The most succcessful and famous martial arts movie of all time. If anyone has watched a Bruce Lee movie, chances are this is the one that they've seen. In October 1972, Fred Weintraub paid Bruce Lee a visit in Hong Kong to finalize negotiations for a Warner Brothers movie entitled, "Blood and Steel." Bruce accepted and finally on February 1st, 1973 Bruce started to shoot his first scene. To make filming more difficult, there were language problems on the set between the American crew and the Chinese. Budget for the movie was US$500,000 and when the movie was finished in April Bruce knew he had a winner. Warner executives saw the nearly finished film and went 'bananas' and were willing to spend more for music and promotion. On the set, Bruce was constantly challenged by extras (many of which were from local triad gangs). Bruce largely ignored these challenges but on two occasions had to act and easily defeated these young wannabe punks. Warners wanted to call the movie, "Han's Island" but Bruce strongly argued for his title of "Enter the Dragon" and they finally agreed. Bruce sadly died three weeks before the movie premiere in August 1973 at the famous Chinese Grauman Theatre in Hollywood.
Bruce plays "Lee" a martial artist from the Shaolin Temple. He is asked to appear in a martial arts tournament and to infiltrate an island that is owned by the master criminal "Han" (played by Shih Kien). Bruce finally agrees after finding out that his sister was killed by Han's men on the island and that "Han", a former Shaolin disciple, has brought disgrace and dishonour to the Shaolin Temple. The story is very similar to a James Bond flick but you wouldn't see 007 taking out his opponents in the outstanding manner that "Lee" does, with his deadly hands and feet. Just sit back and enjoy the breathtaking skills of a real martial arts master.
"Enter the Dragon" grossed more than US$14 million in 1973. It has gone on to make over US$400 million which makes it one of the most profitable movies of all time!
Bruce was bitten by a Cobra on the set but luckily it had been devemonised.
Bruce badly lacerated his right hand when it was cut open by a broken glass bottle that co-star Bob Wall was holding in their fighting scene. Chaplin Chang (assistant director) recalls, "Bruce was bleeding badly and there was blood all over the back seat of the car. We rushed him to one hospital, but they had no facilities to treat this serious an injury. But they told us of another hospital, which was quite far. I could see Bruce getting nervous and angry. I told him to calm down because he was bleeding even more when his temper rose. And he seemed to listen. We were on our way to this hospital, which required we go on a mountain road, which was narrow. Up ahead was this truck that decided to play games with us. Everytime we would try to pass, he would cut us off. This went on for a while, and he finally let us through. As we passed him, Bruce rolled down his window and started swearing at the truck driver, all the while waving his fist at the man. The guy almost had a heart attack when he saw it was Bruce Lee in full fury," laughs Chaplin.
The first scene shown in the movie was actually the last scene Bruce filmed for the movie. Bruce is fighting Martial Law TV series lead, a young Sammo Hung. The scene took two days to film in April, 1973. Bruce Lee also directed this opening scene with his own film crew as the Warners crew had left Hong Kong by this time!
Bruce and Bolo Yeung
Cast: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri, Bob Wall, Shih Kien, Angela Mao Ying, Betty Chung, Yueng Sze, Peter Archer, Geoffrey Weeks, Tony Liu, Lam Ching Ying, Sammo Hung, Billy Chan, Mars, Yuen Wah, Jackie Chan
Crew: Producers - Fred Weintraub, Paul Heller & Raymond Chow, Directer - Robert Clouse, Writer - Michael Allin, Fight Arranger - Bruce Lee, Editors - Kurt Hirshler & Geo. Watters, Sound Mixer - Zee Shao Lin, Music - Lalo Schifrin, 1st Ass. Director - Chaplin Chang, Photography - Gilbert Hubbs, Property Manager - Wong Shun Chong, 2nd Unit Camera - Charles Lowe, Costume - Shu Sheng Hi