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Snake in the Eagle's Shadow

original title: Sau Ying Diu Sau


  • Japanese Version
  • Original Version
Release: Apr 02, 2014 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the Japanese Theatrical Version and the uncut Original Version, both available on the Japanese Blu-ray by Sony.

13 cuts
Difference: 438.5 sec (= 7:19 min)


This comparation is rather less about the censored version and more about spreading the message. Both "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow" and "Drunken Master" (the two classics that made Jackie Chan a huge star in Asia in the 70s) were released on Blu-ray in Japan, just in time for X-Mas 2013. Contrary to many disappointing upscales of other earlier Jackie Chan movies, especially the releases in Hong Kong, we here have an excellent HD Master with no filters being used. Both movies have been released in a nice digipak with post cards and booklets with any kind of nostalgic lobby cards and posters from Japan.

But of course, there's a "little" catch: this release doesn't contain an English audio track nor English subtitles so this release is rather for die-hard fans who simply enjoy the incredible packaging. But at least, one can hope now that HD releases in other countries will follow. Since the Japanese Blu-ray has been released by Sony, there's a good chance it will happen. Fingers crossed.

The Versions

Besides the movies each available on a single Blu-ray (each movie file is bigger than 25 GB by the way), the set contains a bonus disc with newly produced featurettes in which Jackie comments this new "35th Anniversary Edition" - unfortunately without any subtitles either. Furthermore, the Japanese Versions of both titles are available as well. These are also available in actual HD, the quality is a bit worse but still very good. The Japanese Versions also reveal the fact that the movies were heavily censored in Japan as well because Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is almost 7.5 minutes shorter and Drunken Master lacks 18 minutes of footage.

There's no violent footage missing, some plot elements were removed though. Basically, it's the typical Hong Kong humor that's missing but one could speculate for what reason the visit to a brothel was cut. Irritatingly, a few quite harmless fight / training scenes are missing, too. Without knowing the uncensored version, one wouldn't notice but it's sad either way because those are really nice scenes.

So hands off this (bonus) version especially there's no exclusive footage or any other uniqueness like a Japanese credit sequence or a different soundtrack. The differences in Drunken Master are more interesting but there will be another comparison for that.

Time index refers to
Japanese Version / Original Version
00:00 / 00:00-00:31

Additional logos in the Original Version plus the Japanese Version lacks the first second of the opening credits with Jackie having turned his back to the camera.

31.4 sec

13:55 / 14:27-15:45

Jackie gets up and goes to the backyard to wash his face. The cook arrives with the intention to cheer him up, Jackie runs off. The subsequent scene in the street starts earlier as well - the Japanese Version immediately shows Pai sitting down.

78 sec

14:18 / 16:08-16:16

Extended shot of the principal speaking about the chubby boy.

8.3 sec

19:22 / 21:20-21:42

The guy Jackie fought off attacks one more time and Pai passes along Jackie's stick so that the poor fella doesn't have a chance. Another attacker gets kicked in the nuts.

22 sec

20:07 / 22:27-22:29

Jump cut: Jackie and the beggar walk around the corner sooner.

1.8 sec

29:20 / 31:42-32:29

After the training sequence, a short scene at night is missing.
Pai wakes up and notices Jackie lying on the ground in fetal position. So Pai reaches for his blanket and covers Jackie with it. Then he needs to sneeze but Jackie doesn't wake up.

46.7 sec

32:37 / 35:46-37:38

In the Japanese Version, Pai immediately notices the snake symbol. In the Original Version, he walks across the alley for an extended time period and discovers the priest in front of him in the process. Just in case, he pretends to be a beggar and knocks at doors. The priest looks sceptical at first but then he does the same. While Pai is being rejected by the first woman and getting a donation by the another one, the priest gets beaten up with a broom at the first door he knocked and accidentally ends up in a brothel when he knocks at the second door. Several women consider him a "first client" and drag him inside.

111.7 sec

35:47 / 40:48-40:52

Another shot of the alley, then the school.

3.2 sec

48:14 / 53:19-55:26

A longer sequence of Jackie's training is missing. He's learning arm techniques with a wooden circlet but he does it pretty clumsy. Pai helps him by having a duel with the circlet. Another night shot follows, then first attempts with the eggs. After an intercut of the cook, there are further disciplines: Jackie is being put over the knee, then he marches on all fours. Moreover, he has to balance a cup of tea while moving like a snake.

127.1 sec

51:54 / 59:07-59:19

Jackie helps Master Li who then complains about his pain.

11.5 sec

60:11 / 67:36-67:39

Another shot over Shangkuang's shoulder.

2.9 sec

Recut / Alternate
60:20-60:22 / 67:48-67:50

Odd: a part of the shot has been re-inserted here. Therefore, two other shots of the fight have been removed.

By the way, there's a screenshot of that taken from the Japanese Version which is proof for the different aspect ratio (more information on the bottom, right and left).

Original Version 0.2 sec longer

TV-FassungExtended Version

71:25 / 78:54-79:07

Shangkuang talks to Jackie. He says he was staying at the "Golden Dragon" and him visiting Pai was supposed to be a surprise. Jackie explains he was going to keep it to himself.
The following shot of him starts earlier - he's crossing the threshold.

12.9 sec

82:17 / 90:01-90:13

More threatening dialog before Pai and Shangkuang take their fighting position.

12 sec