Master With Cracked Fingers (1971)
aka Snake Fist Fighter

Synopsis: Jackie plays a young man who is forbidden by his father to fight, but has secretly been trained from the time he was a small child by a mysterious old Kung Fu Master. When the restaurant where he works is plagued by local thugs, however, he can’t resist using his skills to intervene, thus incurring the wrath of his father, who punishes him mercilessly. In the end, however, Jackie’s father must flee with him and his sister to avoid members of a deadly Kung Fu clan who are bent on wiping out Jackie’s clan, and who, as it happens, years ago murdered Jackie’s real father. 

Debbie's Review: This was to have been Jackie’s first starring role, in a film originally called “Little Tiger of Canton.” Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) the film was never finished, and it sat on a shelf until years later when Jackie became famous. Then some enterprising producer took the footage of Jackie (shot when he was only 17 years old) and created a new story using a child actor for flashbacks, and a blind-folded “look-alike” to finish the final scenes. The results are uneven, to say the least! On the one hand, it’s great fun to see a very young Jackie in his first “starring” role, and the scenes that he filmed himself are entertaining enough…the fights aren’t even too bad. The story is, of course, the old avenge the death of my father/teacher/friend/whoever theme typical of the Kung Fu movies of the time. The idea of Jackie being cruelly punished by his Dad for fighting is carried to absurd lengths, though...he must not fight even to prevent his own sister from being raped. C’mon Dad! What are you thinking? The way the three parts of this film are spliced together is excruciatingly bad. The flash backs with the child actor are bizarrely pedophilic, and the end is just plain silly…a completely new character makes his first appearance about 2/3 of the way through the movie, popping out of a doorway to yell “Jackie CHAN! I know you!” and challenge him to fight. The rest is shot with the blind-folded double, and is a total bore. The best scenes involve a character who is a local tough, a gang member wanna be who can't quite cut it. He is befriended and protected by Jackie. But all in all, if you are trying to collect all of Jackie Chan’s movies, put this one on your “buy later” list.

Score: 2/10

Reader Reviews

Super Dragon's Review: Master with cracked fingers,Jackie Chan's debut film.It is not bad at all it is just like any other cheap 70s kung fu film.The story is about a kid that wants to learn martial arts but his father will not let him.He meets an old beggar who teaches him.He becomes an adult and works in his uncles restaurant.These thugs come and cause trouble so Jackie beats them up and then they start to have lots of problems.In the end jackie fights the big boss and thats the end of it.This film was origonally incomplete.I give this flick a 7/10

Score: 7/10

KUNG FU SUPERCOP's Review: Jackie chans debut film.Very good start.If you have not given this a good or OK review that means you dont appreciate cheap 70s kung fu films.This is like it...bad quality,grainy film,bad dubbing,color changing Etc)The story is...A young boy wants to learn kung fu despie his fathers warnings,He meets a beggar and they start to learn.He grows up and works in his uncles restaurant and is getting destroyed by some thugs.He befriends a pickpocket.THe thugs start to get revenge on him.When he fights his father gives him cruel punishments and when he does not he gets beaten by his master.So they kill his dad and the pickpocket then the boss fights Jackie chan and chan kills him and they fight blindfolded.The beggar meets a landlord and they start having a funny fight.This was origionnaly incompleate then chan got famous and they put footage from Drunken Master and use a double.This has a good mix of action comedy and drama.You should see it

Score: 7.5/10

Funky Dragon's Review: This is my first review on this website.According to some people this is jackie chan's first movie made in 1971 but according to imdb its jackie's 4th movie made in 1974.I got this with Fantasy mission force on VHS.A lot of people badmouth this movie.IT is not that bad.It's like any other cheap 70s kung fu movie.Also it was imcomplete then when jackie got famous he took footage from drunken master,used a child and a double to finish this movie.Its about a kid who wants to learn kung fu but his father does not want him to learn.He meets an old homeless man who teaches him.Then he grows up into jackie chan and works in his uncles restaurant.He meets these thugs and beets them up.This was before his comedy movies but it does have comedy in it.jackie moves fast in this movie.I give this movie a 7/10

Score: 7/10

???'s Review: Listen everyone I already reviewed this movie but i accidently typed an extra ? for my name.I didnt care before but when i was looking around on this web site I found another reviewer on the heart of dragon page with the name ???? I have not seen heart of dragon.Im just letting you know.Anyway I want to write a diffrent review for this movie so here it is.This movie stars a very young jackie chan.This movie is his first leading role.Nothing really great about this movie.Its just like any other cheap 70s kung fu film.It starts off as Jackie as a child wanting to learn martial arts but his father didnt want him to fight.He meets a old homeless man who teaches him.Jackie moves pretty fast in this movie.This is the only 70s jackie movie ive seen.Getting back to the movie he grows up and works in his uncles restaurant then some guys start to ruin it so jackie beats them all.He also meets a pickpocket he is not really a bad guy but he is with the baddies.The baddies start wanting ! revenge.HIs father gives jackie cruel punishments for fighting.This movie was before Jackie tried comedy but does have some funny parts like when the old man battles the landlord.

Score: 7/10

????'s Review: Very early Jackie Chan. The movie was not that bad its just a normal kung fu movie. It has some good fights and also some comedy and Drama.It was an ok movie but if you like Jackie then check it out.

Score: 6/10

Joe Cool's Review: This is a pretty horrible film. Bad editing, acting, and the fight sequences look flat and boring. The plot , or lack of it, is unfortunately laughable on more than one occassion. See this film only if you are a Jackie Chan fanatic, and just havre to see everything he has done, otherwise, steer well clear of this one.

Score: 1/10

Manny's Review: The  person who gave this movie 1/10, call a doctor. This is the first movie he starred in along with little tiger of canton. Great action scenes with'the man who isnt there'although it is not as good as the 2 Rush Hours.All and all this is a great movie for over 15's.

Score: 6/10

Amy's Review: I really liked this film. I'll admit that the beginning was bad, but I always fast forward though that part. This movie was before Jackie had the eye-widening surgery during his Lo Wei period. That and the 17 year old Jackie make this worth a look.
I was entertained by the double fighting at the end and the added scenes from Drunken Master. The double did a pretty good job at imitating Jackie's movements.
From what was already filmed, I'm surprised that this never got finished. It is at least as good as all those other chop socky films out there!

Score: 8/10

Laurie's Review: For me, how good (or bad) this film was is not the point...I put it in the "good, old, bad Gung Fu Movie" catagory, and I have a real soft spot for those.

The thrill is seeing a very young and athletic Jackie - his gift of movement is very clear, and I think he does a respectable job acting.

The old Master is very odd - we see him alot in old Jackie films, and I questioned his intentions...

If you can find a version with the original fight (at night time), you're in for a much better show.

A must for the die hard Jackie fan.

Score: 6/10

øivind aas' Review: Plot:Many years ago jackies biological father was murdered by a crime boss he worked for. His best friend took care of Jackie as a stepfather. Now Jackie is like 6 years old and he wants to learn kung fu but his "father" wont let him. When Jackie meets an old beggar whos name is "the man who isn`t there" he learns kung fu without telling his "father". After many years of training, Jackie works as a waiter at his uncle`s resturant. He has also promised his "father" that he wouldn`t go out street fighting until a gang is bothering his uncle and the rest of the citizens.When Jackie finds out that his "father" is not the real father Jackie knows soon whats going on.He finds out that the crime boss who owes the gang has killed his real father, jackie wants revenge 

Score: 4/10                   

Antonis' Review: This is the first martial arts movie for Jackie Chan and I think its awful. I'm afraid that this is one of the worst Jackie Chan movies.

Score: 1/10

Sharon's Review: thought it was a great movie considering Jackie was so young and still learning how to become the great actor he is.

Score: 9/10

JF's Review: Master with Cracked Fingers (aka a million other names) was a rather sad and thoughtful movie until the blind folded double took over. Then they tried to make it a fun lighthearted movie like Jackie's more recent films. I enjoyed watching the double immensely, because he not only had to keep his face out of full view of the camera, but had to imitate Jackie's moves too. Fun stuff! Ahh, but it still only gets 2 out of 10 stars from me. 

Score: 2/10

Joe's Review: Early attempt by Jackie, as this is verry bad movie. Jackie even seems to be wearing makeup. 

Score: 2/10.

Brendan's Review: This is a horrible horrible horrible HORRIBLE movie. Distribution of it ANYWHERE SHOULD BE OUTLAWED. I know this was a thrown-together movie, but it shouldn't have been released because it is excruciatingly bad. A couple of reasonably respectable fights, but this is just a piece of crap thrown together for money-making purposes. (Bet it didn't work.)

Score: 1/10

James' Review: This is the WORST MOVIE THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. It is horrible. It's a pieced-together shambles, piece of crap that is so bad its beyond belief. I've never prayed for the credits to roll on a Jackie film, but I did!

Score: 0/10

The Drunken Master's Review: Master With Cracked Fingers (The Little Tiger of Canton), is of Jackie's best early films. I mean, c'mon guys, cut him some slack, he was only 17!!!! It also has Siu Tien Yuen, the Drunken Master (no, the OTHER Drunken master). Great film. If you're going to watch one of Jackie's early films, watch this after "Drunken Master".

Score: 9/10

Adam JC fan's Review: This movie was ok in the beginning. After the fight by the dock it got horrible.

Score: 2.5/10

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