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The Magnificent Trio (1966)

Set in the Ming Dynasty, the film opens with a young man Lu Fang (Jimmy Wang Yu) escaping after a battle with the Manchurians into a territory where the people are exploited by a cruel magistrate.

Lu Fang helps the villagers in their issues with the magistrate although he is shocked to see they have kidnapped the magistrate’s daughter. When he realises it is simply an act of desperation to improve their horrifically low standards of living and extremely high taxation he joins the cause fully. The magistrate also holds an important petition from the townspeople.

Becoming increasingly frustrated, the magistrate hires bandits, assassins, and another fighter named Huang Liang (Cheng Lui) to get his daughter back. Huang is in fact an old friend of Lu Fang, who quickly recognizes Lu from past battles in the frontier and joins him in fighting the bandits and assassins.

The standoff comes to an abrupt end when the magistrate threatens the life of one of the farmer’s daughters. Lu convinces the magistrate to punish him in place of the farmers. Then Lu finds out that he has been lied to.

The magistrate’s daughter (Chin Ping) and a peerless fighter (Lo Lieh), along with Huang help Lu to escape and recover the petition. Finally, our heroes make sure that the petition will get to a higher-ranking official so that the town’s suffering, starvation, and unfair taxation can end.

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