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THE BLOOD BROTHERS (1973, HONG KONG) Dir. Chang Cheh

BLOOD BROTHERS is a seminal work in the canon of Shaw Brothers films, one of the best known and best-loved pictures from Ti Lung and David Chiang's run as top stars of the studio, and the purest expression of the themes director Chang Cheh would choose to revisit throughout his career. This stands with 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN and THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS as one of the essential films to watch from the so-called "Kung Fu craze" of the early and mid-'70s.

BLOOD BROTHERS is also a grand tragedy wherein an otherwise noble person is destroyed by virtue of a single fatal flaw that cannot be denied. It is an unusually sweeping and grand production for Shaw in this period: it boasts dozens of extras, extensive outdoor shooting, taking the film away from the studio-bound hyper-real feel of Cheng's early pictures like ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN and GOLDEN SWALLOW. This is an epic of brotherhood, sin, disgrace, and injustice.

The basic story is very simple but contains some unique f…

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