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The Fearless Hyena
Directed by Jackie Chan • 1979 • Hong Kong
Starring Jackie Chan, James Tien, Yen Shi-kwan
An auteur emerges as Jackie Chan—working for the first time as director, in addition to serving as cowriter, lead actor, and martial-arts choreographer—takes full charge of his on-screen image. Perfecting the archetypal Chan character, he stars here as a rapscallion student of his martial-arts-master grandfather (Hong Kong cinema legend James Tien) who uses his kung-fu prowess to fight challengers for money—until a personal tragedy forces him to get serious. Experimenting with various lenses and camera setups, Chan maximizes the action’s visual impact, while unleashing some of his most innovative fight choreography in a stunning, whirlwind display of “emotional kung fu.”