7.5/10
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Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978)

Se ying diu sau (original title)
PG | | Action, Comedy | November 1982 (USA)
Jackie Chan is a boy who is used as a janitor at his kung-fu school. Jackie Chan can't fight and is always getting bullied by the teachers and pupils. One day an old man helps Jackie train ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Chien Fu (as Lung Cheng)
Siu Tin Yuen ...
Grandmaster Pai Cheng-Tien (as Hsiao-Tien Yuan)
Jang Lee Hwang ...
Lord Sheng Kuan (as Cheng-Li Huang)
Dean Shek ...
Teacher Li (as Tien Shih)
Roy Horan ...
Russian
Hark-On Fung ...
Snake Fist School Master
Lung Chan ...
Substitute Instructor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tien Lung Chen ...
Three Provinces Champ
Yao Lin Chen ...
Master Hung (Hung Wei School)
Kam Chiang ...
Ah Kwai, Magistrate's son
Hsia Chien
...
Mr. Liang - brick-breaking demo
Hsia Hsu ...
Su Chen
Chiang Wang
Gam Yam ...
Chang, The Cook
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Storyline

Jackie Chan is a boy who is used as a janitor at his kung-fu school. Jackie Chan can't fight and is always getting bullied by the teachers and pupils. One day an old man helps Jackie train in an art of kung-fu called the ' Snake's Fist '. Jackie doesn't get bullied again. Then Jacki creates his own style and mixes it with the Snake's Fist. His style is based on the movement and actions of a cat. One day the old man is in trouble by a man who does ' The Eagle's Claw' and Jackie helps the old man. Written by Jagtar Basi <jagtar@basi.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

November 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eagle's Shadow  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The combination of comedy, martial arts, stunts and acrobatics had been done before, in Chia-Liang Liu's 1975 film, Spiritual Boxer. However, the release of Snake in the Eagle's Shadow heralded a new direction for Hong Kong action movies. See more »

Goofs

The Russian's sword wobbles and bends throughout the whole fight in which he uses it. See more »

Quotes

Lord Sheng Kuan: [after Chien Fu surprises him with his new technique] That technique! That isn't Snake Fist style! What is that?
Chien Fu: Hmmph! Cat's Claw!
[Chien Fu proceeds to attack again]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gordo Master vs. Twin Snakes (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great things are about to happen...
19 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ej's kung-fu capsule review for films of the chop-socky old-school -

1. basic plot type - Clan vs. clan; special styles clash; young man comes of age learning kung fu from older master.

2. plot construction - Pretty strong, and easy to follow. Director Yuen adds some very nice touches, such as when Chan introduces the old master to his only friend - a cat.

3. dramatic - Occasionally, in its emphasis on the relation between the old master and his young student.

4. funny - Occasionally - this is still early for Chan, but he is already playing his role with a bit of light irony.

5. dialog - competent but no shocks here.

6. cast performance - Strong all around.

7. crew performance - Seem to be aware that they are on the verge of a technical breakthrough in 'fu film-making, but this isn't quite it. ("It" is the later "Drunken Master", of course.)

8. amount of fighting - Lots.

9. quality of fighting - Over-all, really darn good.

10. special any cast or crew notes - After years of effort, the success of this film at last made Chan a star in Hong Kong's film market, and brought to a head the tensions between Chan and the producer to whom he was contracted, Lo Wei. Although Lo would always insist that he 'discovered' Chan, all he really wanted was a capable and charismatic young fighter he could mold into another Bruce Lee. Lo hated this film, and all other early Chan attempts to change the traditional chop-socky formula. But this film shows that Chan was very much his own man with his own vision; while the plot is pretty standard for this genre, Chan's performance is refreshingly new.

Fortunately, Chan's ties with Lo would soon be severed, allowing the development of the Chan we've all come to admire.

Chan is also aided here by the early effort of Choreographer/ director Yuen Woo Ping. Yuen's direction waffles a bit in spots, but this is clearly because he has a sense that there can be more to a martial arts film than we see in many chop-socky films of the era; he's still learning to articulate that.

Besides countless imitations, the film spawned two direct sequels; one (SiES II) was produced by the same production company and starred Wong Tao; it is interesting in a quirky, eccentric way thanks to the supporting actors; but Wong Tao is no Jackie Chan. The other sequel, known as "The Jade Claw" appears to have been put together by the Yuen Clan to continue the developing reputation of Simon Yuen. Unfortunately, the elder Yuen died before the film was finished, and the continuity is terrible. Still, Billie Chong, star of that film, does a lot better as a Jackie Chan imitator than Wong Tao ever could.

Chan himself refused to revisit this story for a sequel, and I think the decision wise - this film is genius in the making, all around; but the genius isn't made yet - that would appear later, and with much greater impact, in Drunken Master.

11. big positive - Simon Yuen's most credible performance as the old master.

12. big negative - The cat's-claw style Chan develops in this film is not all that impressive; that creates a weakness in the finale. There are also allusions in the dialog to plot threads that never show up.

Bottom-line - who should see this movie - Chan fans; Martial Arts fans; chop-socky fans; Yuen clan fans. Its a solid action film, but may be too much a part of its genre for more general audiences.


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