seven swords

Released in 2005, Seven Swords ( 七劍 ) is a Hong Kong wuxia movie very loosely based on Lian Yusheng’s novel Quijan Xia Tianshan. The plot is also similar to Akie Kurosawa’s 1954 movie Seven Samurai, with a motley crew of seven warriors agreeing to risk their lives to protect a village. Seven Swords was selected to be the opening film of the 2005 Venice Film Festival, as an homage to Akira Kurosawa.

Unlike Seven Samurai, which takes place in Japan, Seven Swords is set in 17th century China, where the Qing dynasty has just outlawed martial arts. The corrupt officer Fire-Wind sets ut to enforce the ban, making a fortune in the process by plundering civilians. As he and his men approache Martial Village, the old executioner Fu Qingzhu sets out together with two young villagers to find warriors willing to protect the community and put an end to Fire-Wind’s raids. He finds four other swordsmen, and the mysterious swordsmith Master Shadow-Glow equippes each of the seven men with a unique and powerful sword.

The film’s director Tsui Hark both co-produced the movie and co-wrote the screenplay, and the movie starrs Leon Lai, Donnie Yen, Charlie Yeung, Sun Honglei, Lu Yi, and Kim So-yeon.

The movie was well recieved in Asia and was nominated for numerous awards in Hong Kong and China. Outside Asia, the reviews were more mixed, and generally not favorable. In the United States, the movie only got a limited release in theatres.

The initial cut made by Angie Lam was a four hour long movie, but the distributors worried that such a long film would scare away the audience, so Tsui Hark re-edited the film and created two shorter versions: one 150 minutes and one 120 minutes. The 150 minutes version was the one that was ultimately selected for theatres.

Trailer

Basic info

Title七劍
English titleSeven Swords
CountryHong Kong
LanguageMandarin

Korean

Lenght2 hours and 33 minutes
Budget18 million USD
Box office3,473,290 USD

 

Behind the scenes

ProducersTsui Hark
Ma Zhongjun
Lee Joo-ick
Pan Zhizhong
Production company
company
Film Workshop
DirectorTsui Hark
Screenplay byTsui Hark
Cheung Chi-sing
Chun Tin-nam
Music byKenji Kawai
CinematographersKeung Kwok-man
Herman Yau
Choi Shung-fai
Edited byAngie Lam
Distributeed byMandarin Films Distribution Co. Ltd.
Eng Wah Cinema
The Weinstein Company
Tokyo Shock

Starring

Leon Lai
Donnie Yen
Charlie Yeung
Sun Honglei
Lu Yi
Kim So-yeon

Cast

Actor Role Info
Donnie YenChu ZhaonanWielder of the Dragon sword
Leon LaiYang YuncongWielder of the Transience sword
Lau Kar-leungFu QinzhuWielder of the Unlearnt sword
Charlie YeungWu YuanyingWielder of the Heven’s Fall sword
Lu YiHan ZhibangWielder of the Diety sword
Duncan ChowMulandWielder of the Celestial Beam sword
Tai Li-wuXin LongziWielder of the Star Chasers sword
Sun HongleiFire-WindWarlord and currupt officer
Kim So-yeonGreen PearlFire-Wind’s slave from Korea
Ma JingwuShadow-GlowSwordsmith and swordsman
Jason PaiLiu JingyiVillage chief
Zhang JingchuLiu YufangLiu Jingyi’s (the chief) daughter

Lover of Han Zhibang’s

Michael WongPrince DokadoManchu nobility
Chi Kuan-chunQiu DongluoVillager
Huang PengGuan SandaoVillager
Zhang ChaoZhang HuazhaoVillager
Xie ZhangBald LionOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Wang Chi-manDagger PeakOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Zhang JieHair WolfOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Guo FengqiangBlack SpiritOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Tang TengfeiStone BeastOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Liu ZhenbaoMud TrotOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Liu MingzheJiacociOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Li HaitaoSiyilangOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Jiang GuangjinSanziOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Lin HaibinSangenOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors
Jia KunBangmuziOne of Fire-Wind’s warriors

Trivia

  • During the filming of the ending fight scene, Donnie Yen accidently injured Sun Honglei because Yen erroneosly assumed that Honglei was trained in martial arts. Honglei was rushed to a hospital in Beijing with an injury near the eye. Since his eye sight wasn’t impaired by the injury, he went back to Xinjiang a day later to finnish his scenes.
  • Tsui Hark originally planned for Seven Swords to be the first in a franchise consisting of a total of six movies. So far, these plans have not been realized.