Come Drink with Me

1966

Action / Crime

185
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 3,443

Synopsis


Downloaded times
March 21, 2020

Director

Cast

Pei-Pei Cheng as Chang Hsuan-yen
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
871.57 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.58 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by simon_booth 9 / 10 / 10

The one that started it all

This is the movie that started it all, the watershed wu xia movie in Hong Kong to which pretty much all the kung fu and wire fu movies owe a debt. King Hu was the visionary director who introduced this new style of movie making to the world, and Come Drink With Me is the movie where he first did it. Such an important movie in HK history was clearly going to be one of the jewels in Celestial Pictures' remastered Shaw Brothers series, and indeed it was chosen as the flagship title - a restored print did a small tour of the world to build up interest in the catalog and secure distribution. The DVD was one of the first released, and is a very nice package with beautiful picture and sound quality, great subtitling and an interesting set of interviews. After so many years it's great to see the movie looking and sounding so good. Come Drink With Me begins with a group of bandits attacking a government party and capturing an official, who they hope to use as a hostage exchange for their leader, currently in prison. The government sends out an agent to negotiate the deal, the legendary swordsman Golden Swallow. Golden Swallow is played wonderfully by a young Cheng Pei Pei, in the "woman dressed as a man" character that would become a regular wuxia feature. They first meet in an inn that strongly resembles that from Dragon Inn (1992), where they engage in a battle of words and martial arts prowess that leaves the bandits in no doubt that Golden Swallow is not about to let them get away with their plans. Like seemingly all King Hu movies, the plot is layered and intricately woven, full of intrigue and politics and power plays. There's always more going on than meets the eye. It manages this without being at all difficult to follow though, unlike many of its imitators and successors. Come Drink With Me is full of colourful characters, such as the cheerful bandit Smiling Tiger or the singing drunken beggar played by Yueh Hua. Without a doubt the movie belongs to Cheng Pei Pei though, who is beautiful, graceful, fierce and proud, and a tremendous fighter. It's easy to see why audiences loved her, and her character left such a lasting influence on the wu xia movie. The production values in the movie are very high, with beautiful sets, locations and costumes and very nice cinematography. King Hu's skillful camera work is legendary, and the imagery is not as memorable as the imagery in Hu's later work such as A Touch Of Zen it is still of very high quality and way above its peers. The action scenes are probably the main legacy that Come Drink With Me left behind it though. As all the interviews on the disc agree, Hu's approach to choreographing and filming the sword fights raised the bar of Hong Kong martial arts movies to unparalleled levels, and really started the 'fight scene as art form' philosophy that would quickly come to be the defining characteristic of the colony's cinema. By todays standards there is no question that the fight scenes look slow and crude, and are a long way from the grace and beauty that the wu xia movie would eventually achieve under directors such as Tsui Hark and Ching Siu Tung (who has a small part in the movie as a child actor!). However, many of the cinematic styles and techniques were making their first appearance in this movie, so it is fascinating to see them and imagine how exciting they must have been to audiences at the time. The image of Cheng Pei Pei with her twin short swords is one that will linger in the memory for some time even now. Come Drink With Me had quite a reputation to live up to, and the difficulty a keen viewer had in seeing it until now doubtless enhanced that. Probably there will be many viewers that wonder what all the fuss was about, but I think few could dispute that it is a well crafted movie even without considering its historical importance. As is obligatory with any King Hu review though, I do have to point out that it is not as good as A Touch Of Zen

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 10 / 10 / 10

A Nutshell Review: (DVD) Come Drink With Me (1966)

Come Drink With Me is touted as arguably the greatest martial arts film, ever. In its day, this is the movie that broke a lot of grounds, thanks to meticulous direction and vision of King Hu. The story is simple though, telling of Golden Swallow's (Cheng Pei Pei) quest to rescue her brother, a government official, in a ransom case with a bunch of bandits. While her prowess is formidable, a little help is always appreciated when up against the masses, and little does she know that a beggar of sorts, called the Drunken Cat (Yueh Hua), turns out to be her guardian angel. While the Chinese title is obviously a reference to Yueh Hua's character, this movie is clearly Cheng Pei Pei's breakthrough in the martial arts genre. The martial arts here is distinctively different. For its time, it was a breakthrough, with its moving cameras, violence, splattering of blood, as well as fights done with adequate pauses and breaks, like a Western stand off at times, before lunging at each other. The movement, while fluid, is slow compared to these days, then again, having action done too fast would mean either stunt people taking over, or you can't see a thing. The style in this movie struck me as samurai styled swordplay, even though the weapon our heroine used was a pair of short swords rather than katanas. The weapons used too were real, lending a sense of realism when the combatants clash. There are still some opera influences in the movie, especially when it comes to the music, done with Chinese orchestra, and accentuates the scenes like a big opera. Playing in sync to the action on screen, it's an early base on which films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon adopted to great effect. The cinematography is great too, given the many exterior shots in backlots and elaborate sets, featuring classical locales like inns and temples. The introductory scene in the inn will take your breath away, never mind that some cheesy (for today) techniques of stop motion and the reversing of film were used. Cheng Pei Pei is a star in the movie, and she has managed to infuse her background in ballet and dance to the martial arts moves for the movie, bringing forth a very beautiful poise when executing her moves. Her eyes too were luminous and have a life of their own, and can stare daggers at her enemies. Yueh Hua though felt more carefree, given his role as a wandering beggar. And while there are hints of romance between their characters, don't hold your breaths on counting them developing it any further. A to-the-point story, and excellent martial arts. This is a definite must watch for all martial arts genre fans. IVL Code 3 DVD Extras: A departure from the other IVL releases I've watched so far, this DVD had a valuable commentary by Cheng Pei Pei herself, and daughter Marsha Yuen, presented by film producer Bey Logan, in English. It's quite hilarious listening to Logan try and identify some of the actors, but always getting them wrong and had to be corrected by Pei Pei, until he knew not to embarrass himself further and allowed Pei Pei to introduce them instead. Marsha however, had little to contribute, except to laugh loudly into the microphone. There are two Come Drink With Me trailers included, one the original which had its written script which you have to read running from right to left, and the quality is pretty degraded. The new remastered one is definitely clearer, and so were the trailers for other movies, some starring Pei Pei herself. You have the usual extras as well, like the few movie stills, one original poster, a one page one paragraph worth of production notes, as well as a short cast and crew biography and filmography. A pity thought that you can note some typos in the DVD menus and subtitles. The real gems of the extras, are the interview clips. The longest interview on the disc is with Cheng Pei Pei (18 mins 30s) done in English, where she compares martial arts movies then and now, shared some production nuggets such as the duration of shooting the fight scenes, on sexuality of those days, her working relationship with King Hu, provided insights into working under Shaw Bros. explained her ease with learning martial arts, and shared on her working experiences with Yueh Hua. Yueh Hua too has an interview included, though it was quite short, clocking at 4 mins 45s. He shares his thoughts on working with King Hu and Cheng Pei Pei, as well as revealing that he had real wine in that wine bottle prop to assist him in getting into character. However, the interview is conducted in Mandarin, with no subtitles provided. I'm surprised at the inclusion of an interview with Marsha Yuan (daughter of Cheng Pei Pei) in English, for 6 mins and 40s, as she shares her thoughts on the movie, her realization when growing up that her mom was famous, and the big revelation is that there is going to be a sequel she's gonna star in. Is there? The last two interviews are with film critic Paul Fonoroff and film producer Bey Logan, as both talk about Cheng Pei Pei and King Hu, clocking at 9 mins 50s, and 4 mins 40s respectively. The former interview is more insightful though, as he shares a little on the history of the rivalry between Shaw and Cathay in their heydays. The restored version in the DVD is pristine, save for one or two scenes in soft focus which seemed a little blur. Audio transfer is great too. The only pity is that it's not in Anamorphic Widescreen.

Reviewed by KRS_kungfu 10 / 10 / 10

How come they can't do it like this today?

This movie has it all -- meaning that it's directed by King Hu, and stars Cheng Peipei. The wire work is flawless, the use slow motion breathless, and the butt kicking is epic. The mistaken identity plot RE: Cheng is the same as a lot of pictures from this time -- but King Hu does it with real flair in this one. I was put on to this movie and King Hu in general by a guy I spar with every week at Fu. Cheng's moves are fluid and inspiring. Pay particular attention to how it is that she's able to take on multiple opponents -- I can't say exactly what style she's using, but it's surprsingly believable considering many actors of the time did more ballet/Peking opera acrobatrics, than actual ancient forms. This is a must see for anyone into martial arts.

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