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1973 was a year that came not long after James Bond was still a relatively fresh phenomenon, Sean Connery's dulcet Scot tones wooing ladies and making men envious left right and centre. Up until this era, martial arts films had their roots and their consistent parade firmly in the East, but Robert Clouse's film very much mixes that which is pure Eastern (Bruce Lee and the martial 'way') with a very modern and Western style in terms of the plot and the presentation.
Enter The Dragon starts off showing us that Bruce Lee's character, Lee, is a master of the martial arts, the ethics ruling everything else. He is recruited by a governmental body to infiltrate a disgraced former Shaolin master's island lair where it is believed drugs and prostitution are the main business routes, with many agents and others falling foul and losing their lives, without anything to prove it.
Lee, along with a couple of other agents tagging along, enters a competition on the island, where he is able to display his fighting prowess at the same time as patrolling the island at night in search of proof of the dodgy dealings. There's a strong link here between this film and Bond films, although I would hasten to add that it's perhaps not as one way as you may initially think. Many elements of Enter The Dragon remind me of Bond films that have been made after this was made, and so I think there's a mutual existence going on here, something that modern cinema reciprocates on a regular basis. Crossovers between films are all over the place, there's no reason why this should be any different, I suppose.
Really, this set the boundaries for crossover styles between Eastern martial arts and Western films, and the genre has seen plenty of success since. The classic traditional martial arts films are excellent, but there's something familiar and comforting about seeing the mix between it and the West presented style. Clouse does a good job behind the camera, while his cast perform solidly in front of it. I don't think this film would be quite the impressive spectacle now that it was then, but purely for its combination of styles and bridging the gap it deserves a recognised place in cinema history.
I thought Bruce Lee was most at home within the fight scenes, and the power of his physical ability is mesmerising. The final battle scene is one to behold, and it's a tribute to his relative acting skills that he was able to show some sort of equality against his opponent when he was clearly the better fighter. In fact, throughout the film as the plot develops, there are timely interspersed fight scenes which balance the actual plot quite well, keeping the interest moving, the plot developing and the action to give our brains a break even though there's not much going on that can't be easily spotted.
Overall then, a clever and enjoyable Bond style martial arts film. Who knows: perhaps Bruce Lee would have made a good Bond at some point.....
The legend Bruce Lee stars in his final film the 1973 American action martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse. The film was released six days after Bruce Lee's death July 20, 1973. The move was produced in association with Golden Harvest and Concord Production which was Bruce Lee's company.
This was a breakthrough for Chinese martial arts due to it being the first martial art film to be produced by a mayor Hollywood Studio. The film was was largely set in Hong Kong. Bruce Lee revised much of the script himself and had written and directed the film's opening Shaolin Monastery fight scene. Lee wanted this movie show Chinese culture and not to be just to be another martial art movie. This film was selected for preservation in the National Film registry due to it's 'culture significance'.
Lee is a Shaolin martial artist from Hong Kong who is invited to martial tornament on an Island and this is organised by the mysterious Hun who was also once a Shaolin student but was expelled from the order due to to breaking their code of conduct.
An international agency approach Lee to ask for his help in an undercover mission. They suspect that Hun is running a drugs and prostitution empire but the Island is not in their jurisdiction so it is impossible for them to investigate. The competition that Hun holds on the Island every three years gives Bruce Lee the perfect cover story and Bruce Lee has all the skills to be the perfect agent. Lee has the perfect incentive when he learns from his father that Hun's henchman O'Hara had caused the death of his elder sister years ago. Once on the Island Lee goes to work and discovers some horrifying truths about what Hun has been up to on his Island. The result is a heart pounding confrontation between Lee and Hun.
I'm a huge Bruce Lee fan and love all his movies but this is one of my favourite. It's not necessarily his best movie but I like the fact that it has been westernised as I'm not crazy about the hard core Kung Fu movies. Although it did well in the box office it took less than Lee's other movies, Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon. It was well received by the critics but some referred to it as a low rate James Bond movie. This is actually why I like it, because it had a James bond feel about it and I could see what Bruce Lee was aiming for. He didn't just want another typical martial arts movie full of fight scenes but something with a story and style and I think he succeeded. The fact that the film is not packed with fight scenes and they only really happen at the end but the movie still keeps you intrigued means that Lee's plan worked. The fight scenes take a while to get going but are worth waiting for and amazing as always. In particular the final fight scene with Lee and Hun amongst the mirrors is just brilliant cinema. I honestly thought that this film was way ahead of it's time as far as martial art films go.
Bruce Lee's last completed film! I'm a big Lee fan and this film is entertaining once you get past the first 50 odd minutes because Lee doesn't actually fight until around that time. There is a little sparring match at the opening credits but that's all you get for a while and then it's mostly dialogue and martial arts showmanship from the other actors and, of course, the story set up which is just an excuse for lots of fighting.
Once Bruce gets to strut his stuff, that's when the excitement really begins. The nunchuka sequence is probably the most memorable part of the whole film and it only lasts around 10-15 seconds.
The final battle between Han and Bruce is great and the "mirrors" scenes are pretty tense.
If there are any complaints is that the first 50 minutes is pretty slow, this is a Bruce Lee film and any martial arts fan wants to see more kick and chop action.
The movie seemed to take the same path as the Big Boss in building up the anticipation to see Bruce finally fight.
Anyway, it's a great martial arts film, nonetheless and a must if you are a Lee fan.
Enter the Dragon is a classic 1973 Hong Kong based martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse and starring Bruce Lee. Lee (known simply as Lee in the film also) plays a Shaolin monk and martial arts expert sequestered by intelligence bigwig Braithwaite (Geoffrey Weeks) to investigate the dealings of the mysterious and highly dubious Han (Kien Shih). Han is hosting a huge martial arts tournament over several days on his remote private island and the suspicion is that he uses the competition as a front to recruit new muscle to his criminal gangs and continue his dabblings in drug smuggling, gun running and prostitution. "We'd very much like you to attend THAT particular tournament, Mr Lee," suggests the very British Braithwaite. Lee duly agrees to pry into Han's complex and secrets on the island and expose any criminal activities. His motivation is heightened by the knowledge that Han was once part of the Shaolin Temple but disgraced it and - most importantly of all - was also responsible for the death of his sister Su Lin (Angela Mao) through his bodyguard Oharra (Bob Wall).
A high-energy action film with great fight sequences, Enter the Dragon is somewhat dated of course but the camp seventies trappings are a lot of fun to modern eyes and there is much to enjoy here. Enter the Dragon plays like a low-budget James Bond at times but also stands as perhaps the seminal martial arts picture and a perfect showcase for the physical dexterity of its much missed star - who sadly died at just 33 years of age not long after the completion of the film. We begin with a prologue in the Shaolin temple where Lee challenges a young student to hit him and dispenses various mystical nonsense - the type of stuff that is much spoofed in comic kung fu films and skits but oddly enjoyable too when played with a straight face. "Don't think," says Lee. "FEEL. It's like a finger pointing at the moon." We start the film proper in winning fashion with some nice, authentic location work in Hong Kong and the arrival of some of the key characters competing in Han's tournament.
Although this is essentially a vehicle for Bruce Lee, he has two co-stars of sorts in the form of John Saxon and Jim Kelly respectively. The always dependable Saxon plays Roper, a suave self-deprecating American playboy on the run from his gambling debts and now in Hong Kong to compete in Han's tournament. We see a flashback of Saxon playing golf in the United States in comical seventies fashions and then deploying his kung fu skills when some stereotypical action film goons of the era arrive to get the money he owes. "It's the dough Roper, or we gotta break something. You got it?" Saxon obviously isn't as convincing in the fight scenes as Lee and the athletic Kelly - who were both martial artists in real life - but he does pretty well nonetheless and is certainly a lot more dignified and believable beating people up than the portly Franco Nero was in Enter the Ninja, one of countless films spawned in the wake of Enter the Dragon. Kelly - the star of the camp cult classic Black Belt Jones - plays Williams, a jive-talking black martial artist from the Ghetto with the largest Afro in cinematic history. Williams is tired of police harassment in the US - we see him duffing up several policemen after being provoked in his flashback - and now plans to win Han's tournament. Jones is good value as the cocky Williams. "Man, you come right out of a comic book," he, er, jives, to the film's enjoyably theatrical villain.
The film is good fun when the action switches to Han's private island and we meet Betty Chung as Mei Ling, Lee's inside contact. There is a real James Bond feel to Enter the Dragon at times as Lee and the other guests are wined and dined in lavish fashion and he eventually slips out of his quarters late at night in the type of black secret operative clobber that Sean Connery had over the top of his tuxedo in the PTS of Goldfinger. Lee deploys climbing ropes to clandestinely infiltrate the inner echelons of Han's operations and complex and this is all highly enjoyable. Han is obviously a James Bond villain with his secret base, private island, penchant for calling people by their surnames, musings on his unique line of work - "We are investing in corruption, Mr Roper. The business of corruption is like any other business" - metal hand (pure Ian Fleming), and urbane and civilised exterior which, of course, hides a complete and utter nutcase up to all sorts of nonsense. "Gentlemen, welcome," charms Han. "You honour our island. I look forward to a tournament of truly epic proportions. We are unique, gentlemen, in that we create ourselves. Through long years of rigorous training, sacrifice, denial, pain, we forge our bodies in the fire of our will. But tonight, let us celebrate. Gentlemen, you have our gratitude." Lee even has a classic Bond villain speech when he talks about how Sparta, Rome, The Knights of Europe, and the Samurai flourished because they worshipped strength.
The martial tournament is great fun and with Lee's surreptitious investigations, Enter the Dragon has a brisk pace where martial arts action is always to the forefront. The imposing Yang Tse as Bolo and Bob Wall as Oharra both make suitably formidable and unhinged opponents as heavies of Han here and Wall has a well staged flashback sequence that shows us the fate of Lee's sister Su Lin. Wall, with a heavy scar on one side of his face, is another character who wouldn't have been out of place in a Bond film and one can easily imagine him grappling with Roger Moore before a tie-straightening quip or two. The film benefits a great deal from the numerous martial artist extras and the panning shots of them all in action on Han's lawns give the film a feeling of scope at times with a huge free for all brawl at the end.
The lack of guns gives Enter the Dragon a refreshing quality, heightened by the extraordinary prowess of Lee - who beats up about a million opponents and baddies (including some great fights in the underground complex of Han) with athletic grace and some enjoyably OTT sound effects. "My style?" says Lee. "You could call it the art of fighting without fighting." Lee uses his own voice in the film and isn't bad at all, projecting a strong, reserved screen image with his undoubted charisma. Some of the dialogue is perhaps a little cheesy and the clothes are rather comical but Enter the Dragon is a kinetic comic book adventure that one should enjoy rather than scrutinise too closely. It all builds to a classic climax with Han's nefarious activities in his secret complex rumbled and a wonderful and iconic hall of mirrors duel between Lee and Han. Despite the somewhat dated air, Enter the Dragon is an undoubted classic of the genre and great fun. Highly recommended.
"Enter the Dragon", with an effective enough story, is one of the best choreographed and cleverly done action/Kung-fu films you will ever see. The film was very influential at the time of it's release in 1973, showcasing Jeet Kune Do expert and actor, Bruce Lee to worldwide fame for his incredible grasp of martial arts fighting and stamina. The film made over 90 million profit worldwide from a reasonably small budget. It also helped rise the profile of many of the cast including John Saxon and Bolo Yeung, as well as raising western awareness of legendary Chinese actor and martial artist Shih Kien, who played the role of the main villain, Han. With some great quotes, and an epic soundtrack, the film is never slow in pace, and it breezes harmoniously throughout, with action taking place from start to finish, especially by the end, which is one large epic battlefield involving a high number of Chinese extras. Some of the stuntmen were from Seven Little Fortunes, which included future break-out Kung Fu stars, Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung.
THE MAIN CAST
Bruce Lee as Lee
John Saxon as Roper
Shih Kien as Han
Ahna Capri as Tania
Angela Mao as Su Lin
Jim Kelly as Williams
Robert Wall as O'Hara
Bolo Yeung as Bolo
Betty Chung as Mei Ling
Geoffrey Weeks as Braithwaite
Peter Archer as Parsons
Bruce Lee stars as Lee, a shaolin martial artist living in Hong Kong. After winning a traditional martial arts fight, he receives an invitation to fight in a martial arts competition, hosted by a man by the name of Han. Little is known about this island and character and what goes on there. A British man from international intelligence organization, who goes by the name of Braithwaite, gets to Lee, to tell him the island is a drug haven with no laws, as it is under no international jurisdiction. Han exports drugs as well as testing them on vulnerable young women, who are his servants. He has his own martial arts school on the island, and hosts a tournament every 3 years, to help recruit a personal army to serve only him. Lee is seen as the most designated candidate thanks to his non-armed combat skills. Han's island outlaws firearms.
It is discovered that Han was a former student of Shaolin before being expelled. To the shock of Lee, his father tells him, Han and his gang are no stranger to his family. It was the reason her sister was forced to kill herself, to evade capture from Han's henchman, the one taking the lead was O'Hara. So with the affair now personal, Lee travels to the island by boat along with other recruits. The film focuses on 2 international entries, both from the USA. Roper, is a golf-loving, well-to-do businessmen, but has had a run-in with the mafia, and is on the run. Williams, is a black-American martial artist also on the run, after being involved in a scuffle with 2 policemen in Los Angeles.
They are warmly greeted and fed by Han and his associates on the island. The tournament begins, and it descends into mayhem, as Lee breaks the curfew, destroys the competition, sometimes 4 at a time! The ultimate goal is to seize the Island into surrender for the incoming intelligence agents, and defeat Han once and for all!
A tremendous movie, with great replay value, for action film lovers. The personal battle between Lee and Han, makes Lee's countless battling and sneaking bring some validity to it. It really does showcase Bruce Lee's skills, as well as being a dab hand at the ninchukas. The villain of Han is very memorable, as well as the actor Shih Kien being a great heel character, he has a dummy left hand, which is revealed in his battle with Kelly, and we see the hand is detachable, and he can arm himself with sharp weapons such as a animal/bear claw, and as in the famous fight scene, were the razor sharp 4-pronged steel blades. It's not only just senseless fighting, but some very clever suspense is conjured up in the final battle scene, in the room of mirrors with some great confusing camera work, that helps you feel how the 2 men may feel. Of course, the cinematic music in this scene is excellent, and how it builds up to the death of Han.
There's also a great long chase sequence with appropiate music, following the sister's story to her suicide, as she is being chased by Han's men and O' Hara. Also appropiately, we see Lee face off against O'Hara, which is another memorable moment of the show, and at times, being the 70's there is some hallucinative music, as Lee doesn't only defeat O'Hara in the tournament, but proceeds to crush him with an almighty jump in slow-motion. Another villain and Han who is built up rather well, is one of Han's henchman, the strongman Bolo, who is seen breaking and killing men with great ease. It is Roper who eventually defeats him, so the film is not all about Lee. The film, if your a first-timer, will make you wonder if Roper will join Han, and whether he will suffer the same fate as Kelly, so you have another running storyline there.
There are also some very clever use of props and scene, as Han guides Roper around his headquarters and he tests Roper's perhaps ruthlessnes and bravery, as he appears somewhat as a James Bond villain, stroking a white Persian cat like Dr.No. He places the cat on what looks like a guillotine, but Roper is believing the trick, and picks the cat up, as he states, there are somedepths he will not go to. It's later known that the handle is actually to function a lift, transporting to the underground/dungeon section.
One of the downsides of the film, if I could say there are any, is, Lee played a big part in Williams death after escaping his compound to infiltrate the headquarters to send a coded message to the intelligence agency he is working for. Williams was only outside on the balcony, which could be said as a wrong move by him, but I felt the character of Lee, could be seen as a little selfish for not taking responsibility or apologising about it. However, we do not get to see what Lee or anyone else does after they leave the island victorious, also the fact that "Enter the Dragon" is not heavy with dialogue, and the Lee character is seen as a very focused and aware individual but somewhat quiet in some conversational occasions. For all we know, Lee could pay his respects to Kelly's grave or meet with his family, we will never know. However, this does not spoil the enjoyment of the film, with a solid story, some great quotes from Kelly, Han and Lee and the outstanding martial arts fighting from the icon that is Bruce Lee.
Sadly Bruce Lee died, not long before the film became publically viewable, in 1973, at the age of only 32 years old. Lee had been trying to break into the US and western world market for quite some years, but this was finally it. In the UK, martial arts fever reached the Isles, and membership to Karate clubs exploded, and also crafted the Carl Douglas song "Kung Fu Fighting". However, Bruce Lee's legacy was alot more than that, as he teached his own philosopy on life and immersing it with martial arts, and he has accomplished some amazing physical feats, such as the 2-fingered press-up. The film helped Lee become an immortal icon, and simply can't be ignored.
note: also appears in part on The Student Room and Flixster
Among the most influential and iconic martial arts ever made is Enter the Dragon, the film that made Bruce Lee famous in both the East and West, and ensured that his legacy would never become lost. Lee plays a great martial artist who is invited along to a martial arts tournament by the nefarious Han, who seemingly has more devious plans than are first apparent. Lee therefore teams up with Roper (John Saxon - the Western link in the film) and other underdogs to take down this dangerous operation, with whatever surprises it may behold.
Although it's in many ways now quite a corny film, it stands as a cinematic landmark largely because it was the first martial arts film that was created in the Hollywood system. It then opened the floodgates not only for Lee to create a plethora of films, but also that his followers, such as Jackie Chan (who is actually a stuntman in the film) and Jet Li might get an easier time trying to get martial arts films made there.
Nevertheless, the film has a very recognisable style, from its funky 70s music, to its almost cartoon-like plot, and of course, the unmistakable presence of Bruce Lee that has been imitated countless times over the years, but never bettered. Lee's superb work on the fight scenes makes the film what it is - gritty, intense, and a revolutionary work that will never be forgotten. Otherwise, you've just got a pretty cheesy film with some over the top villains and funky music.
A surprisingly dark and brutal film. Enter the Dragon has elements resembling many Bond films (the plot, the villain, the soundtrack), yet it survives such criticisms with its gritty and plentiful fight scenes, and Bruce Lee's intense performance.
This is the only film Bruce Lee created as a big budget Hollywood film, it is ground breaking as a martial arts film and is still one of the greatest fighting films ever made.
The Film - This was the last film Bruce Lee made before his death, just as he broke Hollywood, the film is directed by Robert Clouse and is hollywoods first ever Kung Fu film, the film follows Bruce Lee, fellow Martial Artist Jim Kelly and John Saxon. Lee is a mysterious Shao-Lin martial artist who is invited to a martial arts tournament held by the evil Han, Han is an international drug dealer and villain who invites the worlds greatest fighters to his island each year to fight. He agrees to go on the request of Braithwaite a secret agent investigating Han's activities. On the boat heading to the island he meets fellow competitors Roper (Saxon) and Williams (Kelly). The boat trip is a bonding experience with a famous Prating Mantis fight being a scene stealer.
On the island, Han allows each fighter to choose a prostitute, Lee chooses Mei Ling (A woman he is aware works with Braithwaite as a secret agent). The tournament begins and Lee fights and searches premises in the evenings. The film develops, Lee kills a man during his first fight when illegally attacked with Broken bottles and Williams is killed by Han when he is mistaken as the man who is searching the island for evidence. The film continues with Lee's resolve strengthened to win the tournament and get rid of the evil Han, will he defeat the other fighters and bodyguards as well as Han or will it all be too much for one man?
Bruce Lee - Bruce is Bruce, his dialogue in this film is laughable, he is in the film for one thing and one thing only, his magnificent martial arts skills. His acting is great, he is fast efficient and really is a big screen hero, its just the words he is asked to say are claptrap and let the film down, but also make it a classic. Lee in action is mesmerising, he is absolutely brilliant and still the greatest action hero i've ever seen. He is fast, powerful and utterly believable in his fight scenes you do believe he is unbeatable and afraid of nothing, the film has added poignancy due to his subsequent mysterious death.
What I thought:
The film is a genre film, it is formulaic and you kind of know how its going to end from the first moment you see Bruce Lee, this is clearly a vehicle for its star and he takes the opportunity with relish, he is amazingly agile and powerful in the lead role, the story is fairly good the dialogue is the one thing that lets it down, its cliché driven and corny. But with action this good, who cares. One of the best action films of the 1970's this is well worth a look for any marital art connoisseurs out there.
The DVD is available for £3.98 on Amazon.co.uk.
The biggest shame with this film is that you watch it in the knowledge that the Bruce Lee never knew how successful and well regarded this great film would be. He was to unfortunately die a very short time before the film was released in 1973. The plot is relatively simple, Bruce Lee is asked by the government to attend a martial arts tournament with the hopes of infiltrating Dr Han's criminal organisation. This film is not a typical mindless martial arts film with no substance however, the interaction between the characters in the film is excellent and the action sequences are breathtaking. This still remains to this day a classic film, and arguably the greatest film in this genre, paving the way to other inferior martial arts films in the following years. If you own just one martial arts film that I would suggest that this should be it, it can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and unusually for this kind of film has found great popularity with males and females alike. A definite classic!
Running Time: Approx 99 mins
When you watch Enter The Dragon these days, it becomes pretty obvious, almost immediately, where films like Mortal Kombat and Conan The Destroyer got their inspiration from.
This, the first kung film to be produced by a major Hollywood studio, and the last completed Bruce Lee film before his death "by misadventure", is credited with popularizing the martial art in America and establishing Lee as a cultural icon.
And the reason that the film is considered such a quintessential film of the 1970s is not because of the plot or acting (both are appalling, to say the least) but because of the action. The fight choreography in Enter The Dragon is so good that we needn't bother dwelling on what's bad here.
So ignore the paper-thin, James Bond-type plot, of the butt-kicking spy recruited to infiltrate a fortress during a martial arts tournament, and the piss-poor attempts at emotional expressiveness- enjoy Enter The Dragon for what it is: Jaw-breaking kicks, high- pitched squeals, and incredibly-ripped male bodies.
Indeed, Lee's phenomenal fitness has to be witnessed to be believed.
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It is hard to believe that this film is already thirty six years old. It is possibly Bruce Lee's finest moment and is one of his most memorable screen performances.
Bruce Lee and John Saxon venture to a mysterious island to take part in a martial arts contest. All is not as it seems though, the tournament is a cover up for something more sinister. The ruthless bad guy Han is more intent on launching a drugs operation than training would be kung fu entrants. Lee and Saxon infiltrate the plan and begin a fight for their survival on the island.
When I first saw this, I was blown away by the amazing fight sequences. The cheography is tight and realistic. Bruce Lee delivers an enigmatic and likeable performance, commanding your attention in most of the scenes he is in. Saxon is more carefree in his role and seems to having a great time with it. He is laidback and jovial and charismatic in the role. The bad guys are quite stereotypical though and that is a let down.
Verdict: A great blend of martial arts and spy antics results in a gripping action packed film which saw Lee take on a new rise in fame. Well worth seeing
Bruce Lee, easily the biggest martial arts legends of all time and a supreme fighter. Unfortunately he was not making films in my time, so I could not appreciate him then, but I am sure I would have still been as big a fan. Enter the Dragon is a classic and every martial arts fan will have seen it. That is a guarantee and if you are a martials are fan and have not then there is something seriously wrong with you. Here he enter a dodgy underground tournament as an undercover agent and has to fight for his own life as well as countless others.
The fight scenes are incredible and in this day and age with Tony Jaa and his acrobatic Muay Thai, Bruce Lee has a completely different style. Athleticism, fast and furious just to name a few of the characteristics. I will not ruin any of the plot, but the plot is a simple one and the fight scenes are of course the highlights. There is excellent support from John Saxon and Jim Kelly who also show their fighting capabilities. There is a great video on youtube of a thirty minute long interview with Bruce Lee and here he talks about this film and we are given an insight into the great man and enter the dragon. Bruce lee may be long gone, but his legacy will live on forever.
This is Bruce Lee's final film and perhaps his best. It was definately his most popular and well known on a global scale.
This film see Bruce as a Man named Lee who is a martial artist. He is invited to a tournament on an island owned by a man named Han. Not much s known about Han at first other than he is very rich and powerful. Lee isnt going to enter the tournament but it approced by a government agent who tells Lee they are investigating Han for crimes linked to drugs and prostitution. They have no proof however and need Bruce to investigate whilst he is there.
Bruce goes to the island and as you can expect there are many fights and Han ends up being a bad guy. The plot then may not be the most complex but it provides easy watching. The main reason to watch tis movie is the action. Lee is on top form despite being is quite a lot of pain due to a recuring back problem. Bruce was very proud however and still did all his own stunts and many difficult fight scenes. Bruce was also challenged by the extras on the set, many of whom were actual chinese gang members. Im sure if Bruce had his way he would have fought them all but most of the time fights were dissolved quickly. Bruce also loved being involved in the camera work and the direction in general. This film then really is his prode and joy. He was very proud of what had been accomplished. This was the first film in which a chinese crew and an American worked together. It was also one of the first movies to be shown in America which had an Asian man as the lead.
I find it very sad the Bruce died before the premier of this movie but it possibly helped to cement this movie in history. Unfortunately the back problem got much worse and whilst the actual events leading to his death are not known it is generaly thought Bruce died from an overdose or reaction to a pain killer.
There is a sad bit of trivia that goes hand in hand with this as Brandon Lee unfortunately died before the premier of the Crow, That too was to be his big blockbuster movie!
To give you a nice bit of trivia Jackie Chan also acted as a stunt man and stunt co-ordinator on this movie. Im pretty sure the only scene featuring China's two biggest stars involves Bruce punching jackie through a window! Brilliant!
Bruce was a great martial Artist but he was also a pioneer of Kung-fu. Bruce developed his own Martial art after practising Kung-fu for many years. This would be known as Jeet kun do. Bruce used his street fighting background to develop a very powerful martial art that was pretty much unbeatable! In this movie he is seen using nun-chucks, but this was something he mastered ofr the movie. One example of his dedication. Bruce really deservs all his praise he gets and this movie is a good cataylst for that praise. Also at around £3 it is a bargain! If you don't own it you should go out now and buy it. If you havn't seen it then im confused as to why you are reading this review...go watch it!!!!
Everyone has heard of this movie. It is probably one of the most famous martial arts films ever made, maybe because it is the last movie Bruce Lee ever appeared in before his death. It is full of fantastic fight scenes and has been an influence for many movies and computer games ever since. Now martial arts movies are not usually my genre but I did give this film a watch because... well I really will try anything. In this movie, Bruce Lee is to take part in a tournament organized by a mysterious man known as Han (you just know he has to be the bad guy). Lee finds out that Han is responsible for the death of his sister and vows revenge. So Lee goes to the tournament to redeem the honour he seeks. And of course on the way there are lots of fights etc. Definitely not my cup of tea normally but a good watch if you are into this sort of thing. I did enjoy it for what it was but I do think you have to be a fan of the genre to get a full appreciation of it.
Way back in 1973, 35 years ago now, arguably the best martial artist the world has ever known filmed his final movie before his saddening and mysterious death in the same year. Bruce Lee starred in Enter the Dragon, a film that has made over $200 million worldwide to date and therefore is undoubtedly the most successful martial arts film to date, and a screening which helped propel the fighting style to fame.
The charismatic Bruce Lee plays a martial arts teacher called Lee who travels and competes in tournaments around the world. An upcoming tournament is being ran by a man known as "Mr Han" who the British Government happen to have a keen interest in due to a suspicion that Han is responsible for drug smuggling and prostitution. Knowing Lee will be invited to the tournament due to his incredible martial arts skills, the British Government ask him to go undercover and gain proof of this misbehavings so the government can pounce and get their man. Teaming with American martial artists Roper and Williams, played by John Saxon and Jim Kelly, what pursues is an instant martial arts classic which captured the imaginations of people around the world and made martial arts popular again.
Enter the Dragon features some of the best and most intense fighting scenes ever shot on film. The film includes a scene where Lee takes on and defeats no less than 50 enemies by himself, and also shows his skills with the deadly Nunchucks weapon. The speed at which Lee rotates and duels with this rare weapon is a pure joy to behold. The Nunchuck scene being included in the Blu-ray version is a huge plus aswell; the scene had been left out previous DVD versions of the film due to being to violent. The end fighting sequence where Lee takes on the infamous Mr Han is worth buying the Blu-ray for alone, as it shows some tense action and is a technical masterpiece. Enter the Dragon will keep you hooked throughout its 102 minute runtime, with you surely wanting to view the film countless more times. I'm glad to say that Bruce Lee went out on a high, with his last film being his best film.
For a film made 35 years ago, Enter the Dragon looks fantastic on Blu-ray. DVD versions of the film include a vast amount of grain throughout which in my opinion ruins the effect and look the film portrays. Thankfully, Warner's Blu-ray release is totally grain-free which helps make the picture nice and sharp. A high amount of detail can be seen compared to previous versions of the film also, with the sweat on the fighters' bodies being easily seen during action scenes. If you have watched the DVD version of Enter the Dragon upscaled via a Blu-ray player then you might not be able to see a huge amount of difference to this edition, and therefore might not see the Blu-ray version as a worthy purchase.
Unfortunately the fantastic picture quality isn't matched in the audio department. I've come to expect dazzling surround sound whilst watching Blu-rays and the indulging audio effects are one of the main reasons to purchase the Blu-ray edition over a DVD version for me. Unfortunately the audio is extremely poor in Enter the Dragon. I rather, if ever, heard audio coming from the back two speakers of my Sony 5.1 surround system throughout the film; all the dialogue and music was predominately being projected from the front two speakers and the subwoofer. This failed to produce a cinematic effect which was extremely disappointing to say the least.
There are plenty of special features to keep even the keenest Enter the Dragon fan happy. You can watch the whole film whilst listening to commentary by the Producer Paul Heller, watch the making of Enter the Dragon and even listen to Bruce Lee comment on the film himself; which is a very interesting piece and well worth watching. Along with these terrific features, you can also watch ten interviews with Bruce Lee's widow Linda Lee, as she reflects on life with her husband and his films, which again is another intriguing watch.
Fans of Lee and his martial arts skills might be interested in watching the feature called "Backyard workout with Bruce" where you can view the master train, practicing kicks and punches in his garden. Just watching the man train was inspirational to me and gave me motivation to watch Enter the Dragon once again. For those of you who want to learn more about Lee and his family, a mini-documentary has been put together called "Curse of the Dragon" which gives an insight into the Lee family and the events they encountered over the years.
Lastly, four theatrical trailers of the film are on offer along with seven TV spots which advertised the film as it led to its cinematic release back in 1973. Although most of these TV sports are similar, they are still worth a watch and show us how much modern advertising has changed since the day of the dragon.
Enter the Dragon is arguably the best martial arts movie ever made and a must buy for Bruce Lee and fighting fans. The picture appears sharp and detailed on Blu-ray, but the audio unfortunately lacks any real spark. Special features are in abundance which will please fans of the film, but they are shown in standard definition which is a slight disappointment. To conclude, Enter the Dragon is undoubtedly Bruce Lee's best film; he sure went out with a bang. Only buy Enter the Dragon if you are an admirer of the great man or his fighting style, but certainly rent the film if you enjoy a solid action flick to waste a Saturday evening.
A long time ago, way back in 1988, I watched a film which changed my life forever. The previous night, using our recently purchased VHS machine, my father had recorded a Kung Fu film for us to watch. At five years old, I had not had much exposure to films, and I had no idea what Kung Fu was or meant. All the family sat together, as we used to back in the days when we were all young and living at home, and my father pressed 'Play'. Enter the Dragon started, and it was to teach me about Kung Fu.
Enter the Dragon was my first introduction to Bruce Lee, who is arguably the greatest Martial Artist of all time, and it was one I was never going to forget. I became a fan of Bruce instantly; his competence in acting was secondary to the magnificent Kung Fu he used to cripple his enemies. My interest and love for Martial Arts began in the wake of this film, and even to this day it is as strong as ever.
Enter the Dragon is perceived as the ultimate film of the Martial Arts genre. It significantly happened to be Bruce Lee's first and last Hollywood production. He had at this point starred in three Chinese blockbusters and was in the process of directing and producing Game of Death - which looked set to be another giant hit. However when the offer for Enter the Dragon arose, it was one Bruce could not refuse. It would be his greatest breakthrough in an industry that was impossible to enter due to social and racial barriers that existed at the time, plus it would give him the worldwide recognition and success he had always aspired to.
Unfortunately, Bruce was not lucky enough to enjoy the adulation and applause that his achievement in Enter the Dragon had brought to his name. Shortly before its release in latter 1973, Bruce Lee had died at the age of 32 of a cerebral edema (brain swelling), brought on by an allergic reaction to a painkiller. Lamentably, he was also unable to finish Game of Death, which, based on the footage I have seen, looked to be a masterpiece.
The billions of inspired fans that worship Bruce would probably not exist to as gargantuan an extent as it does today without Enter the Dragon. The three films that pre-date it were action packed beauties, but were Chinese productions that would have probably found themselves in the archive bin along with the thousands of other eastern martial arts films that existed in that era.
Enter The Dragon is primarily based around the character Mr Lee (played by Bruce) and less intricately on the secondary characters Roper and Williams, played by John Saxon and Jim Kelly respectively. The film follows these three characters as they compete in a tournament on an island owned by Mr Han, where the world's best fighters are vying for the ultimate honour. All have different motivations surrounding their reasons, for instance Lee is looking to avenge the death of his sister who was a participant in a previous tournament, and at the same time he is trying to infiltrate a secret drugs business which exists on the island.
Quality of acting
Bruce Lee is a convincing actor as he takes the role of leading man in this film. He has starred in films since the age of 6, but Hollywood acting is a different league. John Saxon had starred in westerns and was used to performing at this standard. Being critical, Bruce's talent as an actor was strongly outweighed by his Martial Arts prowess in previous films. However, here, he produces an impressive and convincing performance. Akin to Big Boss and Fist of Fury, his demeanour is very serious, conveying that his character means business. He seems to exude an air of confidence in his acting which gives the appearance that he has been acting at this standard for years. I believe this is another reason why Enter the Dragon is considered to be Bruce's best overall film.
John Saxon uses his years of experience to play an effective co-star. His character is essentially a smooth but flashy and arrogant ladies man, and his charm and evident looks allow him to portray this character excellently. He is massively convincing as an actor, which compensates for being unconvincing as a Martial Artist. He makes a good attempt, but starring against a legend is never going to make his Kung Fu look outstanding.
Shih Kien is magnificent as the malevolent kingpin Mr Han. He has a very sinister look about him, particularly when he smiles, which makes his performance very credible. His character has lost one of his hands, however, where the missing hand should be, he can attach a variety of weapons which are similar sized to his hands, and he keeps these attachable weapons in his museum. We see little evidence of how good a martial artist he is because his main weapon is attached to his arm, and he tends to only use this, instead of executing any actual Kung fu moves.
It is consequential that a Bruce Lee film contains a multitude of fight sequences, and as usual they live us to his mastery and genius. The movie starts with Bruce decimating an fellow student at his temple, played by Sammo Hung of Marshall Law fame, so it sets the scene for movie, as it were. As the film revolves around a tournament, naturally, the predominant amount of battles are related to this. Roper and Williams are above average exponents of martial arts and the qualities of the sequences are good. However, when Lee takes to the stage, to fight Ohara - the man responsible for the death of his sister, Martial Arts becomes spectacular.
Although fights are commonplace in the film, I would say there are two main fight sequences in the film. The first occurs just before the final sequence, when Bruce infiltrates the secret drugs world on the island and is set upon by over 30 people. In typical Jeet Kune Do style, he wipes all of them out simply but effectively. This sequence exhibits Bruce's competence with the Bo staff, and also with the Nunchaku - which is a small part of the sequence that was cut from the UK edit of the film and banned for 30 years.
The final fight sequence is separated into two parts - firstly, Lee and Roper have to negotiate through around 50 of Han's men, and then Lee faces Han in an epic final fight which takes place in the hall of mirrors.
Other than the fantastic music that plays during the introduction sequence, music is not a strong contributor within the film. It features sporadically and is primarily used to heighten or compliment action or dramatic sequences in the film. As the predominant race in the film is Chinese, the music, although funky and cool, aptly has a oriental twang to it.
Well what can I say; this is Bruce and Martial Arts in general at its explosive best. Bruce is at his athletic and physical peak in this film and his acting is at its greatest standard. The choreography is exceptional, unlike Lee's previous films the realism is excellent, and the storyline is engaging and gripping.
I cannot deny that my personal favourite of Bruce Lee's films for its fight scenes is 'Way of the Dragon', and that is mainly because it contains Bruce's greatest battle, at the Colleseum. Moreover, Way of the Dragon features a selection of masters such as Robert Wall, Wong Ing Sik and Chuck Norris - making it, holistically, more of a martial arts spectacle. , whereas in Enter the Dragon's only real master is Bruce, so the overall quality of fighting does not match. However, Enter the Dragon is superb for coupling with a dramatic and compelling plot with very good fight sequences.
Enter the Dragon is very close to my heart, and I consider it to be one of the greatest Martial Arts films ever made. It made Bruce Lee a megastar and a legend, and had allowed Bruce to achieve immortality in Kung Fu history. It is because of Enter the Dragon that Bruce Lee is known to so many billions of people, and if you watch this film you will see why.
Enter the Dragon is certified 18 years and over, is available for a bargain price of £5.99 from Play.com, and the approximate running time is 99 mins.
Bruce Lee ... Lee
John Saxon ... Roper
Kien Shih ... Han (as Shih Kien)
Ahna Capri ... Tania
Angela Mao ... Su Lin (as Angela Mao Ying)
Jim Kelly ... Williams
Robert Wall ... Oharra (as Bob Wall)
Bolo Yeung ... Bolo (as Yang Sze)
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The last film completed by Bruce Lee before his untimely death, Enter the Dragon was his entrée into Hollywood. The American-Hong Kong co-production, shot in Asia by American director Robert Clouse, stars Lee as a British agent sent to infiltrate the criminal empire of bloodthirsty Asian crime lord Han (Shih Kien) through his annual international martial arts tournament. Lee spends his days taking on tournament combatants and nights breaking into the heavily guarded underground fortress, kicking the living tar out of anyone who stands in his way. The mix of kung fu fighting (choreographed by Lee himself) and James Bond intrigue (the plot has more than a passing resemblance to Dr. No) is pulpy by any standard, but the generous budget and talented cast of world-class martial artists puts this film in a category well above Lee's primitive Hong Kong productions. Unfortunately he's off the screen for large chunks of time as American maverick competitors (and champion martial artists) John Saxon and Jim Kelly take centre stage, but once the fighting starts Lee takes over. The tournament setting provides an ample display of martial arts mastery of many styles and climaxes with a huge free-for-all, but the highlight is Lee's brutal one-on-one with the claw-fisted Han in the dynamic hall-of-mirrors battle. Lee narrows his eyes and tenses into a wiry force of sinew, speed and ruthless determination. -- Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com