The Swordsman of All Swordsmen (1968)

Directed by
One of the better post-CDWM films
Reviewed by Simon on 2023-05-21

The first film in a trilogy starring Polly Shang-Kuan and Tien Peng, the other two entries being The Bravest Revenge and THE GHOST HILL. I appear to have watched them in reverse order, but it doesn't seem to have done me any harm - none of the films give off the vibe of needing another film before or after them.

The film owes a lot to King Hu's Come Drink With Me, and perhaps Chang Cheh's nominal sequel Golden Swallow - actually it has a lot in common with that, but I don't know if the release dates would work for it to be a direct influence or just drawn from the same well.

It's one of the better CDWM knock-offs of its day, with some quite artful camera work and compositions, and some creative fights. It's not nearly as action-packed or as much fun as its gonzo sequel THE BRAVEST REVENGE, but it's probably a better film on any other measure.

The more Polly Shang-Kuan films I watch, the more I have to concede she wasn't very good at the acting thing, though.

THE SWORDSMAN OF ALL SWORDSMEN has been restored and played a couple of festivals, including much better subtitles than the Taiwanese DVD judging by the trailer, but nobody seems to have released it yet... hopefully just because they're waiting until the whole trilogy is restored to release as a boxset!


Action Director
Production Company
Assistant Director

Also known as

  • King of Swords