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Drunken Master

original title: Zui quan


  • Japanese Version
  • Original Version
Release: Jun 27, 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.

20 cuts
Difference: 1054.2 sec (= 17:34 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.

In Hong Kong, Drunken Master was 5 minutes shorter which unfortunately negatively influenced the original audio track of several uncut DVDs worldwide because they were all based on the shorter audio track. The French DVD is an exception from the rule for some reason.

So much for an introduction of the general problems. The Japanese Blu-ray is interesting for two reasons: on the one hand, the audio track of the uncensored version is complete. But then again, the Japanese Version contains - besides a new dub - a different score/soundtrack. For fans, it's uninteresting to listen to it - especially since the Japanese audio track available for the Original Version doesn't match the one from the Japanese Version.
Not consistently, but the Japanese Version contains a different background music during several scenes, e.g. the own theme song introduced with a (more or less) new opening credits sequence. Every now and then, it will be shortly noted in the following comparison (not completely listed though).

All that aside, the Japanese Version isn't very spectacular. Similar to Snake in..., there isn't any new footage. Due to the recently mentioned opening sequence, Hwang Jang-Lee's entire introduction got lost which is certainly of the most famous scenes. Furthermore, other training scenes and parts of the fights are missing as well. Moreover, a little dialog / plot has also been removed.

Time index refers to
Japanese Version / Original Version
00:00 / 00:00-00:30

Additional logos in the Original Version.

30 sec

00:00-01:38 / 00:30-03:26

Interestingly enough, the movie starts different.

The Japanese Version begins with a training montage that's actually later in the movie plus there are other opening credits and and own theme song.

Please note: the footage has also been used from minute 82 to 84 in the Original Version (without the credits of course!), Jackie is learning the style nuances. Some scenes are partially longer plus intercuts to the book whereas So Hai mentions the current style. In the end, there's every single shot cut for the Japanese opening credits available - and so it is in the Japanese Version as well which means the footage has been used twice in the Japanese Version.

The Original Version on the other hand begins with a scene of Hwang Jang-Lee who gets the order to kill another man (Shao Li Wei) he takes care of it immediately.
The opening credits are on during that scene, then the image freezes and the title appears (completely missing in the Japanese Version by the way).

Original Version 75.5 sec longer

01:41 / 03:28-03:29

The first shot of the teacher starts a little later.

0.6 sec

04:40 / 06:28-07:44

Dean Shek bends his back, makes the students shut up and challenges Jackie for a fight. This immediately takes place in a very ridiculous way: Jackie is messing with him with the cap and steps on his foot.

The subsequent shot of Jackie is also in the Japanese Version by the way.

76.1 sec

10. Min: The fight in town is accompanied by the Japanese theme song plus a further playful song.

11:51 / 14:55-15:19

Jackie threatens the punk. Then he hits him on the back with the blunt side of the sword and says it was going to be the sharp side next time.

23.7 sec

18:03 / 21:30-22:11

After a complimentary comment by Master Li, Chau keeps fighting Jackie.

40.4 sec

19. Min: The fight against further people from Master Li is accompanied by another more action-orientated score.

21:09 / 25:17-31:18

Jackie's punitive training is completely missing. In the garden, he has to balance several tea cups in fighting position plus there's a burning stick fixated under his butt. Dean Shek arrives and abuses him by refilling hot water and tickling Jackie with the feather duster. When Dean leaves in order to keep watching Jackie from his spot, a friend sneaks up on him from behind and gives Jackie a little stool.
Now, Jackie's father shows up and recognizes the stool. He's fooling around with them resp. he asks Dean if he had paid attention all the time and talks to Jackie about his stamina - until he clears it up and announces a worse punishment.

Another excessive exercise follows: Jackie's hands are tied, he has to stand on two upended benches with a heavy mug tied around his neck.
The friends comes along to help again. First, he gives him some food. Then, he cuts the rope from the mug - both looks pretty clumsily. Last but not least, they're talking about the announced more awful training with So Hai resp. the friends emphasizes several times how bad his reputation was plus Jackie gets scared.

361.4 sec

27:31 / 37:41-37:52

The guy with the denture takes his first punches at Jackie plus he's being yelled at by the restaurant owner.

11.5 sec

27:36 / 37:57-38:21

Jackie keeps getting his butt kicked. The owner demands back food and water. As a result, Jackie spits a few times after he got hit.

23.9 sec

29:22 / 40:07-40:28

Before the Bolo double attacks again, the Original Version contains an extended shot of So Hai fighting üöus Jackie is stealing some food. The owner intends to confront him and gets attacked for it by Jackie.

21.4 sec

33:07 / 44:13-44:33

So Hai wraps the ribbon he fixes his bottle on around Jackie.

19.9 sec

35. Min: Different, more cheerful sounds when So Hai and Jackie are fighting.

35:40 / 47:06-49:14

Extended shot of Jackie and So Hai. Now the first training scenes: Jackie is being tossed around for some time resp. he's supposed to learn how to fall correctly. A night scene follows. While sleeping, So Hai's foot is lying on Jackie's hand who puts it aside with caution in order to secretly run. Until he's reached the door, he doesn't realize So Hai has wired his foot. When Jackie then says he was just going to take a leak, So Hai looses the grip and Jackie makes another attempt to run which can be stopped by So Hai as well - he shuts the barn door with another wire.

128.1 sec

39:43 / 53:17-54:05

Hwang keeps attacking Jackie for a while. The latter dodges the attacks by jumping on a chair - among other things.

48.3 sec

42:30 / 56:53-58:08

Jackie is lying on the ground. He remembers submissive things from the previous fight.

75 sec

45:02 / 60:40-61:46

So Hai keeps tormenting Jackie with bamboo sticks.
In the evening, they're sitting at the table together and Jackie has barely the power to grab with food with his fingers so that So Hai puts food on his plate.

66.8 sec

48:07 / 64:51-65:03

Extended shot of Jackie and So Hai before they are in town. The former suggests exactly that (going to town) and he seems pleased when So Hai says yes.

11.4 sec

59:46 / 76:43-76:48

After the attackers have vanished, So Hai tells Jackie to get some decent wine now.

5.5 sec

71:33 / 88:35-88:50

A few final words between Jackie's dad and Master Li. The latter threatens to find "ways and means".

14.7 sec

73. Min: The fight with Jackie's opponent ending up in cowcrap is accompanied by the theme song again.

75:18 / 92:35-92:39

The close-up of that highlight is missing in the Japanese Version for some reason.

4.6 sec

76:00 / 93:21-93:46

The guy still hasn't enough, he attacks Jackie with his stick again. After a few ducking maneuvers, Jackie takes him down. Poor fella is tumbling while Jackie keeps drinking further wine.

24.4 sec

78:22 / 96:07-96:28

Earlier st school, a shot of the chubby guy at training. Jackie's dad is making a few adjustments.

20.9 sec