A Touch of Zen
A Touch of Zen (1969)

According to this drama, set in 14th-century China, a state-run secret police organization made life a living hell for anyone with the temerity to cross it. In the story, a noblewoman is in hiding. When a police spy tries to take her to his… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1969
DVD Release Date: December 10, 2002
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
94%
Flixster
User Score
81%

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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tony Rayns
Time Out

The visual style will set your eyes on fire.

Full review…
Ray Pride
Newcity

A vigorous heroine, ghosts, balletic battles, political friction, the greenest of green bamboo and a mystical ending that satisfies without resolution.

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Michael Jaconelli
The Skinny

King Hu's visionary Ming Dynasty epic stands as one of the cornerstones of the wuxia genre.

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A.H. Weiler
New York Times

[King Hu] has not ignored traditional mayhem here, but he has demonstrated that pictorial artistry, Zen mysticism and the stylized martial arts, can make a fascinating mix.

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Matt Prigge
Metro

Its closest analog may be Sergio Leone's 'Once Upon a Time in the West': arty yet dirty, super-long and instantly iconic yet enjoyable as pure genre junk.

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Anton Bitel
Little White Lies

...the film's supernatural machinery evaporates only to be replaced with a magical kind of Buddhist spiritualism (the titular 'touch of Zen') that reconfigures everything that has preceded into religio-philosophical allegory.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

A widely acclaimed martial arts film (1971) by Hong Kong's King Hu, one of the handful of directors to have worked in the genre with artistic ambitions.

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Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

Often stiff and ungainly, A Touch of Zen is still undeniably impressive.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

A Touch of Zen is at the same time a study of rural life, a ghost story, a discussion of philosophical ideas and a thrilling fight film, with each element being handled with rare skill by Hu.

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More reviews for A Touch of Zen

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
it's not a typical wuxia film. it's a philosophical epic from the most artistic of the original martial arts directors, king hu, that takes a full… More
MJS MJS
A few months back someone recommended this to me as a predecessor to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The movie did exactly what it was recommended to do for me,… More
Lanning : )
The length of this movie does not bother me. I'll sit through any engaging film, no matter how long it is. What bothers me is the engagement angle. If a… More
Lesley N
Early 70's wuxia film about Ku, living with his mum in an abandoned fort, Yang mysterious and attractive and baddy Eunuch Wei who's trying to kill… More