Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Brave Archer - 射鵰英雄傳

The Brave Archer (射鵰英雄傳) is 1977 film from Hong Kong. This is the first of a 4 films in the series based off the Condor Heroes storyline. The film stars the late Alexander Fu Sheng (傅聲) and the Venoms make appearances throughout. This is also a Chang Cheh directed film.

I think this was the first screen adaption of the 射鵰英雄傳 and it was one made for the big screen. Which meant you couldn't take a 6-7 volume novel and spread it across 50-60 episodes. Which meant a super condensed version of the novel. And that's exactly what you get. If I hadn't recently seen Hu Ge and Ariel Lin's version last summer, I would have been completely lost.

I liked it and while watching, never forgot that the context that this was made in 1977 and was the first visualization of the 射鵰英雄傳 for the masses.

Fu Sheng and Tien Niu (most recently in Fatal Move) were a cute couple and saw their chemistry.

As for the title, The Brave Archer. A bow and arrow is only used in the title section of the movie. As well as a cast and character introduction, which helped a lot. The title can be translated as "shoot condor heroes adventures". So, the Brave Archer is based on this and not the actual use of a bow and arrow.

If you're a fan of wuxia, Jin Yong, Condor Heroes, and old Shaw Bros. classics, this is one for the ages.

There were 4 official Condor Heroes movies from Shaw Bros. This is the first. A fifth is not normally recognized as part this as it has a different cast.

I was a little disappointed that this was not a Dragon Dynasty release. Tokyo Shock's version is probably the straight Celestial Pictures remastered version. The extra's were weak and did not add any value. I was only patient enough to listen to a few minutes of the Expert commentary. Very informative, but I can't set around for another 2 hours. I need a condensed version!

Here's the info page for The Brave Archer from Celestial Pictures website.

You can buy it via Amazon or rent it via Netflix.

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