Drunken Master
April 1st, 2023

Drunken Master

Please join Cultivate Cinema Circle as we screen five classic martial arts films from the 1970s. Last up is Yuen Woo-Ping’s Drunken Master [Zui quan] [1978] starring Bruce Lee.

Event Sponsors:

Venue Information:

Downtown Central Library Auditorium
1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203
(Enter from Clinton Street between Oak and Washington Streets)
716-858-8900 • www.BuffaloLib.org
COVID protocol will be followed.

TrailerSynopsisDirector BioLinks

The father of Wong Fei-hong, who has been attempting to teach his son kung-fu, but has found him too disobedient to teach and decides to send him off to his uncle, a cruel and torturous master of the 8-Drunken Genii kung-fu. After much suffering the son comes back to rescue the father.

Photo by K.Y. Cheng.

“Filmmaking is always about working with and working around limitations. And often it is because of limitations that filmmakers are come up creative ideas and solutions.”

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Yuen was born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. With a support of Ng See-yuen, he achieved his first directing credit in 1978 on the seminal Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, starring Jackie Chan, followed quickly by Drunken Master. The films were smash hits, launching Jackie Chan as a major film star, turning Seasonal Films into a major independent production company, and starting a trend towards comedy in martial arts films that continues to the following two decades.

Yuen went on to work with such figures as Sammo Hung in Magnificent Butcher (1979), Yuen Biao in Dreadnaught (1981), Donnie Yen in Iron Monkey (1993), and Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh in Tai Chi Master (1993), and Wing Chun (1994).

Yuen’s works, particularly his action choreography on Fist of Legend (1994), attracted the attention of the Wachowskis, who hired him as the martial arts choreographer on The Matrix (1999). The success of this collaboration, plus his action choreography on the following year’s hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, made him a highly sought after figure in Hollywood. He went on to work on the Matrix sequels and Kill Bill (2003). More recent action choreography duties in Hong Kong cinema have included Kung Fu Hustle (2004), starring Stephen Chow, and Fearless (2006), starring Jet Li.

Yuen also choreographed the action sequences in The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), a Hollywood martial arts–adventure film, which was the first film to star together two of the best-known names in the martial arts film genre, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. He worked as a fight choreography consultant on Ninja Assassin (2009).

In late 2010, Yuen released his first film as director since 1996, True Legend, starring Vincent Zhao, Jay Chou and David Carradine (in a minor role). Yuen went on to work as stunt co-ordinator in two South Indian films, Enthiran (2010) and I (2014), both directed by S. Shankar. In 2015, Yuen directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, re-creating many of his signature action choreographies.

The annual and highly anticipated Hong Kong International Film Festival was held for its 45th edition in April 2021. Yuen is one of the six veteran Hong Kong filmmakers who directed local director Johnnie To Kei-fung’s highly anticipated anthology series Septet: The story of Hong Kong. The other filmmakers include Sammo Hung, Ann Hui On-wah, Patrick Tam, Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam. The short files were shot entirely on 35mm film with each of them touches on a nostalgic and moving story set across different time periods, with every one acting as an ode to the city.[2]


  • Septet: The Story of Hong Kong (segment Homecoming) (2020)
  • Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018)
  • The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (2017)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)
  • True Legend (2010)
  • The Tai Chi Master (2003)
  • Tai Chi II (1996)
  • The Red Wolf (1995)
  • Fire Dragon (1994)
  • Wing Chun (1994)
  • Tai Chi Master (1993)
  • Heroes Among Heroes (1993)
  • Iron Monkey (1993)
  • Last Hero in China (1993)
  • Tiger Cage III (1991)
  • Tiger Cage II (1990)
  • In the Line of Duty IV (1989)
  • Tiger Cage (1988)
  • The Close Encounters of Vampire (1986)
  • Ching fung dik sau (1985)
  • Siu Tai Gik (1984)
  • Tian shi zhuang xie (1983)
  • Oriental Voodoo (1982)
  • Kei moon duen gap (1982)
  • Legend of a Fighter (1982)
  • Dreadnaught (1981)
  • The Buddhist Fist (1980)
  • The Magnificent Butcher (1979)
  • Dance of the Drunken Mantis (1979)
  • Drunken Master (1978)
  • Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978)

Here is a curated selection of links for additional insight/information:

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