The Water Margin

1972 [CHINESE]

Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 59%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 722

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 03, 2022 at 10:22 PM



Miriam Margolyes as (voice)
1.08 GB
chi 2.0
25 fps
2 hr 0 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 3 / 10

Only for those very familiar with "Shuihu Zhuan"

"The Water Margin" is based on a great ancient tale from Chinese literature. HOwever, it's not the entire story--just a small portion of the text "Shuihu Zhuan". I am certainly no expert on it--and that's a serious problem, as I had a lot of trouble understanding the context for the film as well as the sheer number of characters. Keeping track of them was impossible for me though I assume many Chinese viewers would be far more material with the characters and source material. I wish I could have sat and watched this with a Chinese scholar--and it's very likely you'll feel the same way. The story is about revenge and abuse of power--but I did have significant trouble following the story. And, although it's a Shaw Brothers film, martial arts are not that prominent in the movie. My advice is that if you know the story well, watch it. I have no idea how to score it for you. But, for the average fan of martial arts flicks who is NOT familiar with the story, I say skip it--it's just too confusing and the action isn't enough to keep your interest.

By the way, when this film began, my uncle turned to me and asked a very obvious question--'how are those boats moving so fast?'. This is because the ships' sails are not down and there are no oars--yet the ships are going VERY fast across the water! This is supposed to be the Middle Ages--yet the boats appear to be moving as a result of outboard motors. Could the ancient Chinese have been THAT clever? I think not--though they were darned advanced at the time!

By the way, much of the soundtrack for this film was 'borrowed' from the Hollywood film "Hang 'em High". It's pretty weird, as the original film was a western made to look and sound like a spaghetti western--and now it's in a Chinese martial arts film!

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 7 / 10

Sprawling Shaw Brothers epic

THE WATER MARGIN is the Shaw Brothers' attempted adaptation of the massive Chinese novel of the same name which is so big that only a few chapters were brought to the screen for this tale. It's definitely an epic by Shaw Brothers standards, with an all-star cast who are constantly introduced throughout the picture and a sprawling, densely-plotted narrative. I think this film has the most plot I've seen in a Shaw movie and it certainly keeps you involved throughout.

The film has the epic look and feel of something like THE 14 AMAZONS although the really big battle stuff is saved for the climax and worth the wait. This part of the film is Shaw at their most traditional, with different fighters pairing off to battle it out with their individual styles and weapons, and it's great fun and surprisingly gory in places. However, the preceding story is perhaps even more interesting. The narrative is constructed in such a way that you're never sure where exactly the tale is going to end up and it keeps you guessing throughout as to the outcome.

As such I found it a very involving watch and one that demands close attention. There are a ton of famous faces here from the big names like David Chiang and Ti Lung to the experienced character actors like Ku Feng. Lung is hardly in it but does get to fight at the end unlike Chen Kuan Tai who seems to just vanish after his introduction. Chiang gets a big role through and is entirely likable in it. Interestingly enough, the two major rival roles are played by a pair of Japanese actors, Tetsuro Tanba and Toshio Kurosawa, and both are very effective.

Reviewed by poe426 8 / 10

Is bigger better...?

Even at the time of its initial US release, THE WATER MARGIN (known to moviegoers then as SEVEN BLOWS OF THE DRAGON) was generally acknowledged one of the better imports because, unlike most "kung fu movies" of the day, it boasted an actual storyline. Although it wasn't always clear, even then, who was who or who was on whose side, the mere fact that there were exchanges of dialogue at all elevated SEVEN BLOWS OF THE DRAGON to unheard of heights among the cognoscenti. Until its recent release on DVD, I had no idea that it was based on a novel (much less a novel boasting a hundred or more chapters). That explains a lot. (Not that it makes it any clearer who's who or who's on whose side...) It was cool to see David Chiang again as "the master of the eighteen tumbles," and I'm still looking forward to the (hopefully eventual) release of Wang Yu's THE Chinese PROFESSIONALS (which I still remember as being a great deal of fun and preferable, back then, to most everything but Bruce Lee's movies).

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