Die Herberge zum Drachentor (1967)

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Die Herberge zum Drachentor: Directed by King Hu. With Polly Ling-Feng Shang-Kuan, Chun Shih, Ying Bai, Feng Hsu. When the children of an executed General are pursued in 1457 China, some heroic martial arts swordsmen intervene.

“I saw this during its initial run under the title u0026quot;Dragon Inn.u0026quot;u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis is no ordinary swordplay movie. It is a visual treat of ancient Chinese costumes and weaponry. The traditional Chinese instruments used for the background music added an otherwordly flavor. I left the theatre wondering if the movie was truly historical. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe head of the Yu clan has been condemned to death by the evil prime minister who has usurped imperial power. A palace eunuch who managed to claw his way to power, he is also reputed to be Chinau0026#39;s greatest swordsman. He plots to eliminate the entire Yu family but is opposed by a master swordsman and swordswoman.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eA memorable scene that has nothing to do with fighting is the dinner at Dragon Inn which introduced me to the Mongolian Fire Pot (shabu-shabu) style of eating. To the uninitiated, there is a fire pot in the middle of the table decked out with all sorts of raw food which you put into the boiling water of the firepot and eat them as they are cooked. The cooking water is sipped as soup.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI took my little sister to see it and from then on she got hooked on Chinese swordplay movies. She began reading up on ancient China and in college she majored in history and archaeology — all because I took her to see Dragon Inn. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI am gratified to learn recently that the female supporting actress Feng Hsu moved on to become a producer-director herself with a number of critically acclaimed films to her credit. I look forward to seeing them soon.”

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