The Sentimental Swordsman is a 1977 Hong Kong wuxia film written and directed by Chor Yuen and produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio. It stars Ti Lung, Derek Yee, Ching Li, Yueh Hua, Fan Mei-sheng and Ku Feng. The film is based on Duoqing Jianke Wuqing Jian of Gu Long's Xiaoli Feidao Series of novels.
It was one of Shaw Brothers' highest grossing films in the studio's history, and it was followed by a sequel, Return of the Sentimental Swordsman, in 1981. An in-name-only "sequel", Perils of the Sentimental Swordsman, was released in 1982, with no relation to the main character of Little Flying Dagger Li, being based instead in the Lu Xiaofeng novel series (also by Gu Long), and its previous film adaptations.
Due to his own extreme ideals, famed swordsman Li has lost everyone dear to him. After his life is saved by a rival swordsman, Li's overwhelming pride makes him forsake the woman he loves and lets her marry his saviour. Now resigned to traveling the country with his loyal aide, Li's only comfort is alcohol and the simple life he has now accepted. On one such journey, the lonely swordsman befriends the exceptionally skilled, yet secretive Fei who has his own pressures to contend with. Li then finds himself embroiled in a battle to own the highly prized 'gold armour shirt' — a protective vest that can withstand any blow.
As he discovers that many of the people he meets have a hidden agenda, Li realizes that Fei is the only man he can truly trust. This new friendship is put under a test when the 'sentimental swordsman' is hunted down by numerous hired killers and framed for a series of crimes he didn't commit. The person behind Li's troubles proves to be elusive, though all the clues seem to point to the legendary 'Plum Blossom Bandit', a disguised figure whose identity has long proved elusive to the martial world.