Creator/JackieChan's breakout film and Creator/YuenWooPing's directorial debut, this movie helped revitalize both their careers and the waning Hong Kong film industry.
The story starts off showing a master of the renowned Snake Style fighting and dying at the hands of a wandering ArrogantKungFuGuy, a master of the Eagle Claw who has sworn to kill all masters of the Snake Style.
Then we meet Chien, an orphan regularly [[ButtMonkey beaten upon]] and treated like a servant by the Kung Fu school that has adopted him. One day after a particular painful beating he sullenly walks along to find an old-man set upon by a gang of kung fu fighters. Jumping to his aid and through a series of kung fu hijinks the old man decides to teach Chien Snake Style and through TrainingFromHell leads him to his IKnowKarate moment.
But the master of the Eagle Claw takes notice of his newfound abilities, and things wont end peacefully...
A definitive Kung Fu classic, here Jackie Chan first departed from the [[BruceLeeClone Bruceploitation]] characters he often portrayed into the comedic action roles he is now renowned for.
!!This film provides examples of:
* BruceLeeClone: Averted.
* ComfortingComforter: The Old Man does this for Chien, who is the whipping boy for the martial arts school where he's been raised.
* CurbStompBattle: Most of the fights the Eagle Claw Master takes part in have him taking his opponents apart, aside from the final battle.
* GroinAttack: "Finding the Snake", a move Chien uses on the Mantis School's master.
* OldMaster: The Old Man.
* TitleDrop: At the end of the film. [[spoiler: The Old Man suggests that he use it as a name for his new style of Kung Fu.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Chien, after learning Snake Style, to the point that he can kick the ass of the guy who effortlessly took down the two masters of Chien's school at the same time. [[spoiler: He levels up again after developing Cat's Claw, and combining it with his Snake Fist]]