Come Drink with Me
Cheng Pei-pei plays Golden Swallow, a fighter-for-hire who has been contracted by the local government to retrieve the governor's kidnapped son. Holding him is a group of rebels who are demanding that their leader be released from prison in return for the captured son. After a brief encounter with the gang at a local restaurant, Golden Swallow is joined by an inebriated wanderer Drunken Cat (Yueh Hua) who aids her in her mission.
This is a highly influential martial arts film and Cheng Pei-Pei is great in it. Yes, the martial arts sequences are edited to allow for some of the beyond human ability moves and this might appear dated, but you could say the same thing about special effects in science fiction films from the 1960s, too. It doesn't make them less enjoyable.
"I was drunk! LET'S GET SOME NOODLES!!" Watch it with the dubbing - those voice actors are geniuses.
Now this is more my speed--and would have been even more my speed if not for the out-of-nowhere decision to completely change the focus of the story. Far less non-stop mayhem than I was expecting, because there's as much attention to tension-building here as sword-swinging. Gold Swallow starts out as a compelling protagonist not just because she's a woman, but because she's watchful; her power comes as much from observing and strategizing as it does from martial skill, which makes it easy to think of her as a true assassin rather than merely a badass fighter. And you've got one of the things you shouldn't underestimate from heroic action: a villain with a unique look and mode of fighting. So…
Great choreography. Loved Cheng Pei-pei's performance.
One Woman. Two Swords. 400 Bandits and a Drunken Trickster. I adore this film.
(My only beef with this film is that the screenplay kind of takes the film away from the heroine in the final act, and instead has two Shaolin monks fight out a grudge for the climax)