Master with Cracked Fingers(1979)

Master with Cracked Fingers(1979)

Master with Cracked Fingers (刁手怪招), is a 1979 martial arts film directed by Mu Chu and starring Jackie Chan. It is often cited as being produced in 1971, 1973, 1974 or 1981. The original footage was filmed in 1971 and released in 1973 as Little Tiger of Canton. The re-edited version entitled Master with Cracked Fingers was not actually released until 1979.


Background

The film was concocted using footage from other films, primarily from a little-seen independent 1973 film entitled Little Tiger of Canton (aka The Cub Tiger From Kwang Tung) which featured a teenage Chan in one of his earliest roles. After Chan had become famous through films like Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master in the late 1970s, the footage was re-edited. Additional material from the Drunken Master era and new footage of Dean Shek and Yuen Siu Tien (in another appearance of his beggar character), was tacked on. A rather obvious Jackie Chan double was also hired and fought blind-folded in an attempt to hide the doubling from the viewers. In 1981, the poorly edited and assembled footage was acquired by Dick Randall, who named it Master with Cracked Fingers and dubbed it into English. This version has also been released under the title Snake Fist Fighter.

Synopsis

The film has a similar theme to The Young Master (1980). The young and undisciplined Jackie (Jackie Chan) undergoes the tutelage of a nomadic master who has a rigorous training style focusing upon the hardening of the fist.

Jackie has been intrigued by kung fu since he was a boy, but he cannot afford to pay for lessons. He later meets an old beggar, "The Man Who Isn't There", who offers to teach him the secrets of fighting. After years of training under his sifu, his skills advance, but his father forbids him to practice. After a series of fights with a local gang of extortionists, and progressively more severe punishments from his father, he fends off the gang once more. In retribution, the gang burn down his house, killing Jackie's father. To avenge his father's death, Jackie agrees to a blindfolded fight against the gang leader, (Kwan Yung-moon).

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