first saw this movie when i was about 5 or 6 when my uncle gave me the VHS.
this was the uncut version, all the DVD's of this film to be released that i know of have the most important scene taken out of it for animal rights reasons - there is a 2-3 minute long clip of a monkey killing a snake in an actual fight between the 2 animals (who knows how many animals they went through to get the shot of a monkey crushing the snakes head with his mouth?!?). this is the scene where the title character finally understands the power of the monkey style, and its effectiveness against the snake style - the style it was designed to combat.
anyway, at that age i was easily impressed, but this was just ridiculous. i don't think i have EVER been so impressed by anything in my entire life. i must have watched this film 5 times a day for a good 4 months over the summer (note, maybe a slight exaggeration).
i didn't then see it for the best part of 10 years until i finally unearthed the gem again and sat down to watch it - AND OH DEAR, if its possible i think i was more impressed this time round. probably due to sentimental reasons, but still, i was blown away by the acrobatics and greatly accurate portrayal of both the fighting styles and ancient china.
if you dare to call yourself a martial arts fan, or, well - even a SLIGHT fan of films - then i would challenge your integrity if you were to say you hadnt seen this movie, this 'shrine to everything good about life'! THATS how much i rate this film.