Enter the Dragon
Traditional ????
Simplified ????
Pinyin Lóng Zh?ng H? Dòu
Jyutping Lung4 Zang1 Fu2 Dau3
Directed by Robert Clouse
Produced by Raymond ChowFred WeintraubPaul Heller
Written by Michael AllinBruce Lee
Starring Bruce LeeJohn SaxonAhna CapriShih KienRobert WallJim Kelly
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Gilbert Hubbs
Editing by Yao Chung Chang Kurt HirschlerGeorge Watters
Distributed by Warner Bros. (North America, Europe, Japan)Golden Harvest (Asia Countries except Japan)
Release date(s) July 26, 1973 (1973-07-26)
Running time 111 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language EnglishCantonese
Budget $850,000[1]
Gross revenue HK$3,307,520.40 (Hong Kong) US$25,000,000 (US est.) US$90,000,000 (Worldwide, est.)[2]

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Enter the Dragon

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Theatrical release poster

Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts co-production with Golden Harvest and Warner Bros. studios, directed by Robert Clouse; starring Bruce Lee and John Saxon. This is Bruce Lee's final film appearance before his death on July 20, 1973. Six days after Lee's death, the film was released on July 26, 1973 in Hong Kong.In 2004, Enter the Dragon was deemed "culturally significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.Enter the Dragon was the first Chinese martial arts film to have been produced by a major Hollywood studio – Warner Bros. and was produced in association with Golden Harvest and Lee's Concord Production Company. The film is largely set in Hong Kong.Among the stuntmen for the film were members of the Seven Little Fortunes, including Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. This was arguably instrumental in Chan and Hung's further association with Golden Harvest studios, which later launched their careers. The portly Hung is shown fighting Lee in the opening sequence of the movie and Chan shows up as a henchman when Lee is discovered inside Han's underground lair.The finished version of the film was significantly different from the original screenplay drafts as Bruce Lee revised much of the script himself, including having written and directed the film's opening Shaolin Monastery fight sequence. Lee wanted to use the film as a vehicle for expressing what he saw as the beauty of his Chinese culture, rather than it being just another action film.

Plot

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Lee (Bruce Lee) is a Shaolin martial artist from Hong Kong who possesses great philosophical insight into martial arts as well as physical prowess. He receives an invitation to a martial arts competition on an island organised by the mysterious Han (Shih Kien). Lee learns from his Sifu (father/teacher) that Han was also once a Shaolin student, but had been expelled from their order for abusing their code of conduct.

A man named Braithwaite (Geoffrey Weeks) from British Intelligence approaches Lee and asks for his help in an undercover mission. Han is suspected to be involved in drug trafficking and prostitution. However, since Han's island is only partly in their jurisdiction, they are unable to conduct any formal investigations - Han will not allow firearms on the island, both to impede assassination attempts and to prevent the international authorities from gaining a justification to launch a raid. Han runs a martial arts school to protect his drug operations, as well as holding his tournament every three years to recruit international talent to expand his criminal business. Before leaving, Lee learns from his father that Han's bodyguard O'Hara (Robert Wall) had been involved in the death of his older sister, Su Lin (Angela Mao), years ago, when she committed suicide to save herself from dishonour after being cornered by O'Hara and a collection of Han's thugs. During the incident, O'Hara received a facial scar when Lee's father slashed him with a knife.

Lee arrives on Han's island and receives a warm reception. Joining him are other competitors including Roper (John Saxon), a down-on-his-luck American playboy-gambler on the run from the mob, and Williams (Jim Kelly), an African-American activist on the run after defending himself against two racist white policemen in Los Angeles. Roper and Williams defeat their respective opponents in the competition held the following morning, after arranging for some crooked side-betting on Roper's fight.

That night, the competitors are all 'given' women of their choice by Han's assistant, Tania (Ahna Capri). Williams chooses several women, while Roper cunningly chooses Tania (as a mutual attraction is apparent between them). Lee asks for a girl (Betty Chung) whom Braithwaite has placed on the island to gather intelligence, but as she has been kept strictly observed, is unable to gain much information from her. That night, Lee begins searching the island for evidence and finds a secret entrance to an underground base, where drugs are being manufactured and tested on unwitting prisoners. He runs into Han's guards but manages to take them down before they can identify him. He is seen by Williams, who is outside for some fresh air and practice.

The next day, Han warns the competitors about wandering out of their rooms at night. He punishes his guards for failure in their duties and the guards meet their horrible ends at the hands of the sadistic Bolo (Bolo Yeung), Han's chief bodyguard. Moments later, Lee is called to his first match and his opponent turns out to be O'Hara, who is clearly outclassed and eventually attacks Lee with broken bottles. Lee defeats O'Hara and kills his adversary as an act of revenge for his involvement in his sister's suicide. Announcing that O'Hara's dishonourable attack has caused him to lose face very badly, Han ends the day's matches. Later, Han summons Williams and accuses him of attacking the guards the previous night (the 'spy' Lee was with did not mention anything to Han). Williams indignantly denies this, and announces his intention to leave the island; Han brutally beats him to death.

Han takes Roper on a tour of his underground base and invites him to be his representative for his heroin smuggling operations in the United States. When questioned, Han shows Roper the mutilated corpse of Williams, hinting that Roper will face the same fate if he refuses to cooperate. The same night, Lee breaks into the underground base, avoiding a booby trap set for him, and gathers sufficient evidence to warrant Han's arrest, but sets off an alarm while using the radio transmitter to contact Braithwaite. After a spectacular fight with dozens of Han's guards he is eventually lured into a trap and captured.

The next morning, Han asks Roper to fight Lee as a test of his loyalty. Roper refuses and Han sends him to fight Bolo instead. When Roper emerges victorious, the infuriated Han orders his men to kill both Lee and Roper. Despite being hopelessly outnumbered, Lee and Roper manage to hold off the enemy until the captives in Han's underground prison break free and join their side to even the odds. Amidst the chaos, Han attempts to sneak away, only to have Lee follow him. Lee tells Han, "You have offended my family and you have offended the Shaolin Temple." After a spectacular fight in a room full of mirrors, Han is defeated by Lee and impaled on his own spear. When Lee returns to Roper, he finds that most of Han's men have been defeated and rounded up but in a bittersweet moment, Roper also finds Tania's lifeless body lying amongst the wreckage. Lee and Roper exchange a weary thumbs-up just as military helicopters arrive in response to the distress call.

Cast

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  • Bruce Lee as Lee
  • John Saxon as Roper
  • Jim Kelly as Williams
  • Ahna Capri as Tania
  • Shih Kien as Han
  • Robert Wall as O'Hara
  • Angela Mao as Su Lin
  • Betty Chung as Mei Ling
  • Geoffrey Weeks as Braithwaite
  • Bolo Yeung as Bolo
  • Peter Archer as Parsons
  • Ho Lee Yan as Old Man
  • Marlene Clark as Secretary
  • Allan Kent as Golfer
  • William Keller as L.A. Cop
  • Mickey Caruso as L.A. Cop
  • Pat E. Johnson as Hood
  • Darnell Garcia as Hood
  • Mike Bissell as Hood
  • Jackie Chan as Han's henchman
  • Roy Chiao as Shaolin Abbott
  • Paul Heller
  • Sammo Hung as Shaolin fighter
  • Lam Ching Ying
  • Tony Liu as Tournament fighter
  • Hidy Ochiai
  • Steve Sanders
  • Wei Tung as Lao
  • Donnie Williams
  • Tadashi Yamashita
  • Yuen Biao as Tournament Fighter
  • Yuen Wah as Tournament Fighter
  • Dylan Holmes
  • Punching Chute
  • Mars as Guard


Production

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The scene in which Lee states that his style was the style of "Fighting Without Fighting" and then lures Parsons into boarding a dinghy is based upon a famous anecdote involving the 16th century Samurai Tsukahara Bokuden.

During the making of Enter the Dragon, it has been said that Lee had developed a grudge against co-star Bob Wall due to the cut injury he had sustained when Wall had held onto the "real glass" bottle during their fight scene (where O'Hara smashes the bottles). Wall and others deny these allegations however, stating the whole event was blown out of proportion and that it was something instigated by director Robert Clouse. The famous running thrust kick Lee delivers to O'Hara's chest was real and invited by Wall (O'Hara), who agreed with Lee that fake kicks would not look realistic on film. Lee's kick subsequently broke Wall's sternum, and broke the arms of two extras in the crowd behind Wall who attempted to catch him. This shut down production of the scene for three months, until Wall had recovered.[citation needed]

Jackie Chan appears as a guard during the underground lair battle scene and gets his neck snapped by Lee.

Reception

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In 1973, Enter the Dragon grossed an estimated $25,000,000 in North America, and an estimated $90,000,000 worldwide, on a tight budget of $850,000. In Hong Kong, the film grossed HK$3,307,536—huge business for the time, but substantially less than Lee's Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon. As of 1999, Enter the Dragon has grossed more than $200,000,000 worldwide.

The film was well received by critics and is regarded by many as one of the best films of 1973. Critics have referred to Enter the Dragon as "a low-rent James Bond thriller", a "remake of Doctor No" with elements of Fu Manchu. It currently holds a 97% approval rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, with 37 reviews counted and an average rating of 7.8/10. In 2004, the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The film also ranks 474th on Empire magazine's 2008 list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

Legacy

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The film has been parodied and references in places such as the satirical publication The Onion, the Japanese game-show Takeshi's Castle, and the comedy films Kentucky Fried Movie and Balls of Fury.

In August 2007, the now defunct Warner Independent Pictures announced that television producer Kurt Sutter would be remaking the film as a noir-style thriller entitled Awaken the Dragon.

DVD releases

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Universe (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) letterboxed
  • Sound: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese
  • Supplements: Trailer, Trailers for Way of the Dragon, The Big Boss, Game of Death, Legacy of Rage, Star files
  • All regions, NTSC


Fortune Star - Bruce Lee Ultimate DVD Collection (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: Cantonese (DTS 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Mandarin (DTS 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English
  • Supplements: Original trailer, New trailer, Still photos, Slideshow of photos, Celebrity interviews, Unseen footage, Game of Death outtakes, Enter the Dragon alternate opening, 32-page booklet
  • Region 3, NTSC


Zoke Culture (China)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:40:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (DTS 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, French
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, "Blood And Steel: Making of Enter The Dragon", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", Linda Lee Cadwell interview gallery, "Original 1973 Making-Of" featurette, "Backyard Workout With Bruce Lee"
  • All regions, NTSC


Warner - 30th Anniversary Special Edition (America)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Supplements: Disc 1: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, "Blood And Steel: Making of Enter The Dragon", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", Linda Lee Cadwell interview gallery, Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout With Bruce Lee" Disc 2: "Curse Of The Dragon" feature-length documentary, "Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey" feature-length documentary, Theatrical trailers, TV spots
  • Region 1, NTSC


Warner - 25th Anniversary Special Edition (America)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, Isolated music score, An all-new introduction and Interview with Linda Lee Cadwell, "Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout with Bruce", "Bruce Lee In His Own Words", Theatrical trailers, TV spots, Cast & crew biographies, Significance of belts in Martial Arts notes, "Heir to the Throne" – Jackie Chan notes, Retrospective of Hong Kong Martial Arts films notes & stills, Behind-the-Scenes notes, Reel recommendations – 16 movies
  • Region 1, NTSC


Warner - Limited Edition (United Kingdom)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, Isolated music score, An all-new introduction and Interview with Linda Lee Cadwell, "Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout with Bruce", "Bruce Lee In His Own Words", Theatrical trailers, TV spots, Cast & crew biographies, 10 exclusive "Enter The Dragon" postcards, 8 reproductions of original lobby cards, Reproduction of the original press brochure
  • Region 2, PAL


Blu-ray Disc release

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Kam & Ronson (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1)
  • Sound: Cantonese (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1), Cantonese (Dolby True HD 7.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital EX 6.1), Thai (Dolby Digital EX 6.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional Chinese, English, Thai
  • Supplements: "Alternate Opening Credits", Trailer, Photo Gallery
  • Region A


Warner (America)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:40:1)
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, "Blood And Steel: Making of Enter The Dragon", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", Linda Lee Cadwell interview gallery, Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout With Bruce Lee", "Curse Of The Dragon" feature-length documentary, "Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey" feature-length documentary, Theatrical trailers, TV spots
  • All regions, NTSC


Some of the content on this page has been provided by the following page on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enter_the_Dragon


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