Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin
|Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin|
UK DVD cover
|Directed by||Chen Chi Hwa|
|Produced by||Lo Wei
Hwa Hsu Li
Sheng Wang Chi
|Music by||Leung Chow Fook|
|8 March 1978|
|Box office||HK $662,851.30|
Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin (Chinese: 蛇鶴八步) is a 1978 Hong Kong action film directed by Chen Chi Hwa and starring Jackie Chan. It was released by the Lo Wei Motion Picture Company, a subsidiary of Golden Harvest. Along with Tu Wi Ho, Chan was also the film's stunt co-ordinator.
Hsu Ying Fung quickly makes it known (with some help) that he possesses the "Eight Steps of the Snake and Crane", a martial arts manual illustrating the ultimate fighting style. The book was written by eight Shaolin masters shortly before their disappearance, and Hsu is suspected of killing them, or at least knowing what happened. In reality, Hsu is looking for the man responsible for the masters' disappearance, whom he will know by a certain mark.
After several fights, and encounters with the leaders of many fighting clans (all of whom want the book and are willing to offer a variety of things for it), Hsu is betrayed, hurt, and eventually captured. He escapes with an unlikely ally in tow, while the rest of the clan leaders, having put aside their differences, search high and low for him. Eventually Hsu finds the man with the mark, the other clan leaders learn the fate of the Shaolin masters, and in an epic fight involving the Snake and Crane style, Hsu defeats the villain.
- In February 2001, Seven 7 released the French theatrical cut, entitled Le Magnifique. The film had the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, but contained no English-language options or subtitles.
- In September 2001, Eastern Heroes released the film in the UK. This version was a shorter cut, and was cropped from 2.35:1 into 1.85:1. It also contained an English dub only.
- In March 2002, Columbia Tri-Star released the film in the US in 2.35:1 with both an English dub and the original Mandarin soundtrack. However, this version was dubtitled and missing over 5 minutes of footage.
- In February 2006, Universal Japan released the film in Japan. It was uncut for the first time on DVD, and in 2.35:1 ratio, with a Mandarin soundtrack. However, this release featured no English subtitles.
- In May 2007, UK company Hong Kong Legends released the most complete English-friendly version of the film to date. It was fully uncut, presented in 2.35:1, and included an English dub and the original Mandarin soundtrack with newly translated English subtitles. However, the Mandarin "mono" is a downmix from the 5.1 remix.
- In November 2008, Media Movies and More released the film in Pan and scan format with English dubbing.
- Dragon Dynasty had intended to release a Region 1 DVD of the film, but the release has been postponed indefinitely.
- Maçek III, J.C. (2 October 2013). "It's Pure Kung Fu Theatre and Somehow, 'Star Wars' in 'Jackie Chan Beginnings'". PopMatters.