When a rival gang attacks the Chi martial arts academy, the father of young Fang Kang (Wang) dies defending it. Fang Kang grows up dedicated to the school, his teacher, and the noble art of swordsmanship, but his hard-earned success, and humble origins, cause his peers to resent him. One day his teacher's hotheaded daughter challenges Fang Kang to a duel, then hacks off his arm when he refuses. Nursed back to health by a poor farm girl (Chiao), Fang Kang ultimately learns to wield a sword one-handed. Will he be ready to do battle when the same gang returns to attack his beloved school yet again?
This influential classic is often referred to as the original martial-arts picture. Featuring faster, more intricate moves than most swordplay outings up to that point, it would give birth — virtually singlehandedly (no pun intended) — to a whole series of kinetic kung-fu entries emanating from Hong Kong. Phenomenal swordsman Wang Yu was already a familiar on-screen presence by this point, but it was this movie that really showcased his talent and assured his stardom. Fun for all action fans, this entry remains essential viewing for kung-fu devotees.