The first of some 20 adaptations from martial arts novels by Gu Long made at Shaw Brothers by Chu Yuan (latterly better known by his Cantonese name, Chor Yuen). This is essentially a triad gangster movie in period drag, centred on the struggle for underworld supremacy of the Longmen and Roc clans; Gu admitted inspiration from The Godfather, and it's easy to see the shadow of Mario Puzo looming over all the tricks, traps, fluid loyalties and ruthless hits. The dramatic focus is on the trust - or is that rivalry? - between Sun (Ku), head of the Longmen clan, and his lieutenant Lü (Yueh). But that leaves the ostensible protagonist Meng (Chung, dull) looking like the wallflower at the dance: he's a freelance swordsman hired to kill Sun who ends up fighting for him because he's fallen in love with his virginal daughter (Ching). The broken-backed plotting also reduces the action to a supporting role.