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Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
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Released just before Jackie Chan's breakout hit
, this terrific action yarn was the former stuntman's first leading role. Ditching his previous unsuccessful attempts to become the new Bruce Lee, he unveiled his talent for slapstick comedy here. Chan plays Chien Fu, a cowardly, bumbling bumpkin who learns the fabled Snake Fist fighting style from an old beggar and becomes a hero despite himself. Directed by Yuen Woo-Ping, who would later work on
, the silliness of Snake's stock plot and the overbearing soundtrack are more than compensated for by the incredible, screwball fight sequences: Chien Fu shown by his teacher how to use a bamboo staff in mid-fight, or taking on a sword-carrying assailant barehanded. With Chan getting top billing, it's a film that marks the arrival of a charismatic and superbly acrobatic star.
A weedy school janitor is constantly being beaten up, until a wise old kung fu master teaches him his secrets. The handyman is soon developing his own fighting style, and returns the favour by protecting his mentor from an evil clan that intends to wipe out all practitioners of his brand of martial arts. Action comedy, with Jackie Chan and Siu Tien Yuen. In Cantonese.
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