A Touch of Zen

Synopsis: An artist, Ku, lives with his mother near an abandoned fort, reputed to be haunted. One night, investigating strange noises, he meets the beautiful Yang who is living there. She is being pursued by agents of an Imperial noble who have murdered her family. Ku finds himself caught up in her struggle to survive, and many fierce battles take place before all is resolved. Action adventure with a lyrical feel, this is a kung fu film with a strong spiritual element.
Director(s): King Hu
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
200 min


Based on the story The Magnanimous Girl

by PU Songling

from Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio

(Liaozha iZhiyi), 1679



Executive Producer

XIA-WU Liangfang


ZHANG Jiuying


YANG Shiqing


HSU Feng, SHIH Jun

BAI Ying, TIAN Peng

CAO Jian, MIAO Tian,

ZHANG Bingyu, XUE Han

Guest star:

as Abbot Huiyuan

Director of Photography

HUA Huiying

Assistant Director


Production Design: ZHENG Zhiliang

Art Director:
CHEN Shanglin

Music by WU Dajiang

Martial Arts Choreography

HAN Yingjie, PAN Yaokun

Written and Directed by King HU

"Fort Jinglu"

"General Cheng Yuan's Residence"

"Letter writing and scroll painting"

"Gu Shengzhai"

- Welcome, sir

- Is this your work?

Just humble efforts

It's excellent

May I do a portrait for you?

All right

Please take a seat

May I know your name?

Ouyang Nian

Mr. Ouyang

You must have had a tiring journey

How do you know?

I know almost everyone in this remote town

I've just arrived

You've lived here all your life?


Ah... your hat?

And turn your head to the side

What's your name?

Gu Shengzhai.

Good morning!


You're early today

Can I offer you some tea?

Not now, you're busy. I'll come by later

See you

Mr. Gu...

- Who is he?

- They sell medicinal herbs

- What's his name?

- Lu. Why do you ask?

Is he local?

No, they came about a month ago

He's quite skilled

He has a stall near the temple

Why do you ask?

No reason

Mr. Ouyang...

I'll be back tomorrow

Mind the step!


Mr. Shi

You're back early, Mr. Gu

- Won't you stay a while?

- Another time

See you then

- Bye

- Goodbye

Mother, has someone moved in?

Who'd dare to live there?

Mr. Shi just told your fortune

You know what he said?

I've no idea

Come and eat

He said this is your lucky year

What makes him think that?

I told you, he worked it out

You should take the civil service exam

I'm not interested

Why not?

Why should a sighted man

take a blind man's advice?

Everyone except you wants

to be successful

You're hopeless!

Mother, we may not be rich...

...but we don't starve

When I've saved a little more,

I can open a school

Don't be silly!

You want to be a teacher?

You know the saying...

"Nothing compares to officialdom"

Actually, being a scholar is better!

Why study if you don't want to be an official?

We study to acquire knowledge

But you don't seem to know anything

You're over thirty now...

...but still not married!

Why not?

I'm waiting for the right person

What you mean is, you're too poor!

The Gu family line is going to die out!

"In troubled times, I choose safety..."

"...over jostling for rank and fame"

Don't quote at me!

Save your quotes for the exam!

Oh, you're hopeless!


What's going on?


I was looking...

...to see if anyone was there

Have you gone mad?

No-one lives here

Come home!

Come on!


You shouldn't be out at this hour

See how dirty your clothes are!

Mr. Gu...

May I ask something?

Of course

I hear that Fort Jinglu is near here

It is

Have you been there?

I live next to it

They say it's haunted

Only those who believe in ghosts!

Mr. Ouyang...

I'll mount the finished portrait

Please tell me tomorrow if you like it

Thank you

It's better to be wary of ghosts

Confucius says, don't speak of such things

I'm afraid I can't agree


"it's better to be wary of ghosts..."

"Taoist exorcism spells"


What's all this?


You're behaving like a madman

Let me introduce you

This is Miss Yang

This is my son


Miss Yang...

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King Hu

Hu Jinquan (29 April 1932 – 14 January 1997), better known as King Hu, was a Chinese film director based in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He is best known for directing various wuxia films in the 1960s and 1970s, which brought Chinese cinema (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) to new technical and artistic heights. His films Come Drink with Me (1966), Dragon Inn (1967), and A Touch of Zen (1969–1971) inaugurated a new generation of wuxia films in the late 1960s. Apart from being a film director, Hu was also a screenwriter and set designer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "A Touch of Zen" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Feb. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_touch_of_zen_2048>.

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