The Fate Of Lee Khan (HK 1972)

Rating: ***
Director: King Hu
Cast: Angela Mao, Hsu Feng, Tien Feng, Pai Ying, Roy Chiao

A long and boring rip-off of "Dragon Gate Inn" (1966) that fails to live up to the suspense and action of the story. A Mongol prince (Tien Feng) and his sister (enchantingly bitchy Hsu Feng) come to an inn full of rebels and spies. The inn keeper, her allies, and her four adorable fighting waitresses spend about an hour devising plans and schemes for stealing a document from the prince, and the charade finally falls apart at the end with a free-for-all sword fight in the desert. Nearly the entire film takes place inside the inn, but nothing interesting ever happens there. The fighting is also unremarkable, with only Tien Feng, adorable Angela Mao, and Pai Ying getting in some brief, but decent chops. Considered a classic in Hong Kong cinema, this film took three years to complete, but it's hard to tell why since there's only one set. It's very well made and looks great, but the pacing is extremely sluggish. If nothing else, the girls are all nice to look at.