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Last Hurrah for Chivalry (Dragon Dynasty)(Special Collector's Edition) [Import]

Damian Lau , Pai Wei , John Woo    Unrated   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 26.62
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Product Description


In the Chinese wu hsia (martial chivalry) genre, sword-swinging heroes are often referred to as "altruists," and it's that aspect of the legend that gets a workout in this 1978 John Woo effort. Kao (Wei Pei), the duplicitous pivotal character, has purchased a beautiful wife for 1,000 taels of gold; alas, his rival, the prodigious fighter Pei, has paid her 2,000 taels to kill him. The moral is that when loyalty can be purchased, it no longer exists. The central action unfolds against this backdrop of a cynical, mercenary world. Kao selects a couple of fighters as soldiers in his quest for revenge, but being rare and noble souls they won't fight for money alone. Only after Kao, in a calculated move, helps Chang's dying mother will the fighters agree to take the case. This is only a moderately successful action movie, but it was a crucial stepping-stone in Woo's career: the action scenes, the highly emotional friendships, and the romantic music recall Chang Cheh, who Woo credits as an inspiration for his later gangster pictures, A Better Tomorrow and The Killer. The mournful resignation, the fading values, even the final assault on the baddie's headquarters, all these flourishes became staples of the Hong Kong gang films of the 1980s--though the gang flicks can't boast eccentric characters like the Sleeping Wizard, who fights in his sleep. --David Chute

Product Description

In one of his early films, acclaimed director John Woo crafts an action-packed tale of a son who recruits two master swordsmen to help avenge his father's murder.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most classic Kung-Fu films Nov. 12 2003
"Last Hurrah for Chivalry" has a large amount of perhaps one of the most lacking concepts in your average Kung-Fu title: character development. The two main characters, Cheung and Green Shirt, have their own personality, their own issues, and their own life story. When they begin to fight the bad guys you know what mettle of men they are and feel for their quests. You can also feel the partnership between them.
When I first saw this film I was expecting casual Kung-Fu fair along the lines of the "Wu Tang" titles, but I was pleasantly surprised. The action is well choreographed and almost realistic (with some stylized exceptions), and most of the fighting is sword-play, not chop suey. Sword fighting fanatics take heed!
The subtitles for this really helped, too, in clearing up some points that I didn't understand in the English dub. Ever wondered what was written on Prey's fan? Now you do. You also hear the lyrics of the main theme, and it makes all the more sense when you know what the singer is saying. Besides, a film as grand as this really doesn't deserve being dubbed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, must-own. Dec 31 2002
By A Customer
This movie has plot twists you don't normally find in a martial arts movie. Two mens' paths cross and they are hurled toward a destiny neither could have foreseen. I guess you could call it a martial arts triangle of sorts (like a love triangle, but martial arts). An assassin who drinks to forget his bad deeds. A prostitute who loves him. A martial arts expert struggling with his own fears. This is a keeper. Great martial arts action and a unique story. Definitely one for the martial arts collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Aug. 27 2001
There are probably 10 minutes in the film with no action...one of the best kung-fu films I've seen, with an excellent plot and full of action. This is what makes these kind of film so interesting, a honor and friedship problem, resolved via kung-fu. Any way, the film is very different from modern John Woo's filmography, so don't expect a Hard Target or Face/Off kind of film. This film is quite more deep and not filled with hi-tech fx, but when you think it was filmed in 1978, the fx are surprising...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Woo - Pure Kung Fu Theather Style June 18 2003
By Who 1
It's not just another Kung Fu flick. It's John Woo. The stars are the familiar cast of old school Action / Black Belt / Kung Fu Theater shows, but the plot and cinematography are uniquely John Woo. The movie is a must for Kung Fu fans. The swordplay in the movie is not as fluid as in the 90's Kung Fu movies, but the movie still stands out as one of the all time greatest sword-fighting movies. Another, movie I would highly recommend is the Kid With the Golden Arms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic! Oct. 10 2001
John Woo has a unique style, which you can check in this 1979 film, long time before Face/Off or MI2. The film has an excellent plot, with classical honor conflicts and friendship, and lots of action, with scenes that make Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon look older...
The DVD edition has good picture quality and the sound is excellent, with Dolby Digital (rare for a 20 years old film!).
If you like HK cinema, this is a must for your collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars John Woo's most important pre-1986 film. June 5 2002
By D. Mok
Last Hurrah for Chivalry, despite its cheesy English title, is important for two things: One, it broke new ground in period martial-arts films by its use of contemporary language and attitudes; two, it introduces many quintessential John Woo stylistic conceits, thematic elements, and cinematic devices.
The anachronistic speech patterns and occasionally bad humour are not to everybody's taste. However, what it does achieve for the film is a sense of intimacy for the characters missing from Woo's previous films, such as Hand of Death. The use of the Cantonese language brings Last Hurrah for Chivalry down to an earthy level, allowing the actors to loosen up. In the case of Wei Pai and Liu Sung Yen, this is really a good thing, freeing them up to express their characters better.
Woo's signatures begin to emerge very clearly in this film. The characters of Cheung the Third and Green Robe are really precursors to character pairings in later Woo films such as Jeff and Eagle Lee (The Killer), Potcake and Jim (Once a Thief), and most important, Ho and Mark/Ken from the A Better Tomorrow series. Just the interplay between Wei and Liu along is worth the whole film, Wei's earnest naivete and Liu's engrossing mix of drunken clowning and deadly silence making for some of the best character interactions in the Woo oeuvre, rivalling that of Chow Yun-fat and Ti Lung in A Better Tomorrow. The over-the-top sound design and hair-raising fight choreography give the fight sequences a real sense of danger, while the themes of honour, betrayal, despair and fate are lifted intact and incorporated into the Killer, right down the the ending.
In fact, the only fault of this film is its moments of crude humour, usually thanks to bad bit players (eg. the henchmen of the villain Bai Zhong Tang). Still, Last Hurrah for Chivalry is one of Woo's best early films.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maimm Adventure...Get the DVD Oct. 16 2000
Martial arts mayhem, with a touch of humor in the tradition of the Shaw Brothers productions, but produced by Golden Harvest studios. Themes include honor, loyalty, betrayal and subterfuge. Much better production than the Jackie Chan films from the same time period.
Last Hurrah for Chivalry is even better in DVD. This widesrceen production is a "10" in terms of picture quality! The Mandarin dubbed version of the movie is especially good. Excellent color and focus are good adjectives to describe the video portion. I believe the video has been reworked, because for a film that was originally released in 1979 the video still seems fresh.
The audio quality is equal to the task. The producers have spared no expense and have transfer the original soundtrack recording to Dolby Digital 5.1. I assume it was remastered to make the conversion, because it doesn't say so on the box. Not many studios now adays will go to such expense to update a movie over 20 years old.
By the way this DVD has the original Cantonese version with English subtitles, or you can watch the film dubbed in English or Mandarin, with a choice of English, simplified or traditional Chinese subtitles.
I have the original video of the film as well and noticed the English translation is some instances is different than the DVD, but the video quality on the DVD just blows the video away. If you have a DVD player...get the DVD... You won't be disappointed.
This is my favorite John Woo film. It's better than the latest films he has produced here for the US market, including Broken Arrow etc..
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Cantonese film.
I'm no John Woo Fan, but I never get sick of watching this over & over. Good plot, great costumes, an overly suggestive & touching relationship between 2 attractive guys,... Read more
Published on May 20 2004 by Lika Laruku
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Foreign Film Ever!!!!!!!!
Okay: John Woo, Noo big stars, ... dubs. Sound bad? WRONG! With some of the best fight scenes of all time (sleeping sword, the opening battle, and the wax room come to mind), and a... Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A John Woo Masterpiece
Amongst the people I know who like martial arts films, there exist several sub categories. Those who like hand-to-hand, those who like weapon fights, those who like mystical... Read more
Published on May 12 2001 by I Heron
5.0 out of 5 stars Sword Blowout
Flying swords, lots of dead people, semi heroics, stylish villian, impossible kicks, fascinating punches, some blood, unhappy mistresses and very little self... Read more
Published on March 2 2001 by "eserhan"
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurrah for John Woo!
Last Hurrah for Chivalry is one of the best martial arts movie I've ever seen. We can see John Woo' style in many of the scenes (slow motion action scenes) and themes (friendship... Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2001 by Denis-Steve Giguere
4.0 out of 5 stars ...Their Kung Fu is Very Good....
Bought the DVD based on AMZN recommendations. First 20 minutes is so bad, it is almost funny (its appears the actors didnt want to hurt each other so they took it slow and easy). Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2000
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