ⓘ The Pirate (1973 film)


ⓘ The Pirate (1973 film)

The Pirate is a 1973 Hong Kong action martial arts film directed by Chang Cheh, Pao Huseh-li and Wu Ma. The film is based on the life of 19th-century pirate Cheung Po Tsai, who is portrayed by Ti Lung.


1. Plot synopsis

Pirate Cheung Po Tsai sails to a shoreline southern China disguised as a rich trader. There, the villagers live in poverty due to struggle against exploitation and corruption by the government. At the same time, Cheung attracts the attention of merchant Xiang You-lin Tin Ching and his sister, who are keen on killing him for a bounty offered on Cheung. Cheung then agrees to expedite funds to them in the form of cash and goods stolen from foreign invading colonists. While still on land, Cheung discovers that one of his former crew member Hua Er-dao Fan Mei-sheng, who is an escaped convict, has captured his ship, goods and his crew. As Hua determines to seek vengeance on him, Cheung flees and seeks refuge in a casino.

The admiral of the Qing imperial court sends young general Wu Yee David Chiang to investigate where pirates are hiding and ultimately finds Cheung. As the two encounter each other, each of them display their skills in duel while also appreciating each other. Wu eventually grows respect for Cheung for his righteous nature and begins to question his own conscience. He decides to let Cheung escape the government forces tracking him, facilitating Cheung a boat. Cheung promises Wu Yee that they will meet again and finish their fight on their next encounter.


2. Cast

  • Chui Fat as Pirate
  • Fan Mei-shang as Hua Er-dao
  • Tin Ching as Xiang You-lin
  • Wong Ching-ho as Deseperate fisherman
  • Wu Chi-chin as corrupt policeman
  • Shum Lo as Casino clerk
  • Lee Chiu as Pirate
  • Yue Fung as 2nd Miss
  • Lo Dik as Leader at the ship docks
  • Ti Lung as Cheung Po Tsai
  • Bruce Tong as Ma Ping
  • Cheng Keng-yeh as secret agent
  • Tung Choi-bo as Casino Guard
  • Yeung Chak-lam as corrupt policeman
  • Liu Wai as Brothel Boss
  • Lee Yung-kit as Pirate who gambles in casino
  • David Chiang as General Wu Yee
  • Ko Hung as Xiao Bao
  • Lau Gong as Zeng Guo-xiong
  • Yuen Shun-yi as Pirate
  • Tino Wong as thug
  • Dean Shek as Master Bai
  • Lau Chun-fai as thug
  • Yuen Man-tzu as Hai Tang
  • Leung Seung-wan as Master Shing
  • Wang Kuang-yu as secret agent

3. Critical reception

James Mudge of Beyond Hollywood gave the film a positive review and writes "Well made and featuring charismatic turns from two of the studio’s biggest stars, it should appeal not only to Shaw Brothers aficionados, but to all fans of the pirate film." Matthew Le-feuvre of City on Fire rated the film 8 stars out of 10 and writes "the defining novelty of both Ti Lung and David Chiang spearheading their eighteenth collaboration for an indelible saga of obligation, revenge and misguided loyalties, is itself a landmark achievement even by Hollywood conventions."