In 1970, swordsmen and kung-fu aces swept through the Hong Kong film industry as never before, becoming the dominant trend and conquering the box office. No screen team was more triumphant than the “iron triangle” of director Chang Cheh and his protégés David Chiang and Ti Lung. The Heroic Ones is their quintessential historical epic, set during the waning years of the Tang Dynasty and centering on a royal family with thirteen sons. It is literally brother against brother as various factions scramble for control, with David Chiang and Ti Lung displaying their martial arts prowess as they battle insiders and outsiders. The Heroic Ones was a gigantic success in Hong Kong, far ahead of such Hollywood blockbusters as Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and Patton in that year’s box office sweepstakes.
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