The story concerns the young Chien Fu, an orphan who has been raised at a kung fu school where he is treated as little more than a dogsbody and practice target for the students.
But Fu's life is set to change after helping an old peripatetic beggar (Siu Tien Yuen).
Unknown to Fu, the old man is actually Grandmaster Pai Cheng-Tien, one of the last custodians of the Snake Fist style of fighting; and in return for Fu's kindness, the old man teaches the youngster to how defend himself.
However, the Grandmaster is actually in hiding from Lord Sheng Kuan (Jang Lee Hwang) and the Eagle Claw clan, who have sworn to wipe out all exponents of Snake Fist, and it's only a matter of time before they track him down...
The film is now recognised as a classic of the genre, and the movie which brought Jackie Chan to the full attention of both the Hong Kong film industry and its audience.
It was shot and released before the better known Drunken Master (also 1978), and its success lead to a flood of earlier Chan films that had been gathering dust on the studios' shelves finally being released.
Woo-ping Yuen, in addition to his career as a director, also made his mark as fight choreographer on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Kill Bill and The Matrix series.
In Cantonese with English subtitles.