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射鵰英雄傳 (1977)
The Brave Archer

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 02/09/2022
Summary: Condor Heroes part 1, Shaw style...

Adapted from the phenomenally popular Louis Cha novel “Legend of the Condor Heroes,” The Brave Archer was the initial foray into the tale by the Shaw Brothers studio. Alexander Fu Sheng stars as Kuo Tsing, the somewhat slow but well-meaning hero of the story. He and his sworn brother Yang Kang (Li Yi-Min) are separated at birth, but their respective protectors vow to have them meet in 17 years to fight and determine whose martial arts training was superior. Kuo Tsing is raised by the “7 Weirds,” a mix of outcasts with a variety of styles. Yang Kang is raised by a group of men and women that dabble in the darker side of martial arts, and grows to be a tyrant prince. In the meantime Kuo Tsing meets Huang Yung (Tien Niu), a phenomenally powerful fighter and princess who masquerades as a man and beggar. The film follows Kuo Tsing as he trains both mentally and physically for a chance to marry Huang Yung despite her father’s wishes.

Having heard a lot about Legend of the Condor Heroes given the multitude of adaptations, I was looking forward to a Shaw version, especially one starring Fu Sheng. I came away entertained, but not overly impressed. The story is obviously very, very complicated and the amount of characters and subplots make it a lot to slog through. The story, though, is enough to keep your interest, even if Fu Sheng’s character is somewhat annoying and childish. The different kung fu styles of the Weirds are fun, and despite the rudimentary special effects, the fights and related sets are entertaining. My only issue was that the film really felt like an initial part of a longer set of movies. Key plot points introduced at the beginning of the film were left hanging with no apparent resolution, which at the time must have been frustrating for audiences. However, it was enough for me to plan on viewing the remaining 3 films to complete the quadrilogy.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 11/27/2004
Summary: 8/10

**** THE BRAVE ARCHER: Chang Cheh adapts Jin Yong, making for a very different film than his usual stripped down, macho affairs - it's more reminiscent of a Chor Yuen Gu Long adapation, especially in the proliferation of characters and twisty turny plot. I wouldn't like to begin to describe the overall story - it probably wouldn't make much sense anyway, but the film is so dense with happenings that it's best to just concentrate on what's happening at any given time - in which case it makes for a most enjoyable experience :) The Celestial DVD is hurt by another dreadful surround remix, but not killed completely.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 11/20/2004
Summary: Part 1 of three?

This is based on a mini series, and watching just this one part makes u feel unsatisfied!! I know due to time restraints, the story jumps to the next part quickly and character development is almost non exsistent. Seeing many SB movie stars is satisfying but the ending of this movie felt like, was that it?? i guess watching the whole series will determine how ultimately how enjoyable this film is, but by itself it gets


Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 12/07/2003

I didn't quite know what to expect from my first real Shaw Bros experience. I had no clue whether it was going to fascinate or disappoint. Nthat I've seen it, I will share some thoughts.

Brave Archer is good, but not too great. The action, especially, was so chessy at the beginning that I shook my head over and over, with great dismay. I mean, after you've seen the Condor Heroes TV series or read the original novel, of which the Brave Archer series was based on, expectations are definitely high (by the way, this title is probably the most famous martial arts story in Chinese literature). I was glad to see, though, that things started getting better when Alexander Fu Sheng entered the action scenes. Before that everything was fake and simple. The plot was good, pretty much outlined the early part of the 50 series Condor Hero in less than 2 hours. It was great to see this outline of such a masterpiece. I enjoyed it dispite the chessy action and horrible Eng dub. But if you really wanna see something good, don't miss Part II of Brave Archer as it does a better job all-around.


Reviewed by: battlemonkey
Date: 12/21/1999

based on a Louis Cha novel. That's all I know right now.Evidently, Shaw Brothers has not released the trilogy movie on tape or LD as many people have asked for it. Based on "Tale of Eagle-Shooting Heroes" by Jin Yong.