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Archive - 9th Five Flavours Film Festival

Dragon Inn

Longmen kezhan
Taiwan 1967, 112’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: King Hu
screenplay: King Hu
cinematography: Hua Hui-ying
editing: Chen Hung-min
music: Chow Lan-ping
cast: Shang Kuang Ling-feng, Shih Chun, Bai Ying, Hsu Feng
producer: Sha Yu-fong
language: Mandarin
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Golden Horse Awards 1968 - najlepszy scenariusz / Best Screenplay

Film description

In the middle of the Ming dynasty, the evil emperor’s chief Eunuch Cao Shaoqin has the loyal Minister of Defense Yu Qian executed. Yu’s children are condemned to exile away from China and travel toward the western borders. Nevertheless Cao has sent his best agent – of the East Espionnage Chamber - to kill them. They all arrive at the Dragon Inn by the border.

At the same time, a wandering swordsman Xiao Shaozi arrives to the inn, followed by two other swordsmen. Cao’s men suspect them to be Yu Qian’s allies. From that moment the inn is turned into a in camera ballet between the protagonists hiding their identity and threatening each other with much courtesy. Flying chopsticks, tables, and fighters all in a small and yet demultiplied space.

This film marks the debut of King Hu in Taiwan when he imported his work method to Taiwan. He formed new actors that will be faithful to him for many years. The success of the film challenged the Hong Kong supremacy. In 1992, Tsui Hark made a remake of the film called "The New Dragon Gate Inn," with an even more feminist tone.

Restored copy screening, DCP courtesy of Taiwan Film Institute.

Wafa Ghermani

King Hu

Born in Beijing in 1932 and grew up surrounded by classical Chinese painting and literature. At 18 he moves to Hong Kong and start his carreer as billboard painter before working for the Shaw Brothers company. Despite the success of Come Drink with he decides to leave Hong Kong for Taiwan to shoot Dragon Gate Inn (a success) and A Touch of Zen. This last film is a failure at the box-office and Hu after some more attempts moved to the United States.

Selected filmography:

1964 Napij się ze mną / Da zui xia / Come Drink with me
1967 Dragon Inn / Long meh kezhan / Dragon Gate Inn
1971 Dotyk zen / Xia nu / A Touch of Zen
1973 Ying chun gez hi / The Fate of Lee Khan
1979 Kong shan ling yu / Raining in the Mountain
1993 Hua pi zhi: Yin yang fa wang / Painted Skin

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