The Water Margin (film)

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The Water Margin
Film poster
MandarinShuí Hǔ Zhuàn
CantoneseSeoi2 Wu2 Cyun4
Directed byChang Cheh
Produced byRun Run Shaw
Screenplay byChang Cheh
Ni Kuang
Story byShi Nai'an
StarringDavid Chiang
Tetsurō Tamba
Music byFrankie Chan
CinematographyKung Mu-to
Edited byKwok Ting-hung
Distributed by
Release date
  • 17 March 1972 (1972-03-17)
Running time
120 minutes
CountryHong Kong

The Water Margin, also known Outlaws of the Marsh and Seven Blows Of The Dragon, is a 1972 Hong Kong film adapted from the Chinese classical novel Water Margin. It was produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio and directed by Chang Cheh.


The plot is based on the story of how "Jade Unicorn" Lu Junyi came to join the outlaw band at Liangshan Marsh and the outlaws' battle with the Zeng Family Fortress.

Liangshan's chief Chao Gai was ambushed and killed by Shi Wengong. His fellows vow to avenge him. The current de facto leaders of Liangshan, Song Jiang and Wu Yong, decide that given Shi Wengong's skill, Lu Junyi (Shi's former fellow student) will be the best person to assist them in taking revenge. The outlaws also note that if they succeed in recruiting Lu Junyi, they will also win over Lu's servant, Yan Qing, who is also a formidable martial artist.

Wu Yong disguises himself as fortune teller and infiltrates the northern capital, where Lu Junyi stays, together with Li Kui, who is disguised as his idiotic assistant. They visit Lu Junyi and lie to him that a great calamity will befall him if he does not travel 1,000 miles to the southeast. Lu Junyi is skeptical of the advice and asks Yan Qing for his opinion. By then, Yan Qing has recognized Li Kui and provokes the hot-tempered Li into a fight. Li Kui is defeated and confined together with Wu Yong. Wu Yong uses reverse psychology on Lu Junyi and manages to persuade Lu to release them. Just then, Lu Junyi's steward Li Gu, who is in a secret affair with Lu's wife, reports the outlaws' presence to the authorities so as to seize his master's fortune. When soldiers arrive to capture the outlaws, Lu Junyi orders Yan Qing to escort Wu Yong and Li Kui safely out while he confronts the soldiers and is arrested. Yan Qing attempts to free Lu Junyi from prison but Lu is captured again when Yan leaves him for a short while.

Yan Qing travels to Liangshan to seek help and he attempts to rob two men for his travel expenses. The two men turn out to be actually outlaws from Liangshan, one of them being Shi Xiu. Shi Xiu goes to find Lu Junyi while his companion brings Yan Qing back to Liangshan. While in the city, Shi Xiu sees that Lu Junyi is about to be executed in the market square so he storms the area alone in an attempt to free Lu. Both Lu Junyi and Shi Xiu are eventually overwhelmed by soldiers and taken into captive.

Meanwhile, Yan Qing meets the Liangshan outlaws and they plan to infiltrate the northern capital to save Lu Junyi and Shi Xiu. They take strategic positions around the execution ground and attack the soldiers when the prisoners are about to be beheaded. This time, the outlaws overpower the guards and swiftly take control of the area. Accompanied by the outlaws, Lu Junyi marches home and kills his disloyal steward Li Gu while his adulterous wife is slain by Yan Qing.

As the outlaws leave the city, they run into Shi Wengong and his men, resulting in both sides clashing in an immense battle. Shi Wengong's forces are routed so he challenges the outlaws to engage him and his five students in man-on-man duels. The five students fight with Lin Chong, Li Kui, Hu Sanniang, Wu Song and Shi Xiu, while Lu Junyi faces Shi Wengong. By the time the five heroes had defeated Shi Wengong's students, Lu Junyi was still locked his duel with Shi. Yan Qing and Li Kui join in the fray and Shi Wengong is injured gravely but still remains alive. After declaring that Lu Junyi is now the new leader of Liangshan, Shi Wengong stops everyone from approaching and commits suicide. The outlaws, seeing that their quest for vengeance is now complete, ride back to their stronghold and the film ends.


  • David Chiang as Yan Qing
  • Tetsurō Tamba as Lu Junyi
  • Toshio Kurosawa as Shi Wengong
  • Tung Lam as Chao Gai
  • Ku Feng as Song Jiang
  • Chin Feng as Wu Yong
  • Elliot Ngok as Lin Chong
  • Wong Chung as Shi Xiu
  • Ti Lung as Wu Song
  • Lily Ho Li Li [fr] as Hu Sanniang
  • Fan Mei-sheng as Li Kui
  • Wu Ma as Shi Qian
  • Cheng Lui as Wang Ying
  • Paul Chun as Hua Rong
  • Chen Kuan-tai as Shi Jin
  • Danny Lee as Zhang Shun
  • Wu Chi-chin as Yang Xiong
  • Lee Hang as Dai Zong
  • Lau Dan as Lei Heng
  • Lei Lung as Qin Ming
  • Pang Pang as Lu Zhishen
  • Zhang Yang as Chai Jin
  • Leung Seung-wan as Liu Tang
  • Lo Wai as Zhu Tong
  • Ho Hon-chau as Zhang Heng
  • Tin Ching as Li Gu
  • Ling Ling as Madam Jia (Lu Junyi's wife)
  • Ruby Siu Siu as Xu Hong
  • Woo Wai as Cai Fu
  • Yeung Chak-lam as Cai Qing
  • Liu Wai as Dong Chao
  • Lee Man-tai as Xue Ba
  • Lee Wan-chung as Grand Secretary Liang Shijie
  • Shum Lo as chief clerk
  • Wong Ching-ho as court clerk
  • Nam Seok-hun as Wen Da
  • Lau Gong as Li Cheng
  • Cheng Miu as Zeng Nong
  • Tong Yim-chan as Zeng Sheng
  • Wang Kuang-yu as Zeng Mi
  • Wong Pau-gei as Zeng Suo
  • Chan Chuen as Zeng Kui
  • Cheung Ban as Zeng Tu
  • Nam Wai-lit as chief wrestler
  • Gai Yuen as wrestler
  • Wong Ching as wrestler
  • Cheung Hei as old man
  • Tsang Choh-lam as innkeeper
  • Chin Chun as Lu Junyi's servant
  • Ko Fei as Lu Junyi's servant
  • Sai Gwa-pau as Lu Junyi's servant
  • Fuk Yan-cheng as Lu Junyi's servant
  • Ko Hung as Lu Junyi's servant / bandit
  • Huang Ha as Lu Junyi's servant / Zeng militiaman
  • Yeung Pak-chan as Lu Junyi's servant / Zeng militiaman
  • Yuen Shun-yee as Zeng militiaman
  • Law Keung as Zeng militiaman
  • Ho Bo-sing as Zeng militiaman
  • Fung Hap-so as Zeng militiaman
  • Yee Kwan as constable
  • Yi Fung as constable
  • Chui Fat as constable
  • Chow Kong as constable
  • Chow Yun-gin as constable
  • Chan Dik-hak as constable
  • Tam Bo as constable
  • Kong Chuen as constable
  • Cheung Chi-ping as constable
  • Ling Hon as constable carrying execution placard
  • Tung Choi-bo as constable / Zeng militiaman
  • Lau Jun-fai as soldier
  • San Kuai as bandit
  • Lee Wan-miu as wrestling spectator
  • To Wing-leung as wrestling spectator
  • Chai Lam as wrestling spectator
  • Gam Tin-chue as wrestling spectator
  • Bak Yu as mamasan
  • Yen Shi-kwan
  • Yuen Cheung-yan
  • Wong Cheung
  • Fung Hak-on
  • Ho Kei-cheong
  • Fung Ming


The film was bought for release in the US by New World Pictures. Roger Corman cut out a third of the film, had the Shaw brothers shoot an additional sex scene and added a new narration.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christopher T Koetting, Mind Warp!: The Fantastic True Story of Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Hemlock Books. 2009 p 60

External links[edit]