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Fong Sai-yuk ( ; Yale Cantonese: Fong1 Sai3 Yuk6) is a 1993 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Corey Yuen and starring Jet Li as Chinese folk hero Fong Sai-yuk. It was released in North America under the alternate title The Legend.


The brash, eager and highly ambitious Fong Sai-yuk meets the beautiful Lui Ting-Ting during a track and field competition and falls in love with her. Lui Ting-Ting is the daughter of the hot-headed hooligan Tiger Lui. Lui stages a martial arts competition for interested men to participate and win his daughter's hand in marriage. The contestant must defeat Lui's wife Siu-Wan in order to win. Fong joins the contest at his friends' urging and defeats Siu-Wan in an intense fight. He catches a glimpse of his future bride, who is actually a servant maid to replace the missing Lui Ting-Ting. Fong decides to forfeit the match and he leaves.

Fong's mother Miu Chui-Fa enters the contest in disguise as a man to help her son win back the lost glory. She defeats Siu-Wan and knocks her off the scaffold. Miu catches Siu-Wan as she falls and they land safely on the ground. After that intimate moment together, Siu-Wan becomes romantically attracted to Miu, as she is unaware that Miu is actually a woman in disguise. Lui forces Miu to marry his daughter. To save his mother from embarrassment, Fong marries Lui Ting-Ting instead on behalf of his "brother" (his mother in disguise as a man) and is henceforth confined inside his father-in-law's house. He is unaware that his bride is actually his love interest and they have a fight together in the dark. They find out each other's identities eventually.

Miu manages to persuade Tiger Lui to let her son return home. Just then, Fong's father Fong Tak returns home from a trip. Fong Sai-Yuk discovers later that his father is actually a member of the anti-Qingmarker secret society Red Flower Society, which aims to overthrow the ruling Manchu dynasty and restore Han Chinese rule to China. While Fong Tak is having a conversation with some members, they are ambushed by government soldiers led by the Governor of Kau Man. The Governor demands that Fong Tak hand over the name list of the society's members. Fong Tak refuses and just then Fong Sai Yuk and his mother appear. Fong Sai Yuk fights with the Governor and holds him off until his parents have escaped.

Fong and his family enter their in-laws' residence to hide from the government, but the Governor appears and recognises them. Fong Sai Yuk and the others manage to escape but his father is captured. Siu-Wan dies after suffering a gunshot wound. Fong Sai-Yuk lies to his mother that his father has been rescued and decides to rescue his father alone without her knowing. Fong Sai Yuk appears at the execution ground on time and fights with the Governor to rescue his father. At the critical moment, Fong's mother appears together with the Red Flower Society's members and their leader Chan Ka-Lok. They emerge victorious in the battle, defeating the Governor and rescuing Fong Tak. Before the film ends, Chan accepts Fong as his godson and Fong joins his godfather on their noble quest and they ride off into the sunset together.


Alternate versions

U.S and H.K versions

Dimension re-scored, re-edited and dubbed the film in English only. Removed scenes include Sai-Yuk curling his mother's hair and testing Tiger Lui's patience with a racket. The UK DVD had this version and additionally contains a BBFC cut to remove the sight of an illegal horse-fall (during the finale).

The Universe re-mastered DVD is the HK version (with removable English subtitles), but is slightly cut. The uncut version can be found on any other release by Universe, but with embedded subtitles (on the LD and non-remastered DVD). Other uncut versions include the (French) HKVideo and (Japanese) Klockworx DVDs (containing no English subtitles).

Mainland Chinese version

The China DVD release from Tung Ah contains this Mandarin-dubbed version (with embedded Chinese and English subtitles). The following differences:
  1. Alternate opening title Gong Fu Huang Di (功夫皇帝). The credits are all in Chinese.
  2. The opening: a woman attempts to kill the emperor with a shoe knife, but has her leg chopped off.
  3. Track and field: extended sequence of the men waving the flags.
  4. Death of Siu-Wan: Lui Ting Ting cries after she and Fong Sai Yuk come out into the rain.
  5. Final battle: Chan Ka Lok thrusts his sword into the Governor's chest. The camera zooms in to the Governor lighting a firecracker.
  6. Ending: the song playing in the background is in Mandarin instead of Cantonese, whilst the credits simply play without Tiger Lui tossing the name list.


Box office

Fong Sai-yuk was a box office hit on Hong Kong, grossing HK $30,666,842. As a result, a sequel, Fong Sai-yuk II, was commissioned immediately and released the very same year.

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