|Moonlight Sword and Jade Lion (1977 HKMDB, or 1981 IMDB)|
|Starring:||Angela Mao, Doris Lung and Wu Jia-Xiang|
|The Plot: Chu Sau-Yin (Angela Mao) is a trained martial artist who is asked by her master to complete a seemingly simple task: find his friend. Knowing the city in which her master’s friend formerly resided, she heads off in order to ask around about the man. When she finally makes it to the post where he was supposedly last employed, no one seems to know a thing. She is told that he now lives out in the mountains by himself. Taking this knowledge with her, she heads off into the mountains and begins to ask around about him. When he doesn’t turn up there either, she is once again pointed to the same post that he was supposed to be employed. Things are starting to look fishy at this point. So, once she heads back into town she receives a new story altogether. This time she is told that he has been missing for several months, and that his former coworkers and employers have been searching for him as well. A mystery has arisen, and it won’t be long before Chu Sau-Yin has to unsheathe her sword and show these people just who they are messing with.|
Angela Mao, Lady Whirlwind herself, was a big star in Hong Kong, and she was essentially at the twilight of her career when Moonlight Sword and Jade Lion came along. Although she still looks, and performs, as fantastic as ever, this feature was made in the last decade before she decided to retire from film in order to focus on her family. Mao, who fans may best remember as Bruce Lee’s sister during the introduction to Enter the Dragon, is in spectacular form throughout the film. All of the fight scenes are handled well, but there’s something fun about watching Mao throw down. She has a very light and elegant style, and she seems to be one of the few females during her prime who could really deliver upon the necessities of her martial arts choreography. Doris Lung also pops up in the movie. She plays the female temptress who seems to ensnare all of the men. Her character also works for the evil warlord who secretly wants Angela Mao’s jade-lion statue. Lung is very solid in her role as well, but she is required much less in terms of athletic prowess when it comes to her fight scenes. Still, she manages to impress, and the entire production starts to resemble a pre-cursor to the Hong Kong “girls with guns” genre.