|Behind the scenes with Shih Szu.|
DID an incident occur during the making of this film, prompting those at Shaw Brothers to bar their wuxia star Shih Szu from doing any more action-oriented leads not long after? It's a question yet to be answered satisfactorily in my mind.
The fansite Shaw Brothers Reloaded relates that sometime during '73-'74, "she heavily injured her right arm during a movie shoot", resulting in her being restricted "to play 'damsel-in-distress' roles only." Lady of the Law was put out in '75, but it's possible it was completed in '74 and its release temporarily delayed; this happened with Shaw pictures once in a while, so this fits into SBR's scenario. However, once I saw her in The Proud Youth, a '78 "sleeper" from Sun Chung, she was back doing a physical part, albeit a limited one in contrast to years past; based on this, any imposed ban wasn't a permanent one.
Regardless of how it came about, the notion is Szu was not happy with being treated like fragile china, as a result. Partly on advice from Ti Lung, she would find action on some independent productions (like the '79 Massacre Survivor) until her Shaw contract expired in '80; from there, she did TV work in Taiwan until she left the entertainment industry in '87. Considering how Fu Sheng's Shaw career got mucked up with his "Black September" on-set accidents, Szu was wise to get out while she was still in one piece. This fact alone makes Brother Fang relish all her movies now out on DVD that much more, including LotL, her "swansong" to Shaw wuxia films.
Shih Szu does the "Lady of the Law" reasonably straight. If she's not playing a supercop in this, then she's a very persistant, savvy person who gives Chen or other troublemakers a reason to fear the wrath of her blades. Again, she breezes easily through portraying another wuxia heroine, which includes doing what stunts she did (which appears to be the majority of them). Then again, she always did a great job in her movies for Shaw, whether she did fighting or not.
In the end, LotL is your typical above-average Shaw production that looks and plays better than some HK "A" pictures of the '70s. The remastered film and audio on this DVD complement the original presentation; it's a movie that anyone who loves Lo Lieh or Shih Szu absolutely needs to add to their collection.
Given a choice, I'll take Lady of the Law over She's the Sheriff any day!
Recommended by Brother Fang!
Keeping it trivial....
Fang Shih-yu, Shaolin Temple.
P.S. - Purchase it from PlayAsia by clicking on here.