are you kidding? There's an entire chorus here, ready to start.

What chorus? Who's singing?

Singing, my foot! I mean there's a lot going on here.

We're just pretending nothing is wrong.

The river water is interfering with the well water.

If they start fighting, we'd better beat it.

How exciting! It's really worth the trip.

I've decided to stay and watch.

Go on, stay, if you want to get into trouble.

Teacher didn't know that you came with me.

If anything happens to you, I'll be finished!

Shouldn't we get away quickly?

There could be many enemies outside.

We cannot get away now.

Wait until dark.

Listen, an important person must have arrived.

Protect His Eminence.


Protect His Eminence.

Protect His Eminence.

Zhor, Chief of the Five Ranges here to pay respects.

Careful, behind the screen.

The fatal ice.

Driving the waves.

Take this.

Chief Zhor greets your Eminence.

Your Lordship.

Your Eminence.

Your Lordship.



Leave us alone.

I am fully aware of who is loyal to me.

Despite your achievements,

you have always been humble and obedient to me.

It is rewarding to serve Your Eminence.

The mission of getting...

the Sacred Volume,

I know nothing about books to avoid blunder,

may I know what exactly is this Sacred Volume?

It's a hand-written scroll

about the art of gardening.

If it's about gardening, then it's an easy job.

I will do as Your Eminence wishes.

You do not have to know what the Sacred-Volume is about.

This warrant will get you anywhere.

Rest assured, Your Eminence, that I will do my best

No one to live and tell?

No complications.

Yes Sir.

I'll act after night falls.

The water is cold.

You're not dressed.

Whoever would take a bath fully clothed?

Get me my clothes.

You're a big girl now, I can't be around all the time.

You should be prepared before taking a bath!

Just get me my clothes.

I would do the same for you.

Hurry, it's cold.

If I help you once, you'd be the same next time

Do it yourself.

And you said I'm like a brother to you.

Who is it?

I've brought you your dinner.


Get dressed. Coming...


Pants again?


People here sleep early.

You should go to bed early.

Yes, we will do that.

Some refurbishing is being done downstairs.

Please have your dinner in the room.

See if the bathing water has gone cold.

Do you need more hot water?


Don't come over, I don't need more hot water.

You want to scald me to death?!

Don't come over. Stay right there.

Leave me alone.

He's sweating. The water should be hot enough.

Well, it's up to you.

Enjoy your dinner.

Thank you.

It's getting dark. Get dressed.

You want to disguise as a boy, don't take baths!

So many people!

Are you also waiting to escape?


Put the fire out.

Who is it? Why don't you show yourself?

Only cowards do not show themselves.

Stay the hell outside then!

Chief of the Five Ranges has arrived.

I am Zhor, Chief of the Fie Ranges.

Last month an impostor calling himself Zhor

was thrown into a river of crocodiles.

The Five Ranges are full of heroes.

How dare your claim yourself Chief of the Five Ranges.

Shameless as you are, why not declare yourself king?

No more nonsense.

Give me back the Sacred Volume.

If you're so well-bred,

why do people call you shit?

Rather be shit than to be dead.

When the innkeeper turns, light the dynamite.

Gosh, I lost something.

Get it back.

I think I have lit the dynamite.

Did you bury a lot of dynamite here?


Looks like we have to go. Hurry.

The dynamite will explode. Get away.

No. There are many people inside.

Is there enough time?

Well, since you can't even read

I'll let you choose first.

The dynamite has been lit. Run.

It's lit.

We have been trapped.

He is just a decoy.

But things have really been stirred up.

Put out the fire. Yes.

Wah Mountain Swordsman.


Stop it. We are from the same school.

Master Lam, your foot.

I've hurt my leg.

Can't stay here.

Have you seen my wife & son Lam Ping Gi.

Lam Chun Nam. I know you are there.

Chun Nam...

My lady.

Lam, show yourself. We'll make a deal.

Depends on what you can pay me.

You want a sample. I can give you one right away.

Chun Nam...

Don't do anything

We escaped separately for their safety

but it's put them in jeopardy instead.

You won't save them by going out now.

I'm like an eagle with clipped wings.

No bargaining.

If you make a move I'll kill her.


Zhor, a renowned knight like you.

Should not use such despicable methods

towards an helpless woman.

I have no mercy for a conspirator.

Chun Nam.


What's that?

It's an eyeball.

Zhor, stop. I'm coming out now.

It's almost dawn,

you won't be able to get away then.

I used to have everything. But once my position and title is gone

I wanted to safeguard my descendants from persecution

By acquiring an invincible martial arts skill.

I never expected to come to this.

If I do not escape my fate today,

please carry out my one last wish.

Sir, I'll do as you wish.

But you must swear upon it.

I swear to the heavens.

If I break my promise,

I should be killed by a thunder bolt.

Tell my son Lam Ping Gi that the family treasure is hidden

under the water wheel.

Remember! 0n my son's left shoulder

is a scar shaped like a cross.

Lam, you are so heartless.

Don't you want to save your wife.

Bastard. Stop it.

I have cut off her tongue.

Your wife can no longer speak.

I'll come and fight it out with you.

Kiddo. You have to be on the alert.

Use all your means to get back to Wah Mountain.

No, I'll go with you.

I have to rescue someone.

When Teacher sent me, he didn't realize how serious the situation is.

You must find him and tell him.


Master Lam.

There's someone besides Lam.

Bring me the bow and arrow.

Master Lam.

An arrow!

Mater Lam.

You must deliver this message to him personally

My death will not be for nothing then.

Master Lam.

Hurry and go, Kiddo.

Your Eminence.

Well done.

You've had all the bodies burnt.

With so many dead, the local government will be alarmed.

I have already made arrangements.

The Sun Moon Sect of Highlanders are very active in this area.

They are involved with the smuggling of salt.

We can blame this on them.

To make it appear to be a clash between the clans

The local government dare not agitate the Highlanders

by reporting this to the Imperial Court

for fear of chastisement.

It will then be left alone and forgotten.

You have schemed this well.

You think so fast.

If I'm not watchful, you'll go right past me.

I beg your forgiveness for not reporting to your first.

Young man, be careful. You may lose your head.


Yes, Your Eminence.

Excuse me, are these people waiting for the boat?

No, they are seeing their friend off

The Chief of the Easy Winds clan retires today

After he has gone

it's difficuIt to say what lies ahead.

We don't know how long the new Chief can last!

Our livelihood depends on this river.

All these years while I served as chief

Although I cannot truly say there was no trouble,

we have only had small disturbances.

I recognize them from Master Lam's house.

Let's go!

Your bundle?

Who is he?

If you want to know, go and ask him.

Life with the clan is full of ups and downs.

But I shall leave all this now.

You shall be the new chief

I'll try my best.

There are many boats sailing pass this river.

The Securitate is always watching us.

For a better tomorrow for all of us,

I will try my best not to let you down.

I won't force everybody to go against the tide.

Whatever the tides may be, human beings are the most important.

Move off.

No one shall leave the pier

Can't you see the officials are attending a ceremony?

I want to search your boat

there may be Sun Moon Sect on board

Sir, don't worry

I'm not Sun Moon Sect's men.

But I am.

I have an old friend on board.

Don't let him be disturbed

These people are upstarts.

You can send them away with money.

Chief, please go on your way

Good bye now.

Take care.

I'm guard. Please come to the court with me.

You are from the Sun Moon Sect, Kuk, don't go out

Set sail.

See my warrant. He who deters me is a traitor.

Although there are many of you,

you are only a handful of us.

Hell! you cannot withstand his arrows.

I see the culprit has appeared.

Indeed the Sun Moon Sect people are on board!

He is Zhor, a lackey of the East Securitate.

He killed the Lam family


He can't swim. He won't come after us.

What is he up to?

All for the power struggle between clans,

we haven't seen each other for over 40 years.

We need never return to this place.

So many years ago.

Do you still remember our song?

It has been a long time since we played together.

It's a song we worked on in our younger days.

You sing-a-song too.

The seas laugh, lashing on both shores.

Carried in the waves, we have only the here & now.

The heavens laugh, at the troubled world.

Only they know, who is to win and lose.

The mountains laugh, the rain is afar.

When the waves grow old, the world still goes on.

The light wind laughs, brings along with lonesome

Shadows fall on my sleeves, there is nothing but naked passion.

The heavens laugh, lonesome leaves.

But bitter smile remains.


It's the Easy Winds' boat.

The boat ahead, lower your sails.

Lower the sails.


Ram it.

Who is on the big boat?

The Easy Winds Sect.

Never mind him. Ram the boat.

Follow me.


Zhor, take this.

Chief, go with the tide and save yourself.

You spineless creature.

It's the times.

You traitor.

I'm clearing the way for the Imperial Court.

Zhor, you running dog.

Clouds overhead stance.

Jump in the water. Jump.

Take this.

Old pal.

Elder Kuk, are you alright?

Old pal, I'm fine, you take care.

cover up the hole.



Sir, you hand.

Look after him, I can still manage.

They are both badly injured.

I know, find somewhere to go ashore.

No need, young men. Any place is the same.

Look at the clear blue skies.

We do not have much time left.

Old pal, let's play out tune. We haven't finished our song yet.

Old pal, I have to go now. Please stand by me.

All these years you never admit defeat.

Now you have to admit you are getting on.

The seas laugh, lashing on both shores.

Carried in the waves, we have only the here & now.

The heavens laugh, at the troubled world.

Only they know, who is to win and lose.

The mountains laugh, the rain is afar.

When the waves grow old, the world still goes on.


Grand Master Lau...

Grand Master we can go ashore now.

Steady on.

I will not be going back.

Take this instrument and the score.

Fate has brought us together,

when you find the right audience, pass it on.

What we, your elders, could not accomplish

may be carried out by you young people.

Old pal let's hope we gave it to the right person.

Let's drink again.

He's dead.

Have you searched here?

They did.

Continue the search.


Your Honor.

Your Honor.

Your Eminence, Lam Ping Gi died.

The Sacred Volume is not yet found.

But he said the two runaways

are from Wah Mountain.

One is called Ling Wu Chung.

Wah School?

They are renowned for their swordplay.

Zhor won't be able to overcome them.

He's useless.

We employed him to cover up our involvement.

But he boasts about the warrant we gave him.

Shall we do away with him?

You're very practical.

It's difficuIt to keep a dog you know,

if you do away with him, who will bark for us?

What are your thoughts on that?

Forgive me.

I know that he's but a dog

Yet it will bite when it is at a dead-end.

We have brought so many people this time.

Did we overdo it?

You little bastard, so full of suggestions,

you just want to know what the Volume is about.

Thank you. Your Eminence.

The Sacred Volume.

The Sacred volume records this teaching

which is said

gives one supernatural powers to see through things

and to let out energy over great distances.

Though this may sound farfetched,

His Majesty said he had witnessed this before.

If I had known the Volume was in out Library, l...

You may not believe it.

But for each high mountain, there is yet a higher one.

One thinks that one has done something very clever.

Don't imagine no one knows about it.

Take this.

He is a powerful opponent. Be careful.

No need to chase after him

He who can get away from my attack

is more than a match for you.

Lam must have got him to deal with us.

Take a few of your men

and try to mix in with the Wah Mountain group,

find Ling Wu Chung and bring him back.

Yes, Your Eminence.

Kiddo, are you alright?


How are you feeling?

I want to go home.

The world is too treacherous.

Lie down and relax, you have a temperature.

Rest a little first.

If Teacher is not at the Lam's,

he must still be at the Highlanders' Village for herbs.

If we find him, we can go home together.

Help yourself.

Hold your pulse down.

Someone's coming.

Who is it?

Sir, it's very dangerous here

Don't stay with us.

Leave this place.

I've been pushed around everywhere.

At my age, where can I go?

Sir, what are you doing?

I have to eat. I can only travel on a full stomach.

Look at your comrade, must be starved.

Don't' worry. You'll find somewhere to stay eventually.

Sir if you light a fire,

it will alert the animaIs out there

I have food to share with you

Why don't you put the fire out and have a meal on me.

It's settled then.

Go right ahead.

It's still warm.

Wonder if I am biting your dumpling

or if the dumpling is biting me.

It's harder than my old bones.

What is it?

Excuse me sir, we have to go now.

You go towards the west.

When the sun rises behind your back. You can come back.

As long as you're not with us. You'll be 0.K.

I have food here.

I'll go and distract them.

You figure out where to go.

You have to go east or you'll meet the old gent.

I'll find you somehow.

Be careful.

I'll be fine.

Didn't you go in a westerly direction?

it's so dark! I can't tell the directions.

I don't know him. I am Ling of Wah Mountain School.

You can speak to me.

Such fair skin, quite lovely.

Sleeping dragon at old tree stance.

Go back and practice your Fairy Finger.

The energy from his palm breezes by my buttocks.

Kiddo, your beIt is loose.

Go forward.

Your bum will be bare if not for me holding on.

Good try!

Eagle with spread wings.

We have to throw...throw...throw.

Sword, sword, sword.

Block the path, let's go!


Watch my stances carefully.

The swaying sword!

The swaying sword!

The riveting sword!

The swirling sword!

Don't run about.

Let's do it together.


The side-slashing sword!

The splitting sword!

Another lot of victims under the sword.

We are all made of flesh and blood.

Why do we make such a mess of our own world.

Sir, which school are you from?

Why should you care so much about the 'name'?

It is because of such caring for 'name'

that there is so much turmoil in the world.

You're so learned and skilful, sir.

You need not be a fugitive.

So what if I am skilled in the martial arts.

A hero of flesh and blood can also be helpless.

If a bad person

has captured your loved ones,

you become a puppet, manipulated by your master.

I left my family to live a solitary life

for their safety.

Sentiment is the most powerful weapon.

As someone from the Wah School,

you should also beware of your teacher.

He is not as righteous as he looks.

Why do you say that?

Empty words of righteousness.

Are pretexts for a game of power struggle.

Years ago, there was a clash within the school.

Members had split into tow groups,

One believed in 'inner energy', the other 'Sword Skills'.

Many died in the clash.

Actually, it was a struggle for leadership.

Because your Teacher wanted to become the leader,

he sacrificed many of his students.

That's why you should be careful.

If it was an internal clash

How did you get to know about it.

If chance permits, ask your teacher

who Fung Ching Yeung is?

Fung Ching Yeung?

The sword stances I just showed you,

all evolved from experiences of defeat.

How many people can learn from their defeat?

You have to remember that. May be useful some time.

Although I've taught you something,

you need not formally become my student.

Let's just be good friends.

Fung...Comrade Fung...

Village of the Highlanders. We've found the inn where the Wah people are staying.

Stay here.

Camouflage clothes ready.

Put them on.

Find a way to get the Mainlanders to come out.

Some strangers have arrived. I smell blood.

No news from Senior Ling and your daughter.

Could it be them?

I'll go and see.

Inner energy like flowing water. Inner peace like an immobile mountain.

Be patient!

With your meditation.

Why is there no one?


Teacher, could it be Senior Ling.


Teacher, I'll go and see.

He's not dead yet, help him upstairs.

You barely made it.

Thank you all.

Leave us.

As instructed, I buried the two dead ones.

I have found something on them.


It's an imperial warrant.

We shouldn't be involved in political matters

Let the well water and river water keep to itself

I don't want to know about your business,

if convenient,

leave as soon as possible.

We, the Lam family, has suffered such deaths already,

I do not wish anymore unnecessary sacrifices.

Thank you for saving my life.

I'll repay you. Good-bye.

Take this money with you.

Those outside may not wish you well.

Buy yourself a sword to arm against enemies.

Take the money.

You are so kind.

I will repay your kindness.

l, Lam Ping Gi, do hereby thank you deeply.

Lam Ping Gi, descendant of Master Lam?

Lam Ping Gi? You're alive?

Ping Gi?

You are Lam Ping Gi?

it's been over 10 years since I last saw you.

We can't recognize each other.

You are...

I'm your father's old friend, Ngok, from Wah Mountain.

You are Ngok!

Thank heavens.

You are my only kinsman now.

Ten years ago,

I was so innocent.

I knew not of the ugliness of mankind.

Now all is changed, I'm not the same person any more.

I understand.

I understand.