Other Titles • Drunken Master (1978) • Zui quan • Challenge (1978) • Drunken Monkey in the Tiger's Eyes (1978) • Eagle Claw, Snake Fist, Cat's Paw, Part 2 (1978) • Legenda o opitom majstrovi
Synopses for Drunken Master (1978)
Though it wasn't Jackie Chan's first film, Drunken Master is the film that cemented his stardom. Jackie plays the rebellious son of a kung fu master. To teach Jackie the value of discipline, his father apprentices him to another master named So Hi, who has a unique "drunken" fighting style. Jackie chafes at So Hi's rigorous exercises and runs away--only to be brutally humiliated at the hands of a hired killer named Thunderleg. Chastened, Jackie becomes So Hi's devoted student. He soon discovers he will need everything he's learned when Thunderleg is hired to kill his father. In Drunken Master, Jackie is only beginning to cultivate his mixture of action and comedy; here the emphasis is on kung fu acrobatics. But the kung fu is astounding. The final fight is dizzying and amazingly choreographed by director Yuen Woo-ping (now famous as the fight choreographer for The Matrix). --Bret Fetzer
Technical note Some gaps in the original Chinese-language track have been filled by an English-language track.
Though teenage Wong Fei Hong (Jackie Chan) is the son of a martial arts teacher, he'd much rather clown around and get in and out of trouble on the streets of Hong Kong than learn kung fu. When one of his pranks causes injury to the son of a powerful man, his father calls in a sadistic uncle to teach Fei Hung some self-discipline. The uncle specializes in a bizarre form of kung fu known as the "Drunken Boxer," and after losing a fight with a local assassin who has been hired to kill his father, Fei Hung realizes that it may be worth learning. This martial arts classic was the second collaboration between Chan and director Yuen Woo Ping, fight choreographer for THE MATRIX and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
The Original Kung Fu Comedy!
Won Fei Hung (Jackie Chan) stars as the mischievous young son of a martial arts school master who is constantly clowning around when he should be learning kung fu. After his comic antics injure the son of a powerful local man, his father enlists the help of his sadistic uncle to teach his son a little self-discipline. This strange man, who has a reputation for crippling his students, triest to teach Fei Hung a bizarre style of kung fu. At first, Fei Hung resists, but after losing a fight with a local assassin who has been hired to kill his father, he realizes he must master the special art of the "Drunken Boxer."
Drunken Master was the second collaboration between director Yuen Wo Ping (fight choreographer for The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Jackie Chan. Blending intricate martial arts moves with Jackie Chan's trademark slapstick comedy, Drunken Master ushered in the new genre of kung fu comedy and established Chan as its uncontested king.
Drunken Master is a film that, following Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) (made with the same ensemble cast and director Yuen Woo Ping), consolidated Jackie Chan's position as the new Hong Kong kung fu action star of the late 1970s. Set in the late 19th century, Chan plays the great Chinese hero Wong Fei Hung as a loveable young rogue who is always getting into fights or embarrassing his family. Eventually his father decides the only way to make a man of Chan is to send him for training with an old drunken drifter played by Yuen Siu Tien. Just as they did in Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, the pair make a fine double-act, though this time there is much surreal entertainment to be had from the older man teaching the younger the fine art of drunken kung fu. Learning to fight like the Eight Drunken Gods before the final confrontation with Hwang Jang Lee causes Chan considerable problems, though Yuen Siu Tien simply fights better the more he drinks. Yuen Siu Tien would reprise the role in his final film, Magnificent Butcher (1979) yet with Chan he finds a perfect blend of slapstick comedy and creatively staged action which makes Drunken Master a genuine kung fu classic.
On the DVD: The picture is generally strong though inevitably there is a fair amount of grain. Unfortunately the original 2.35-1 film has been reformatted to 1.77-1 widescreen TV ratio. This has been done more skilfully than usual but is still a misrepresentation of the original cinema release and does mar both the landscape photography and the fast moving action scenes. The sound is perfectly acceptable mono. Soundtrack options are the original Mandarin with English subtitles, or an English dub. Extras include the original English language theatrical trailer, Hong Kong Legends' own trailer, plus promos for further releases and a photo gallery. There is a detailed text biography and filmography of Jackie Chan, a biography of Yuen Woo Ping and a text interview with producer Ng See Yuen. Also included is a text biography of Hwang Jang Lee linked to a kicking showcase which is another short fight scene. Most of these features are identical to those on the Snake in the Eagle's Shadow DVD. --Gary S Dalkin
Casanova Wong, the most lethal leg man alive, stars in this action-packed martial arts masterpiece about a kid whose confidence and martial skills are sharpened by an old master in preparation for a to the death battle with a sinister crime kingpin. Joining them is Yeung Pan Pan, the kung ful mama with jaw dropping flexibility.
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