He's So Good He Needs Just One Arm
When the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu comes under attack from an evil gang one student sacrifices their life to save those of others, requesting that in honour his son Fang Kang be allowed to become a student. But Fang Kang's presence at the school does not go down well with the other students who after he refuses to fight his teacher's daughter angers her and she ends up chopping off his arm. After leaving the school Fang Kang is found by a poor girl who nurses him back to health. Now the school finds itself under attack once again from the same gang and only Fang Kang will be able to save the school like his father did before him.
When it comes to old martial arts movies, those which sprung out of Hong Kong I have a passing liking for them as in one every now and then will entertain me but if I watched several in a month I would soon become tired by them. It is why I don't hold "One-Armed Swordsman" in such high esteem as those who are clearly passionate about these older martial arts movies or in this case a martial arts sword movie.
Now as a general movie fan one of the most important things for me is that "One-Armed Swordsman" is easy enough to follow that you don't need to rely over heavily on the subtitles to make sense of it. Just with a little prompting you can pick up on the vibe at the Chi school with the other students causing Fang Kang issues and so on. It also has a good pace weaving between exposition and action so that those who are watching more for the action will find themselves not struggling with the bits in between where it is building up the story.
As for the action well this is where it gets sticky because for me it is good but nothing special as we watch some elaborate and nicely choreographed sword fight scenes whilst these scenes are accompanied by the expected moments of super human leaping around and so on. But whilst nothing special for me I would imagine that in the history of these movies this one probably set a trend, paved the way and so on so that those who aficionados of the genre will probably appreciate the detail which makes this such a beloved movie.
What this all boils down to is that for those just looking for entertainment will find "One-Armed Swordsman" exactly that. But for those with a deeper interest in these early martial arts movies I am sure there is something specific which makes this stand out from the crowd.