Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
38 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Great things are about to happen...
winner5519 October 2006
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.
13 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Jackie's First Success
no-skyline18 August 2005
I believe this was Jackie Chan's first widely successful movie freed from the constraints of Lo Wei and working with a different director allowed Jackie to move into a different direction and stop trying to be the new Bruce Lee (as if anyone ever could be!).

Surprisingly the humour translates pretty well and both Jackies cruel martial arts school employer and the kindly martial artist he meets and befriends are well drawn comedic characters. The sometimes bizarre fighting styles all named after animals are a joy to behold and Jackie and all the other martial artists involved show just how skillful they are with some truly memorable twists on the old school kung-fu style fighting. Many of those in this film came together again a year later to make the equally excellent Drunken Master.

I would recommend this film to any martial arts fan as a must see, it's also an excellent entry point if your interested in looking into martial arts action films in general. 8/10
13 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
The One That Started It All.
magilvilla26 February 2000
Jackie's first big hit. It's easy to see why it was so popular when it was first released. Nobody had ever seen comedy and kung fu mixed together before. And if it wasn't for Jackie, we might have never have. Good and plentiful fights easily make this a kung fu classic that still entertains over 20 years later.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
One of the best of the pure Kung-fu movies
chengiz18 October 2003
This along with Drunken Master I (not Drunken Master II which was released in the US as Legend of Drunken Master, which is good but not great) have to be the best of the pure Kung-fu genre. This is just one great fight scene after another. The choreography is breathtaking, especially for two scenes: one where Jackie slides rags under the school master's feet, and the other where the old man doesnt allow Jackie to take his bowl. This is the original Kill Bill, just pure thrilling action. The story is so not a factor that I wont even mention it.

Jackie's Hong Kong movies are a class apart. Hollywood spoiled the martial arts genre. The new Jackie Chan movies and Jet Li etc are insufferable because of Hollywood overdoing things. I dont think there will be action as exhilarating as Hong Kong kung-fu ever again... sadly, technology takes away beautiful things. I'll end with a paraphrase of Roger Ebert's on talent: When you see anyone doing something difficult and making it look easy and *a joy*, you feel enhanced. It is a victory for the human side over the enemies of laziness and timidity.
23 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Most excellent
AwesomeWolf7 January 2005
'Snake in the Eagle's Shadow' - Jackie Chan's other breakthrough hit, along with 'Drunken Master'. Both released in 1978, these two movies made the careers of Jackie Chan and director Yuen Woo Ping, and both featured Siu Tien Yuen and Hwang Jang Lee in similar roles.

The plot follows Chien Fu (Jackie Chan), an orphan abused and mistreated by the kung-fu (evil, of course) school he works at. He can't fight until he meets Pai Cheng-Cheh (Siu Tien Yuen), a grand-master of Snake Fist, and last remaining follower of the Snake Fist style. A rivalry between the Snake Fist and Eagle Claw styles has led to the near-elimination of the Snake Fist style, and Chien Fu and Pai Cheng-Cheh find themselves being hunted by Lord Sheng Kuan (Hwang Jang Lee), the master of the Eagle Claw style.

The awesomeness of 'Snake in the Eagle's Shadow' lies in the fact that it really is quite similar to 'Drunken Master', which is also awesome. Again, the plot is a pretty standard kung-fu plot, but any plot which allows for the maximum amount of on-screen kung-fu time is a good plot. The training sequences are entertaining, and the following fight scenes are incredible - Jackie, Hwang Jang Lee and Yuen Woo Ping are all at their best here.

'Snake in the Eagle's Shadow' is an awesome and very funny movie - 10/10, a must see for all Jackie Chan fans.
14 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
"Snake Bites!!!"
bjerho4 February 2002
I´ll try to summary this movie. Orphan (Jackie Chan) is being mistreated by evil Kun fu-Club owner on the club in which he is a cleaner. He meets an old beggar who learns him "snake style" -kun fu. The old man is being hunted down for knowledge of the martial art. Check this movie out. If you like Jackie-Chan, then you will love this movie. I give it a 10/10.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
wonderful comedy
bbbl6721 June 2003
Lots of fighting, done in a comical way. Just about every character in this movie are not too bright, which is perfect for a comedy of errors.

I have always preferred this comical way of handling martial arts better than the too serious Bruce Lee style.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the Best Classic Jackie Chan Films
Soujiro22 July 1999
If you've got a couple hours to spare, and you like light hearted hong kong kung fu, then watch this film. The music and sound effects are really hilarious, and the action never lets up. The final fight scene is somewhat memorable as well.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Martial Arts Classic!
wong-316 September 2000
This is Jackie Chan's best film I have seen so far! Miles better than Drunken Master. The guy is supremely fit, which you see in this film, and the skill this guy possesses is second-to-none. There is tons of fighting from absolutely loads of Hong Kong's top martial artists. Apart from Jackie Chan, it's "Thunder Legs" Hwang Jang Lee who stands out, this guy is a supreme kicking machine! If you want to see a classic, then this is it! 10/10
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
kicking and hitting and dubbing
mads leonard holvik13 August 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Jackie Chan is pretty good in this movie, were he is an orphan who is mistreated by a kung fu club owner. Along comes the snake fist style master, who is hunted by the evil eagle claw men. Jackie learns the snake fist style, and combines it with the cat claw. This films has very entertaining dubbing and a few cool fighting sequences. The end scene where the snake fist style master stops a knife in mid air with his index finger and thumb and then breaks it effortlessly in two is worth the time seeing this movie. Great stuff.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
The archetypal "Hong Kong" Jackie Chan movie - a must for Chan fans
lemon_magic5 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
There's "old school" and then there's "OLD SCHOOL", and this is pure chop-socky Spaghetti Eastern film making at its best. Fans of the old Golden Harvest/Shaw Brothers films will find all the proper clichés included, but there is enough original plotting, fight choreography and actual acting going on here to distinguish it from the 999 other films the Shaws released during the same period. Add the charm, humor, and likability of Jackie Chan into the mix, and you've got the perfect "Kung Fu Theater" experience.

I've watched a reasonable number of kung fu flicks (enough to qualify as a fan, not enough to qualify as a devoted fanatic), and the plot to this one strikes me as reasonably fresh; instead of using classic "vengeance", "rebellion" or "gangster" motifs, "Snake" revolves around Jackie's growth as a man and as a fighter as he tries to help and protect a friend who Jackie doesn't know is the last master of a nearly extinct style of Kung Fu. It's a nice change of pace that allows elements of humor and friendship into the relationship between Chan's character and his teacher. And somehow the humor in this one works even for a Western sensibility - the director, fight director and the stunt men and the actors manage to include some involving, funny, moments in Chan's training that nevertheless impress.

Plus, you've can't have an old school Kung Fu film without montages of the hero training in the secret forms and techniques of his style accompanied by the Chinese equivalent to the theme music from "Rocky", and "Snake" delivers these. Newer viewers may dismiss Chan (now in his 40-50s) in favor of someone like Jaa or Li, and because of the emphasis nowadays on humor and acrobatics; but "Snake" shows that Chan in his prime was in AWESOME shape. It's a real pleasure to watch him go at it. There is genuine artistry at work here. And the scene where Chan discovers/invents the missing application that fixes the weakness in the Snake style is well done (for this kind of movie).

So if you like old school Kung Fu movies, seek this one out; and if you are a fan of Jackie Chan, seek this one out. I liked it a lot, and bought it on VHS - if I can find it somewhere on DVD for a reasonable price, I will probably buy it again.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Early Chan Film Entertains
CitizenCaine20 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Jackie Chan made several movies in the 1970's, some of them forgotten, and many others forgettable. However, for the first time, this film successfully combines the many elements that would later signify Chan films: well-choreographed fight sequences, loose performances, an acceptable story, and comedic elements. The film is filled with one great fight sequence after another. The old man, who teaches Chan the snake style, is absolutely fantastic. His sequence with the bowl and Chan is incredible. Part of the secret of successful martial arts films in the 70's was adding welcome doses of humor. Here we have Chan, the underdog, being transformed into a hero in comedic, and grueling, training sequence fashion. Chan comes up with the new cat's claw style (kind of hokey) when the snake style isn't enough to overcome the opposing eagle's claw camp. The cat and the snake fight sequence is great, but the sound effects are hopelessly phony. The plot is typical for a martial arts film of the period, but doesn't drag the movie down, and contains more colorful characters than usual. A precursor for what was to come. **1/2 of 4 stars.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Early Jackie vehicle
Bogey Man8 September 2002
Action choreographer and legendary martial arts director Yuen Woo Ping directed this early and important film of Jackie Chan's career in 1978. This film made Jackie a star in almost one night, and more was to come in form of Drunken Master very soon, and history tells the rest. Snake in the Eagle's Shadow stars the sympathetic old man Siu Tien Yuen as the master of Snake style in kung fu. There's also a "rival" style called Eagle style and these two styles compete together for students and power in the field of martial arts world. Jackie plays a poor and orphan youngster who gets to do nothing but wash floors in the Eagle school and occasionally, he is also used as a human "punchbag" in the training. Soon he gets enough and meets by accident the old man who eventually teaches Jackie the secrets of his Snake fighting style.

The fights are indeed fantastic and they include also the magnificent kicks of the legendary taekwondo master Jang Lee Hwang, who plays the main villain in this film. The last fight between Jackie and Hwang is very long and full of adrenalin as these two masters of their own art fight for life. Also the training scenes are very memorable and look painful! It isn't easy to become a master of martial arts. There's plenty of fights in this film and that's about all this film is about and why it's been done in the first place; the dialogue and screenplay are very shallow and often meaningless and there's also some irritating use of music which tries to make the film more entertaining and funny to watch, but of course this was meant to be a comedy kung fu flick like Drunken Master and many others. Still the film could have some depth and even message in it like many Bruce Lee films definitely have. But as far as one is interested in excellent martial arts fights and excitement, films like Snake in the Eagle's Shadow are highly recommended, because there are no better substitutes in this field. If you prefer (as I do) more serious and dark martial art films, then I recommend Ronny Yu's Bride With White Hair and Tsui Hark's Blade, for instance. I just don't like the often stupid humor in HK films and that's why I don't appreciate Snake as highly as I wanted to.

If you want to see a comic kung fu film with the young and incredible Jackie Chan, then this film is worth buying or renting, and even I think I'll keep this in my collection because of the fact that in its own genre, this is almost unbeatable and thus a classic; the problem is the genre (comical kung fu) isn't among my favorites. 7/10
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Beggar So's sequence with the bowl n Chan is incredible. Watch out for the snake style n cat style fights.
Fella_shibby1 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this first on a VHS in mid 80s. Lots of fighting, done in a comical way. If you like old school Kung Fu movies, seek this one out; and if you are a fan of Jackie Chan, seek this one out.

In this movie Jackie learns the snake fist style, and combines it with the cat claw. It is one of the biggest classics of martial arts cinema, the film that started a new subgenre in kung fu cinema , the comedy kung fu cinema and the breakthrough film for its star, the legendary Jackie Chan.

Its directed by Woo-Ping Yuen (real son of Yuen siu-tien aka beggar So). Woo-Ping Yuen is the one behind Man of tai chi, kill Bill 2, kung fu hustle,Forbidden kingdom, iron monkey, matrix series, crouching tiger....

The fights are stunningly choreographed even if one can often see that a blow doesn't actually hit when we hear it... the sounds that accompany the fights are funny because they are so over the top. Jackie is taught the snake style from the teacher, beggar So. Then by chance he learns a new style by watching a cat defeat a snake. Beggar So's sequence with the bowl and Chan is incredible.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Classic of Kung fu cinema
Mike Garcia8 December 2015
One of the biggest classics of martial arts cinema, the film that started a new subgenre in kung fu cinema , the comedy kung fu cinema and the breakthrough fim for its star, the legendary Jackie Chan...

Directed by the legendary Yuen Woo Ping and co-starred by his father Yuen Siu Tien, playing his eternal role as the old beggar drunken master, this film is an example of how a perfect kung fu movie should be made, from the badass opening sequence with Jackie training with a red background behind him , accompanied by a catchy music until the final epic final fight against the great Hwang Jang Lee , the film is a succession of outstanding and very original martial arts sequences accompanied by great doses of humour ..Although that Lau Kar Leung already had used this formula in his directorial debut "The spiritual Boxer" made three years before, however, it was this film the one that gave a new direction to Hong Kong kung fu movies becoming in an instant classic..

MASTERPIECE
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
An all time classic with some great action. 8/10
leonblackwood24 October 2015
Review: This is another classic movie from Jackie Chan, when he was in his prime. It does take a bit of time to get going, but once it does, it's full of action and many different styles of Kung Fu. Jackie Chan plays Chien Fu, who helps out in a Kung Fu school and constantly gets picked on by the manager who uses him as a human punching bag for his students. Chien then comes across a homeless old man, played by Siu Tin Yuen and he decides to take him in and look after him. While there friendship blossoms, a group of Eagle technique fighters are out to destroy all of the Snake fighters so Grandmaster Pai Cheng-Tien (Siu Tin Yuen) has to go in hiding to save his life. Whilst living with Chien, he starts to teach him the Snake style, which Chien mixes up with his own cat style and he soon gets fed up with his manager picking on him by striking back on the people that use him as a human punching bag. He soon gets banished from the school and he perfects his own Kung Fu style but his training with Grandmaster Pai is cut short because the Eagle style fighters have tracked him down. Whilst fighting against the Eagle clan, Grandmaster Pai's life is saved by Chien who takes on the leaders of the Eagle clan. This is when I first saw Sam Seed (Siu Tin Yuen) in a movie and I was amazed how an old man could take on all of the young masters of Kung Fu. This was also the second time that I saw Jackie Chan on top form, after Drunken Master of course, and the different styles of Kung Fu styles became popular in this genre. The mixture of comedy and action was spot on in this film and the different characters, like the manager of the Kung Fu school with the weird plaster on his head, made the film an all time classic. I personally enjoyed this film, after so many years since I last watched it and it brought back some fond memories of when I was young in front of the piano style video player. Its such a shame that they don't make movies like this anymore! Brilliant.

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Woo Ping-Yuen who brought you classics like Drunken Master, Magnificent Butcher, the Miracle Fighters, Drunken Tai Chi, Iron Monkey, Tai-Chi Master and True Legend. He also done the stunts for Man of Tai Chi with Keanu Reeves, Kill Bill 2, the brilliant Kung Fu Hustle and the Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan and Jet Li so he has definitely earned respect in this field. Anyway, this is a must have in your Kung Fu collection and it's timeless fun for you action buffs.

I recommend this movie to people who are into their action/comedy/martial arts movies starring Jackie Chan and the great Siu Tin Yuen (Sam Seed). 8/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow Review
Nick Retzlaff9 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this on Crackle a few weeks ago and it had Jackie Chan in it too. First the dubbing is okay and the movie starts with 2 rival masters seeing who will win. This is also some of Jackie Chan's early work, the choreography is good and Jackie Chan looks kind of young in this movie. He starts out s an orphan being bullied by his classmates until he befriends and old guy. The old guy gets into a fight with some of the students and Jackie tries to help him. Then a white preacher comes by to break up the fight and then after that old guy teaches Jackie how to fight. Old guy teaches him by trying to get Jackie to take a bowl from him. Old guy also teaches Jackie some steps and moves he put on the ground too. After that old guy and white preacher see each other and old guy tries to avoid him. Then old guy fights an Eagle student in the Snake training grounds and both him and white preacher try to kill him but old guy escapes. Old guy then get's healed by Jackie and he teaches him Kung Fu. A bit later Jackie's school gets into a fight another school then Jackie's school master goes to the rival school's ace. The ace tries to kill the master but Jackie stops him and then they fight and Jackie wins. Then when Jackie gets back home he meets one of old guys so called friends. Then after that there's a scene where a cat fights a cobra and kills it. Old guy and Jackie meet in some field where they encounter the so called friend and white preacher which is some fighter from Russia. After they're defeated Jackie's school master tires to stop them thinking he poisoned them. He didn't and I think Jackie and old guy walk off somewhere, I'm not sure since the ending was like all Kung Fu movies. It's still pretty good early work for Jackie Chan and if your a fan if his movies this is required watching.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
old and corny but likable
julesdil20 October 2014
Snake in the eagles shadow 1978 came out before drunken master is a martial art film with the same cast . Jakie and y sou tine do training and hard martial art practice to make Jakie a hero to fight the eagle claw clan , centered in rural dark areas Jakie puts great drama as a orphan in a martial art school who is bullied by his dictator Dean sheik. The story is formulaic but fun all about traditional animal styles of Chinese arts , the training scenes and music is retro although a corny film its fun in parts the film suffers from a annoying badly quality film showing its age and its repetitive music but its fight scenes including a fight with Wang Jain Lea is disappointing and at the same time good to watch .This is no classic but it has its retro scenes the film misses comedy that would have made it better snake is not like drunken master but its from the same company which is considered Chan's fame of a star . A rare film to get in show and a dear price online its worth getting for collection.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
A whole lotta fun
Leofwine_draca5 March 2014
One of the greatest of all Jackie's early period kung fu comedies, SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW is a textbook example of the genre directed by the renowned Yuen Woo-ping. While the simple storyline is nothing to write home about, the movie offers up a relentless onslaught of gags and fights, all of which are handled with aplomb by a willing team.

Inevitably, the standout thing about the film is Chan himself, and he's in his element here with a role which is both physically strenuous and highly comedic in equal measure. Chan displays the winning formula that would go on to make him a huge worldwide star over the next couple of decades, and watching him larking about on screen is a real delight.

The comedy is often lowbrow and involves sight gags, slapstick and silly humour, but somehow it all works. The fight scenes are inventive and fun to watch, and the arduous training sequences are particularly well staged. There's also some solid support from Sam Seed (Yuen Woo-ping's dad, no less) as the funny old man and Hwang Jang Lee as the villain. Both actors were typecast in their respective parts, but when they fit them so well you can see why.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
One of the greatest chan movies
riki8555826 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
for me this is Jackie second best film behind drunken master 2 and in front of drunken master why because the movie fight scenes, training scene and music especially jean Michel jarre's ogygen part 2 and magic fly by space. Jackie chan character is lovable, a orphan who is bullied and used as a punch bag by his martial art school trainers. even the villains are likable. why I have chosen this movie to be better than drunken master 1 is because of Jackie character who is more likable than the one in drunken master 1 who is a hooligan and enjoys picking on people. Also because of the story is more likable as well, the script is good, the movie is well shot especially the camera angles and filming location. overall for a martial arts fan I would have to give it a 10 out of 10, brilliant film
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
this is karate chop 'em up
jfarms19567 December 2013
Snake In The Eagle's Shadow is for those movie buffs who are kung fu wannabees. It is also for those who are die hard Jackie Chan fans and for those who love action movies. The film does clip along at a fast enough pace so that one does not get bored. I can see the kung fu wannabees practicing their moves along with the movie. This is not what I consider a typical Jackie Chan movie. His movies usually have more humor in them. This reminds me of the old westerns whereby you have shoot 'em up scenes throughout the movies, however, this is karate chop 'em up instead. This is not my kind of movie even though I am a fan of Jackie Chan.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
One of the best of the genre! Superb Jackie. Excellent story. Don't blink!
Sassy Cat27 December 2012
I've watched a lot of kung fu movies and a lot of Jackie Chan movies. This one is a cut above. The theme of the physically and mentally abused young man is a classic one and commonly used, but it's illustrated in this movie much better than in many others. You really feel Jackie's mental anguish. One particularly charming and clever scene is when his new friend, the 'old man' tries to cheer Chien Fu (Jackie) up after he's had a pretty nasty beating with his clever agility with a tea bowl. This not only amuses Chien Fu and cheers him up, but makes him curious about learning the skills himself. A delightful scene brilliantly executed. You can't take your eyes off of them.

This movie is full of fight sequences that are just riveting. Don't blink! There are also multiple little plots going on, and a variety of characters, which make this movie much more interesting in the kung fu genre. Yet it is still a very simple theme and the action is the star, which is what you want. Jackie took a lot of actual physical punishment in this one. According to his autobiography, when his arm gets cut in the scene involving the sword, it was supposed to be staged with a blunt sword but the sword was still sharp and he gets cut for real. Jackie also lost a tooth when he got kicked in the final fight scene, which you can see missing at the end of the fight.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
Tweekums24 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In a brief prologue we learn that the practitioners of the Eagle Claw technique of kung fu are trying to eliminate those who use the Snake Fist technique; the Eagle Claw master kills the Snake Fist master leaving only two people who know the skill. One is an old man who is frequently mistaken for a beggar; we soon learn how skilled he is when he escapes from a group of debt collectors and fights off the students at a kung fu school. The story's protagonist is Chien Fu; the cleaner at another of the town's kung fu schools. Here he is used as a punch bag by the trainers and students alike. When he meets the old man he gradually learns the Snake Fist technique that will enable him to defeat some of the best kung fu practitioners in the town; but not the master of the Eagle Claw... to do that he will have to learn from a cat!

This early Jackie Chan film is a lot of fun; he does a great job as Chien Fu. The fights are stunningly choreographed even if one can often see that a blow doesn't actually hit when we hear it... the sounds that accompany the fights are funny because they are so over the top; the slightest touch sounds like planks being slapped together and his new Cat's Claw technique is always accompanied by the sound of an angry moggy! The story isn't complex but is good enough... who needs a complex story when we have aged kung fu masters and a Russian missionary who has a blade in his crucifix! While Chan is the obvious star of the film there is also a fine performance from Yuen Siu Tien, who plays his elderly mentor. Fan's of Jackie Chan's later work are sure to enjoy this; it might not be as polished but nobody watching this will be surprised that he went on to become a star.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of Jackie Chan's best
ebiros220 November 2011
1978 must have been a good year for Jackie Chan because he made scores of good movies that year that in a way established him as the star. This, Drunken Master, and Eight Steps of Snake and Crane are exceptionally good movies for the time.

Jackie teams up again with Siu Tien Yuen as student and teacher. He's taught the snake style from the teacher. Then by chance he learns a new style by watching a cat defeat a snake. This eventually becomes key plot in the latter part of the story.

The movie has all the ingredients of a good kung fu movie. Many good fight scenes mixed in with comedy. The overall quality of the movie is very high.

Many people regard this as one of best kung fu movie from the '70s. I have to agree. This movie really has the goods.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A Kung Fu Classic
Desertman848 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts action film classic that launched his meteoric career of Jackie Chan.Showcasing with imaginative kung fu styles together with powerful choreography and innovative training sequences, it is a revelation of the overwhelming physical talents of the world's number one Chinese action star.

The movie is the story of Chien Fu (Jackie Chan),an orphan adopted by a kung-fu school.He,too is overworked as their janitor and abused by the kung fu teachers as a walking punching-bag. He befriends an old beggar (Yuen Siu Tien in an unforgettable role) by offering him a meal and a place to stay. Unknown to him, the old beggar is actually the last surviving master of the Snake-style of kung fu. The old man is on the run from the Eagle Claw clan, which is viciously killing off all of the rival Snake-style kung fu masters. Realizing that Chien is being abused, the old man teaches him the footwork of snake style which enables one to avoid an opponent's attacks.

The film has great action sequences.These delights the audience especially those who are interested in martial arts. Aside from that,it provides entertainment the beginning to end.Notable in the film is the great chemistry between Jackie Chan and Yuen Siu Tien.Also commendable is the direction of Yuen Woo-ping,who has done great films after these such as Iron Monkey, Fist of Legend, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix series, Kill Bill and The Forbidden Kingdom.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews