Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Gender Bender
Short Take: Hong Kong comedic action film. The daughter of the ruling general works for the guerrillas and passes as a man.
Alternate Titles: Do ma daan
Year: 1986
Duration: 104 min
Language: Hong Kong/Chinese
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Hark Tsui
Writer: Raymond To
Starring: Brigitte Lin, Cherie Chung, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang

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+Alt Tags+This is a Hong Kong comedic action film with major elements of gender ambiguity. Taking place in 1912 China, revolutionaries are conspiring to overthrow warlords and form a democracy. Cao Yan (Brigitte Lin, Swordsman III, Dragon Inn, Peony Pavilion), the daughter of the ruling general, is working for the guerrillas. She dresses as a man, keeping her real identity a secret and giving her the freedom to travel around.

On the run, they end up hiding in the home of Bai Niu (Sally Yeh), whose father is in charge of the Peking Opera. She desperately wants to be an actress, but only men are allowed in the cast, effeminate ones playing women’s roles, as was the custom at the time. The man who plays the lead female role is even ordered to become a husband of the Commander, who finds him attractive. Bai Niu changes places with him so that he can escape, and she can finally get her chance on stage playing a man pretending to be a woman.

The third woman joining the group as they fight for the cause is Sheung Hung (Cherie Chung), a singer who is also a thief. Will they all escape alive, or will Cao Yan’s secret identity be revealed?

Also contains a great rooftop fight sequence and lots of gun play, in addition to action scenes as part of the opera performances. (AB)