The Valiant Ones (1975) Blu-ray version

King Hu’s last great masterpiece from the golden age of wuxia cinema. Starring Roy Chiao with action choreography by Sammo Hung.

Presented from a brand new 4K restoration on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, as part of the Masters of Cinema Series. Available from 27th May 2024 in the UK (home video debut), and from 28th May 2024 in North America courtesy of Eureka Entertainment and Amazon!



The ever-popular Roy Chiao-hung stars as “General Yu Dayou”. Chiao will be familiar to many movie fans from his roles in “A Touch of Zen“, “The Fate of Lee Khan”, “Enter the Dragon“, “Game of Death“, “Bloodsport” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.

Pai Ying stars as “Wu Ji-Yuan”. He has featured in dozens of classics including “Dragon Gate Inn”, “A Touch of Zen“, “Lady Whirlwind“, “The Fate of Lee Khan” and “Royal Warriors“.

A regular in King Hu’s movies, Taiwanese actress Hsu Feng plays “Wu Ruo-shi”. Having appeared in classics such as “Dragon Inn”, “A Touch of Zen“, “The Fate of Lee Khan”, and “Raining in the Mountain“, Hsu also produced the highly acclaimed “Farewell My Concubine”.

A true legend of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, a youthful Sammo Hung plays the Japanese villain & pirate “Bo Duo-Jin/ Hakatatsu”, as well as choreographing the onscreen action.

In a career spanning six decades, he has worked with some of the best in the business, from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan. His work as a performer, choreographer and director helped to reshape and evolve modern screen fighting action as we know it.

From his earliest works such as “Iron Fisted Monk”, “Warriors Two”, “Knockabout”, “The Prodigal Son”, to his comedies and collaborations with his fellow “Fortunes” opera brothers, including “Encounters of the Spooky Kind”, “My Lucky Stars”, “Eastern Condors”, “Wheels on Meals”, to modern-day hits such as “SPL/ Kill Zone”, “Call of Heroes”, “Ip Man”, “Paradox” and “The Bodyguard”, there are very few others who have delivered such a variety of action to consistently high quality levels over such a long career.

Martial arts action director and actor Han Ying-Chieh features as “Island Owner Xu Dong”. In a career spanning from 1955 to 1990, Han appeared dozens of classic movies, notably “Come Drink With Me”, “Dragon Inn”, “The Big Boss”, “A Touch of Zen”, “Fist of Fury”, and “Swordsman”.

Look out for Seven Little Fortunes members Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, Corey Yuen Kwai and other notable Hong Kong action legends including Yuen Siu Tien, Mars, Stephen Tung Wai, and Billy Chan Wui-Ngai.


During the reign of the Jiajing Emperor, China’s coastal regions have come under attack by wokou – Japanese pirates under the leadership of the infamous Hakatatsu.

To combat this threat, the Emperor tasks a trusted general, Zhu Wan, with assembling a group of skilled warriors to find and eliminate the pirates.

Under the command of General Yu Dayou, the band of soldiers – including husband-and-wife sword-fighters Wu Ji-yuan and Wu Ruo-shi – set out to draw Hakatatsu, his ally Xu Dong and their pirate clan into a series of spectacular showdowns.


The action in The Valiant Ones is used to serve the chess-like plot.

A tactical master, General Yu Dayou is constantly considering his next move to outwit or set up the enemy pirates.

THE VALIANT ONES “Under attack from Japanese pirates” Movie Clip

Initially we have a short chase employing swordplay for the combat. The choreography is swift and fluid, beautifully captured in King Hu’s trademark long tracking shots.

When bandits are encountered in the woods, archery is the discipline of choice. The arrows whistle between the trees to find their mark in a battle of wits.

THE VALIANT ONES “The bandits strike” Film Clip

It’s not all ancient weapons though. There are some standout hand-to-hand fights.

Taking place in the countryside, there is no wirework, or anything especially acrobatic, despite the frequent use of Chinese opera music to accompany the action.

The choreography instead focuses on some traditional longfist strikes, blocks and grapples.

In the pirates lair however, we have a very young Yuen Biao and Yuen Wah playing the cannon fodder.

With Sammo Hung orchestrating the action, it is therefore almost inevitable that they sell the hits with some spectacular somersaults, flips and falls. The Drunken Master himself Simon Yuen Siu Tien also rocks up as an archery expert.

Another veteran of the Seven Little Fortunes, Cheung Wing Fat AKA Mars appears as a Japanese swordsman, ferociously swinging his katana.

The finale features lots of fast and furious sword fighting as our heavily outnumbered heroes engage dozens of enemies, before settling down to the one-on-one encounters with the pirate leaders.


As you might expect, this is a sumptuous-looking cinematic spectacle, especially in the ultra high definition restoration, but somehow less “arty” than a film like “A Touch of Zen”.

The performances, especially from Roy Chiao, are all good, mostly avoiding the hyper-drama that sometimes creeps into films of this genre and era.

The Sammo Hung-choreographed action is also of a high standard, ranging from grounded fights and sword duels, to more acrobatic antics when his Opera brothers join the mayhem.

For the academics and cinephiles the Eureka release is absolutely packed with some excellent featurettes.

There is a brand new audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng revealing details about this film’s production, the background to Hu’s relationships with the distributors, and his auteur style.

THE VALIANT ONES (Masters of Cinema) Blu-ray Unboxing

Tony Rayns gives a summarised history of wuxia movies from the 1920s leading up to and including King Hu’s career. The documentary “Tsar of all Wuxia” is an essay on the art and cinematography of King Hu’s style.

An interview with stuntman Billy Chan discusses his career and involvement in some of Hong Kong cinema’s most popular classics.

There is also an interview with Ng Ming Choi who gives a fascinating insight into Hu’s personality and philosophies on telling stories through a visual medium.

There are archival interviews with actress Hsu Feng and Ng Ming-choi by Frédéric Ambroisine, and “Memories of Hu”, a 2003 interview with Roger Garcia from the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

THE VALIANT ONES (Masters of Cinema) 4K Ultra HD Unboxing

Fans of King Hu’s other, hugely influential, works and wuxia movies in general, will enjoy this presentation of perhaps one of his most commercial in style martial arts films. For the movie buffs, they will lap up the extra features and interviews, all running at twenty minutes-plus each.

A stunningly restored package for fans!


  • Roy Chiao dubbed his own voice for the original English language version of the film.
  • The Valiant Ones was filmed back to back with The Fate of Lee Khan, featuring many of the same cast members. It was released two years after!
  • The Valiant Ones was screened at the 1975 Chicago International Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Feature Film.
The Valiant Ones on Blu Ray 4K UHD UK and USA


Film Rating: 7/10

“The Valiant Ones” in this fantastic Blu-ray package is available now courtesy of Eureka Entertainment and Amazon!

Have you enjoyed Eureka’s collection of newly restored classics? Which other old school wuxia films or martial art movie classics would you like to see receive the same restoration treatment? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

LOVE 1970’s HONG KONG ACTION? FIND MORE CLASSIC GEMS among these Top 10’s, Top 5’s, exclusive interviews, get nostalgic in KFK wear, and look out for more G-OLDEN SCHOOL ACTION classics on YouTube!

Glen Stanway

Influenced by the movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Glen began training in martial arts and gymnastics in 1995. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Glen is the author of "The Art of Coaching" and "Fearless The Story of Chin Woo Kung Fu", and runs a kung fu & kickboxing school in Hertfordshire, England.

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