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ALL THE KING'S MEN

China, 1983 (MIFF 1983)

Director: King Hu

Shih-chung, King of the Chou Dynasty in the 1st century , suffers from epilepsy and becomes addicted to the medicine prescribed by Occultist Lee, who is conspiring to usurp the throne. The loyal Prime Minister Wang Pu , worrying about the King's health, spares no efforts to send for the best physician Chang Po-chin, who makes it a rule never to go on house call, but will make an exception of the King's case on condition he will be rewarded with the best painting to be painted by the most famous painter WeiPu-i. Unexpectedly Wei is confined in a temple to work on frescoes , which he must complete before he is allowed to make other paintings. And Wei is in the doldrums, for he is unable to work out angels in the frescoes without the most beautiful girl to inspire him in his face.

Occultist Lee pre-empts the chance of meeting the belle and intrigues to make use of her in his conspiracy. Meanwhile the Prime Minister has to resort to the incredible skills of the most noted thief who is to pick the jade from the King amidst a hilarious party and cause him to relapse, so as to provide a chance for the physician Chang to cure the King. The finale is unbelievable but not unreason- able. Anyway, man proposes, God disposes.

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