A prince enlists a thief to serve as his bodyguard to protect him from assassins.
A prince enlists a thief to serve as his bodyguard to protect him from assassins.
Le Prince et l'arnaqueur, dirty Ho, Lan tou He, 란두하 (1979) (Dirty Ho)
Executioners from Shaolin might be more personal, 36 Chambers more detailed about kung fu philosophy and Eight Diagram Pole Fighter the most beautiful and elegiac, but Dirty Ho has the greatest fight choreography and so it remains the greatest of all Lau Kar Leung films. What can one say about the final two action setpieces when Yu and Liu finally achieve total sync? Except for a couple of Astaire's better routines from the 30s, bodies in motion were never put to such stunning expressive effect.
there's something alchemical about how the bodies and the camera fit together here. a perfect martial arts film.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I'm not even going to pretend Dirty Ho first got my attention for any wholesome reason, but after hearing so many good things from friends my curiosity was aroused enough that I knew I had to see for myself... and wow, what a ride! Sure things got pretty messy and I felt exhausted by the end, but this crowd-pleaser left me with a smile on my face and an itch in my---okay okay I'm sure you get the idea. I'm just as ashamed as you are.
Essentially a Shaw Brothers action/buddy comedy about a sly martial arts master of a…
Why do we recognize dance as an art and not fight choreography at the level Lau Kar Leung was working? Only thing I can figure is very few people, perhaps none, were as good as him. Otherwise it would be apparent.
A joy to watch. Not just on a technical level because Lau Kar-leung is a master choreographer, but also playful and while I wouldn't necessarily call it "funny", it definitely has a sense of humor you'd be more likely to find in a Sammo Hung joint. Character tropes are throttled into caricature territory, with a brilliant turn from Gordon Liu taking on the cover of a wine/antiques aficionado who gets invited to a series of secret ass woopings, where both sides for some reason (well, the reason is it's funny) refuse to break character as they're trying to knock each other down while discussing the finer things in life. Kind of like Frasier, but instead of a verbal battle of wits these guys use their feet.
One of the most elegant, funny, diligent films ever. Blissfully entertaining and visually unblemished.
It's truly a shame that fight choreography isn't appreciated to the same level as dance choreography, as films like Dirty Ho show off the intricate and beautiful possibilities of movement by the body.
Dirty Ho features an embarrassment of riches for fight scenes, such as when the protagonist plays a musician's body like a marionette to fight against another person, or when the student fights a group of con men disguised as handicapped beggars.
Each fight scene is loaded with exquisite and complicated movements, featuring weapons and motions not conventional, like a small chair or an iron pot.
During these sequences, I tried focusing only on one character, trying to decontextualize their movements from the overwhelming whole to see how…
The IMDB lists this as a 1976 film but I can find no evidence for this. Google the title, and you'll see an unsourced release date listed of April 8, 1976, but the IMDB itself lists August 4, 1979 as the date (in Hong Kong that is. It's a 1981 film if you're one of those weirdos who only goes by US release dates). Every other source I've seen lists it as a 1979 film, except those that likely took their info from the IMDB.
1979 makes the most sense as well for Kara Hui's career. She has a small but memorable role here, and if the 1976 date is correct this would be her first film. Her next credits…
A twist on the master-student narrative, where the student, a petty thief and scoundrel ('Dirty' Ho Jen, played by Wang Yue) has to be tricked into following the master (Gordon Liu), who himself turns out to be a Manchurian prince. The Manchus are almost always the villains in these stories, standing in for all kinds of enemies of China, from the Japanese, to European colonists to Mao's Communists. So we have a hero who isn't very heroic and a master from a reviled class.
"Give up crime, and do honest deeds!"
1970s moustachioed Gordon Liu having the most nonchalant fights in the world is an aesthetic I never knew I needed. That guy is simply too cool.
The 5th best fight scene in this movie is between a guy with a wheelchair and a guy with a blanket.
Title game strong.
Two of the best fight scenes ever shot.
The shared formal characteristics of Martial Arts and its congruence with dance is perhaps no better displayed than in Dirty Ho
beautifully, intricately choreographed, gorgeously staged and shot, hugely inventive throughout. my only complaint would be that the film seems to slow down a bit much in the second act, the opening is great and the then finale feels properly climactic, but i wish the master-pupil dynamic came into play and got fleshed out a bit earlier.
The other two Liu Chia-liang films that I've seen are probably my favourite martial arts films ever, so I had fairly high hopes for this one, but I didn't realise it was gonna be so goofy and comedic....it's fucking banter, don't get me wrong, and the choreography is still insane, but it's just not quite what I wanted, and it's certainly not in the same league as those other two stone-cold classics. Still, it's a lotta fun, and it turns out Gordon Liu is fucking hilarious, in addition to being one of the coolest dudes ever....what can't that guy do?!
I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for ODB. This has earned its reputation. It only suffers from a rather unsatisfying ending after and incredible showdown with Lo Lieh. The English dub may also have detracted from this one (Amazon Video’s only audio track). It wasn’t campy or funny enough, just really weird voice choices (Lo Lieh sounds like a prepubescent boy) and likely plot issues. I’m glad I finally was able to watch it though.
Comédia genial que utiliza do universo das artes marciais para criar sequências hilárias e icônicas, além de possuir um diretor que consegue relacionar o espaço com os movimentos coreografados dos atores de maneira excepcional, criando algumas das melhores sequências de ação que eu já vi.
That’s odd. Why are they both dancing around?
La comedia y las coreografías son una joya.
Ghastly how every fight is really pretend, be it the crypto-cripple foursome faking disabilities, the 4th’s emissaries attempting to poison the prince under the guise of hospitality, or the imaginary run-in with the biter-blowfish combo. What else to expect from a film entirely dedicated to a disguised prince’s exploitation of a common thief?
One of the most creative Kung Fu movies. Brilliant choreography, sometimes woven into mundane situations like a Kung Fu fever dream. My only complaint: Ho was not particularly dirty, as promised in the title. I need a spin-off series for the sour-faced slapper.
Dirty Ho is another film that makes me realize just how much I don't know about Asian cinema. If it isn't quite as polished as some later movies that picked up the funny martial-arts torch, it is still impressive, particularly when it comes to fight choreography, both as regards the more subtle restrained sort, and the all-out craziness of the final battles. Which, is that only a Lau Kar-leung thing in terms of multiple people on the same side fighting like Astaire and Rogers dancing?
This is what I mean about not knowing enough, and is also a sincere question for the comments if anybody has recommendations.
Both Wang and Ho face two fights that test different aspects of their kung fu abilities before they come together for the finale, and while Wang's, cloaked in niceties and explicitly designed to be as dazzling as possible, deservedly get all the love, Ho's feel equally vital to Lau's framework. Whether it's the "cripples" or the imagined con artists, he fights a succession of enemies, each with a different ability that in turn forces the untrained Ho to adopt a complementary kung fu style, often complete with otherwise unseen weapons, makeshift or not. That these are with more obviously "different," even dangerously stereotypical foes who then reveal themselves to be phonies, speaks to the unbridgeable divide between Wang and Ho,…
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