Snake in the Eagle's Shadow

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (蛇形刁手) is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts action film. It was the directorial debut of Yuen Woo-ping, and Jackie Chan's first box office success as lead actor. One of the film's defining features is the distinct use of various pieces of music ranging from other films (Star Wars, James Bond films) and musicians (Jean Michael Jarre and Space).

The MusicEdit

NOTE: All music listed here is in regards to the Chinese language prints as well as the unaltered English dub (featured on the region 1 Columbia Pictures DVD). The music listed here, for the most part, will NOT pertain to the English dub featured on the Hong Kong Legends UK region 2 DVD (which features alternate music).

  • Magic Fly by Space. This is the film's opening theme, and also plays in one of the first scenes with Chien Fu (Jackie Chan).
  • The Battle of Yavin (from the film Star Wars) by John Williams. An excerpt from this track plays at the very end of the opening credits, as well as when Pai Cheng-tien (Yuen Siu-tien) enters the quarry and is attacked by Sheng Kuan (Hwang Jang Lee).
  • The Tanker (From the film The Spy Who Loved Me) by Marvin Hamlisch. The latter part of this music cue plays right after the opening credits, when Sheng Kuan is chasing down one of the surviving snake fist masters (Fung Hark-on)
  • The Rape (From the film The Outlaw Josey Wales) by Jerry Fielding. The opening "piano smash" of this music cue is essentially Snake in the Eagle's Shadow "death theme", as it plays nearly whenever a character is killed, found dead, or something dramatic happens.
  • A Drop In The Ocean (From the film You Only Live Twice) by John Barry. This plays when Pai Cheng-tien is ambushed by Su Chen (Hsu Hsia) in the abandoned snake fist school.
  • Love Theme, Closing Love Theme (from the film Bloomfield) by Johnny Harris. "Closing Love Theme" plays when Chien Fu (Jackie) is expelled from his training centre, while "Love Theme" plays in the first part of a training sequence.
  • Oxygene (Part II) by Jean Michael Jarre. This is basically the film's main "training theme", as it first plays when Chien Fu tried mimicing the foot patterns Pai Cheng-tien has drawn out for him. It plays in a later training sequence as well.
  • The Big Fight (from the film Bloomfield) by Johnny Harris. This plays when Chien Fu (Jackie Chan) is practicing "Cat Claw," and again later when he is beating up Sheng Kuan (Hwang Jang Lee) using the new technique.

Music IssuesEdit

As with Master of the Flying Guillotine, due to the threat of possible lawsuits from music companies, the music score was initially changed for foreign markets. This lead to a mock version of Magic Fly being made, along with extensive use of library music. This music track was featured in the English dub on the British Hong Kong Legends DVD, as well as the original American theatrical released titled The Eagle's Shadow. However, the American Columbia Pictures DVD features an English dub which retains the original music mix, featuring all of the original unlicensed music tracks listed above.