1966/Director: King Hu/ Writers: King Hu, Yang Erh
Cast: Cheng Pei Pei, Hua Yueh
Cheng Pei Pei was a formal dancer who Shaw Brother’s actor, set designer and eventually director King Hu cast as the master sword fighter Golden Swallow in the groundbreaking film Come Drink With Me. She was most recently known as Chow Young Fat’s antagonist Jade fox in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Cheng Pei Pei could easily be said to be the first of the sword fighting women and 1966’s Come Drink With Me was her grand entry into the world of Kung Fu cinema. The film followed the tradition of Wuxia (wu=kung fu, martial arts, xia=hero) literature and films in China. The hero in the tradition is similar to the hero in Japanese Samurai films or the gunfighter in American Westerns. Usually a lone traveler with a code, or on a quest of some nature, confronts a ruthless opponent or gang. There is usually the matter of justice being served or an old score being righted and honor upheld. The film is actually part of a larger tradition of such films from China (Hong Kong) and was not the first one that spawned the genre as is sometimes claimed. The film is memorable for the way the fight scenes are filmed, the way it used music, Hu King’s marvelous sets and of course the lithe and elegant moves of Cheng Pei Pei ( the Hong Kong spelling of her Chinese name).