Swordsman II, also known as The Legend of the Swordsman, is a 1992 Hong Kong wuxia film very loosely adapted from Louis Cha's novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. It was the second part of a trilogy: preceded by The Swordsman (1990) and followed by The East Is Red (1993). Directed by Ching Siu-tung and Stanley Tong, Swordsman II starred Jet Li, Brigitte Lin, Rosamund Kwan and Michelle Reis in the leading roles. None of the original cast from the previous film return except Fennie Yuen.
|Mandarin||Xiào Ào Jiāng Hú Zhī Dōng Fāng Bù Bài|
|Cantonese||Siu3 Ngou6 Gong1 Wu4 Ji1 Dung1 Fong1 Bat1 Baai6|
|Directed by||Ching Siu-tung|
|Produced by||Tsui Hark|
|Screenplay by||Hanson Chan|
|Based on||The Smiling, Proud Wanderer|
by Louis Cha
|Music by||Richard Yuen|
|Edited by||Marco Mak|
|Distributed by||Golden Princess Amusement|
|107 minutes (HK)|
99 minutes (U.S)
112 minutes (Taiwan)
Linghu Chong, Yue Lingshan and members of the Mount Hua Sect are planning to retire from the jianghu (martial artists' community). They learn that Dongfang Bubai has seized control of the Sun Moon Holy Cult and is secretly plotting with some Japanese rōnin to rebel against the Ming Empire and dominate China. Dongfang Bubai had castrated himself in order to master the skills in the Sunflower Manual, and his appearance has become more feminine, even though he is now a formidable martial artist.
Linghu Chong meets Dongfang Bubai by chance without knowing his true identity, mistakes him for a beautiful young woman, and falls in love with "her". Dongfang Bubai knocks out Linghu Chong while he is not looking and imprisons him in an underground dungeon. In the dungeon, by coincidence, Linghu Chong meets Ren Woxing, Ren Yingying's father and the former leader of the Sun Moon Holy Cult. They escape from captivity together. One night, while Linghu Chong is distracted by Dongfang Bubai's lover Shishi, Dongfang tracks down his Mount Hua Sect fellows and kills them.
Linghu Chong brings Yue Lingshan, Ren Yingying, Ren Woxing and Xiang Wentian with him to confront Dongfang Bubai at Black Woods Cliff. In the ensuing battle, Dongfang Bubai apparently dies after refusing Linghu Chong's help and falling off the cliff. Ren Woxing regains control of the cult and starts killing the traitors who defected to Dongfang Bubai. Linghu Chong and Yue Lingshan secretly escape with help from Xiang Wentian and Ren Yingying because they know that Ren Woxing cannot tolerate them.
- Jet Li as Linghu Chong (Ling Wu-chung), the most senior member in the Mount Hua Sect.
- Brigitte Lin as Dongfang Bubai (Invincible Asia), the leader of the Sun Moon Holy Cult.
- Michelle Reis as Yue Lingshan (Kiddo), Linghu Chong's junior.
- Rosamund Kwan as Ren Yingying, Linghu Chong's love interest and Ren Woxing's daughter.
- Waise Lee as Hattori Sengun, the rōnin chief and Dongfang Bubai's ally.
- Chin Kar-lok as Sarutobi Kazuki, Hattori's henchman.
- Lau Shun as Xiang Wentian (Zen), an elder of the Sun Moon Holy Cult who remains loyal to Ren Woxing.
- Fennie Yuen as Lan Fenghuang (Blue Phoenix), Ren Yingying's subordinate.
- Yen Shi-kwan as Ren Woxing (Wu), the former leader of the Sun Moon Holy Cult who was overthrown and imprisoned by Dongfang Bubai.
- Candice Yu as Shishi (Cici), Dongfang Bubai's lover.
- Cheung Kwok-leung as Eunuch Hong
The United States version has nine minutes of the original film cut and was released under the title Legend of the Swordsman. It is dubbed in English and retains the original music score.
The Hong Kong version is in Cantonese and it retains the nine minutes of extended footage and gory violence.
The Taiwanese version, which is dubbed in Mandarin, contains an additional four minutes of rare extended and gory footage that was removed in the United States and Hong Kong releases, bringing the total runtime to 112 minutes. It has some different music scores and features Jet Li's original voice. It has aired on Chinese Television System many times.
In the Mandarin-dubbed version of the film, Rosamund Kwan and Fennie Yuen speak Sichuanese instead of Standard Mandarin. This was meant to enhance the fact that their characters are of the Miao ethnic group.
The original soundtrack album for the film, "Ching Hsia Lin/ Swordsman 2" (traditional Chinese: 東方不敗 － 林青霞 電影音樂紀實; simplified Chinese: 东方不败 －林青霞 电影音乐纪实; pinyin: Dōngfāng bù bài - línqīngxiá diànyǐng yīnyuè jìshí) was released by BMG Music Taiwan in 1992. It contains 20 tracks with 3 sound recordings at the scene.
|Ching Hsia Lin/ Swordsman II OST|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Label||BMG Taiwan Music Inc|
|No.||Traditional Chinese Title||Simplified Chinese Title||Pinyin||English Translation||Remarks|
|1||"東方不敗就在附近"||"东方不败就在附近"||Dōngfāng bù bài jiù zài fùjìn||"Dongfang Bubai is nearby"||Sound recording at the scene|
|2||只記今朝笑（粵語）||只记今朝笑（粤语）||Zhǐ jì jīnzhāo xiào||Only remember the smile today||Ending theme; Cantonese version (vocals by Rosanne Lui)|
|4||斷弦（粵語）||断弦（粤语）||Duànxián||Broken string||Cantonese version (vocals by 周小君)|
|5||"原來是你"||"原来是你"||Yuánlái shì nǐ||"It's you"||Sound recording at the scene|
|8||燒寶典||烧宝典||Shāo bǎodiǎn||Burning the scroll|
|10||天地醉（音樂版）||天地醉（音乐版）||Tiāndì zuì||Drunkenness of heaven and earth|
|11||"望青霞"||"望青霞"||Wàng qīng xiá||"Looking at Brigitte"||Sound recording at the scene|
|12||天地醉（國語）||天地醉（国语）||Tiāndì zuì||Drunkenness of heaven and earth||Mandarin version performed by Brigitte Lin (not in the movie)|
|14||比劍||比剑||Bǐ jiàn||Sword match|
|15||只記今朝笑（國語）||只记今朝笑（国语）||Zhǐ jì jīnzhāo xiào||Only remember the smile today||Ending theme; Mandarin version performed by Brigitte Lin|
|18||曲諧||曲谐||Qū xié||Harmonic tune|
|19||斷弦（國語）||断弦（国语）||Duànxián||Broken string||Mandarin version|
|20||只記今朝笑（音樂版）||只记今朝笑（音乐版）||Zhǐ jì jīnzhāo xiào||Only remember the smile today||Music version|
The theme song from The Swordsman, Chong Hoi Yat Sing Siu (traditional Chinese: 滄海一聲笑; simplified Chinese: 沧海一声笑; pinyin: Cānghǎi Yī Shēng Xiào; Jyutping: Cong1-hoi2 Jat1 Sing1 Siu3; lit. 'A Sound of Laughter in the Vast Sea'), performed in Cantonese by Samuel Hui in the first film, was played in a few scenes in Swordsman II.
Brigitte Lin's performance was listed as one of the "Great Performances" by Richard Corliss under TIME magazine's "All-TIME 100 Movies". On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 71% based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 6.79/10.
The film grossed HK$34,462,861 at the Hong Kong box office and remains as Jet Li's highest-grossing film in Hong Kong to date.
|Award||Date of Ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and Nominee(s)||Result|
|12th Hong Kong Film Awards||23 April 1993||Best Actress||Brigitte Lin||Nominated|
|Best Film Editing||Marco Mak||Nominated|
|Best Art Direction||James Leung, Chung Yee-fung||Nominated|
|Best Costume Make Up Design||William Chang, Bruce Yu||Won|
|Best Action Choreography||Tony Ching, Yuen Bun, Ma Yuk-sing, Cheung Yiu-sing||Nominated|
|Best Original Film Score||Richard Yuen||Nominated|
|Best Original Film Song||只記今朝笑—Swordsman II
- "Swordsman 2 (1992)". Hong Kong Cinemagic. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
- Corliss, Richard. "All-TIME 100 Movies". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- "THE LEGEND OF THE SWORDSMAN (XIAO AO JIANG HU ZHI: DONG FANG BU BAI) (SWORDSMAN II)". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 19 October 2020.