Bruce Lee was involved in every aspect of film making for his third picture which he wrote, produced and directed. This was the first movie for his own new production company "Concord Productions."
Bruce Lee plays Tang Lung (aka Chinese Dragon) a country bumpkin who comes to Rome in Italy to help out his cousin, Miss Chen's (Nora Miao) restaurant business. Local thugs are trying to make the Chinese sell up and are forcing customers out. As Bruce Lee told Esquire magazine during the shooting of the film, "It's really a simple plot, of a country boy going to a place where he cannot speak the language. But he comes out on top because he honestly and sincerely expresses himself by beating hell out of everybody who gets in his way." He couldn't of said it any better and the fight sequences in this film are Bruce's most realistic and JKD at it's best. Bruce's martial art opponents were Chuck Norris (7 times US Karate Champion), Bob Wall (1970 US Heavyweight Karate Champion) and Hwang In-Shik (Korean Hapkido Master).
"I remember the first day of shooting" says Japanese cameraman Tadashi Nishimoto, "We did 65 set-ups at the airport in Rome. Bruce was doing just about everything, moving the tripod, the lights, telling the actors what to do." Chaplin Chang (location manager) comments, "We shot the exteriors in the Coliseum in about two hours as we could not get a permit to film there, so we went to shoot at dawn, before the tourists came."
"The Way of the Dragon" was the first Chinese film shot in Europe and to feature double nunchakas on the screen. Bruce was the first Chinese actor to start his own film production company (Concord). When Bruce informed the press that he believed this film would gross over HK$5 million, they all laughed and thought that he was mad. Bruce happily proved his critics wrong!
Cast: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, Chuck Norris, Bob Wall, Jon Benn, Hwang In-Shik, Tony Liu, Unicorn Chan, Paul Wei Ping Ao, Robert Chan, Chin Ti, Thomas Chan, Anders Nelsson, John Derbyshire
Crew: Fight Arranger/Script/Director - Bruce Lee, Assistant Director - Ricky Chik, Location Manager - Chaplin Chang, Cameraman - Tadashi Nishimoto