The Fearless Hyena is a 1979 Hong Kong action comedy kung fu film written, directed by and starring Jackie Chan. It was Chan's directorial debut. The film was a box office success.
The film has been released under several alternative titles internationally, including:
The film had a sequel, Fearless Hyena Part II, released in 1983.
Ching Hing-lung (Jackie Chan) is a youngster, living in a remote village with his grandfather, kung fu master Ching Pang-fei (James Tien). Lung does not take his training seriously enough, he gambles, and he gets into fights which lead him to display the skills his grandfather has told him he must keep secret.
Lung briefly finds employment selling coffins, working for an unscrupulous proprietor (Dean Shek), who even stoops to selling second-hand coffins. Lung is fired when he accidentally traps his boss in one of the coffins. After making his escape, he runs into three thugs he had beaten up earlier, who ask him to teach them kung fu. Lung meets their sifu, Tee Cha (Lee Kwan), the unskilled leader of the Everything Clan. Master Tee offers Lung a lucrative job training his students and fighting against the top fighters from rival schools. This boosts the reputation of the school and of the scheming Master Tee. However, Lung makes the mistake of naming the school under the Ying Yee clan name. This comes to the attention of evil kung fu master Yam Tin-fa (Yam Sai-kwoon), who finds and kills Lung's grandfather. But, Lung eventually takes revenge for his grandfather's murder after undergoing rigorous training from The Unicorn (Chan Wai-lau).
Fearless Hyena features several unusual slapstick fight scenes, including a chopsticks duel (to which an homage was later paid in the cartoon film Kung Fu Panda), Hing-lung fighting while disguised as a cross-eyed mentally retarded man, disguised as a woman, and using "Emotional Kung-Fu", a style that involves vividly displaying the emotions of anger, sorrow, joy and happiness to find the opponent's weakness, thus fighting whilst crying or laughing.
In Hong Kong, the film grossed a total of HK$5,445,535 (US$1,088,526) at the Hong Kong box office.
In South Korea, where it released in 1980, the film sold 436,545 tickets in Seoul City, equivalent to an estimated ₩873,090,000 (US$1,437,345).
In France, it sold 187,706 tickets in 1984, equivalent to an estimated €506,806 (US$399,870).
Combined, the film grossed an estimated US$2,925,741 (equivalent to $12,000,000 in 2022) in Asia and Europe.
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