Dragon Gate Inn (1967) poster
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 41 users
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Ranked #51338
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Tsao, the emperor's first eunuch, has successfully bested General Yu, his political opponent. The general was beheaded but his remaining children have been exiled out of China. As the children are being escorted to the western border of the Chinese empire, Tsao plots to have the children killed. Tsao's secret police lie in ambush at the desolate Dragon Gate Inn. Martial arts expert Hsiao shows up at the inn, wanting to meet the innkeeper. Unknown to the secret police is that the innkeeper, Wu Ning, was one of the general's lieutenants and has summoned Hsiao to help the children. A brother-sister martial-artist team (children of another Yu lieutenant) also show up to help. These four race to find Yu's children and lead them to safety. (Source: Wikipedia) Edit Translation

  • English
  • Español
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Oct 21, 1967
  • Duration: 1 hr. 51 min.
  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 41 users)
  • Ranked: #51338
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits

Photos

Dragon Gate Inn (1967) photo
Dragon Gate Inn (1967) photo
Dragon Gate Inn (1967) photo
Dragon Gate Inn (1967) photo
Dragon Gate Inn (1967) photo
Dragon Gate Inn (1967) photo

Reviews

Completed
The Butterfly
3 people found this review helpful
Aug 17, 2023
Completed 6
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 7.5
This review may contain spoilers

"If you keep disturbing me, you'll get me angry"

King Hu's Dragon Inn was one of the bar setting martial arts films in the 1960's. Set in Taiwan, King made full use of the stunning scenery, capturing it lovingly on film. Polly Shang Kuan Ling Feng, Shih Chun, Miao Tian, Tsao Chien and Hsieh Han shone as the primary participants in the battle at the inn on the edge of civilization.

It was the time in martial arts lore when the ruthless Eunuch Tsao Shao Chin was massing wealth and power and crushing his enemies. He had loyal and ethical defense minister Yu beheaded and exiled his family to the outpost at Dragon Gate Inn. And because he was the bad guy he sent members from the East Agency to murder the children. The first attempt failed because Hsieh Han, in a rare good guy role, stepped in with his sword and protected the small entourage. Tsao sent Pi Shao Tung (Miao Tian) and nearly 30 men to intercept the surviving Yu family at the Inn.

The Inn is where the action truly begins and rarely slows down. Shih Chun's Hsiao Shao Tzu arrives after Pi and his men settled into the inn. Ostensibly he was there to see his old friend Wu Ning, the owner of the Inn and General Yu's former lieutenant. Pi's men attempt to take Hsiao out which results in several dead agents and a tenuous détente. Hsieh Han and Polly make their way to the crowded Inn forcefully insisting on accommodations. They also have to demonstrate that they are not to be trifled with. When finally the Yu children appear the sword-fights begin in earnest and the arrows start flying. Not to be left out, the deadly Eunuch Tsao makes a grand entrance with more men.

Dragon Inn kept the story straightforward, no secret lists, no secret kung fu books, or double-double crosses, just the goal of wiping out a good man's family and the loyal subjects who stood up for what was right. King would make the iconic A Touch of Zen in 1971 which had a richer story, Dragon Inn let its swords do the talking for the most part. Swordsman Hsiao injected humor into the lethal fights with Tsao, mercilessly taunting a man who was not used to being disrespected. Due to the large cast and near constant action, character growth was given short shrift.

Polly often played a hot-headed swordswoman, this time she was the cooler, faster blade and her brother played by Hsieh Han was the volatile stab first ask questions later swordsman. With a dancer's agility she moved quickly and gracefully. Shih Chun came across rather stilted to me, though he performed well in the fights. Miao Tian was a charismatic and daunting bad guy, I really enjoyed his performance in this film. As evil eunuchs often were, Pai Ying's Tsao was over the top---an asthmatic, blond-haired master of kung fu and sword fighting he made for quite the spectacle. Hsu Feng, who would later star in A Touch of Zen played the bit part of the young daughter on the run in this film.

The fights were more operatic than realistic, but not of the poorly done swipe and die choreography used in some films. Han Ying Chieh was the martial arts director and an imposing Lieutenant for the East Agency. There was judicious use of trampolines and wire work and on a couple of occasions sped up camera work. The fight at the inn introducing Hsiao made creative use of every day items. Instead of being relegated to the background, Polly was allowed to fiercely fight Tsao, Pi, and Ying Chieh's Lt. The final gruesome fight was well coordinated and showed how determined and unafraid of death each combatant was. Unlike some of the cheaper Taiwanese martial arts films that were grainy and shot amongst the trees, King made grand use of the scenery as backdrops for the bloody clashes. The desolate, rocky desert and lush forested mountains often stole the scenes as the battles played out in nature.

Dragon Inn was a child of the 60's and reflected the acting and fight choreography of the era. When comparing it to other martial arts films of the time it displayed a greater elegance and cohesiveness. Not a perfect film, but for old martial arts movie fans, certainly an entertaining one.

8/16/23

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Details

  • Movie: Dragon Gate Inn
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Release Date: Oct 21, 1967
  • Duration: 1 hr. 51 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 41 users)
  • Ranked: #51338
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Watchers: 89

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