When Jackie Chan and his father arrived at Master Yu Jim-Yuen’s school in Hong Kong for the first time in 1961, he could hardly believe his eyes. Children his age were allowed to have fun all day long – the bully Jackie Chan wanted that too. By contract, the then 7-year-old was placed in the care of Master Yu Jim-Yuen for ten years. A mistake?
Jackie Chan celebrated his 65th birthday on April 7, 2019. In his honor, the German TV broadcaster Kabel eins had a documentary made, which premiered on April 8, 2019. Unfortunately, some errors crept in here, but before you criticize them, you should appreciate the thought and effort behind this full-length documentary, especially in Germany.
The actor and director Jackie Chan does not come from an acting family like his Hollywood colleagues Michael Douglas, Michael Keaton or Charlie Sheen. With his breakthrough in the late 1970s, he not only ensured that his friends and stuntman colleagues got film jobs, but he also made up for lost time with his father on his own film sets – sometimes in front of the camera.
Discovery: Jackie Chan discovered in “The Golden Hairpin” from 1963 thanks to a comparison of film recordings?
While researching my new book “The New German Jackie Chan Film Guide” I came across a film some time ago in which a young Jackie Chan may be seen. In the little-known and even less advertised four-part film “The Golden Hairpin” from 1963/1964, several child actors were recruited – and one of them resembles the now world-famous star from Hong Kong.
When Jackie Chan’s autobiography “I am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action” appeared in collaboration with Jeff Yang in 1998, readers found an officially verified list of films in which the Hong Kong film legend had worked in front of and behind the camera for the first time. This list goes back to the early 1960s. Hardly anyone knew at the time that it contained a lot of misinformation, not even Jackie Chan.