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The Big Boss (1971)
"Tang shan da xiong" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  February 1981 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 16,759 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 54 critic

A young man sworn to an oath of non-violence works with his cousins in an ice factory where they mysteriously begin to disappear.

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, (uncredited)

Writer:

(screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Maria Yi ...
Chow Mei
James Tien ...
Hsiu Chien
Marilyn Bautista ...
Miss Wuman (as Malalene)
Ying-Chieh Han ...
Tony Liu ...
Hsiao Chiun (Mi's son)
Kun Li ...
Ah Kun (as Quin Lee)
Nora Miao ...
Drinkstand owner (as Mao Ke-hsiu)
Shan Chin ...
Hua Sze
Chih Chen ...
Foreman (as Chen Chao)
Chia-Cheng Tu ...
Uncle
Tso Chen ...
Ice Factory Manager
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Chan ...
(as Hui-yi Chen)
Lung Chan ...
Gatekeeper / Blue Shirt Henchman
...
Disciple
Edit

Storyline

Chein is a city boy who moves with his cousins to work at a ice factory. He does this with a family promise never to get involved in any fight. However, when members of his family begin disappearing after meeting the management of the factor, the resulting mystery and pressures forces him to break that vow and take on the villainy of the Big Boss. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

KARATE/KUNG-FU! The oriental sensation now gives America the action it's been waiting for! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fists of Fury  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (original rejected english dubbed)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original director was Ng Gar Seung, however, he was replaced by Lo Wei a few weeks into production. The original star was also James Tien, who plays Hsiu Chien, while Bruce Lee was to be a co-star. However, when directors changed, the stars switched, giving Lee top billing. This may also be part of the reason why Lee does not fight until halfway through the film. See more »

Goofs

When the guard dogs leap at Cheng, they are obviously thrown. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cheng Chao-an: Uncle, is this it?
Uncle: Yes, right over there. That's the town, Cheng. That's right. Not much further to go.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Game of Death (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Obscured by Clouds
Performed by Pink Floyd
(Only in Cantonese version)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Crude and uneven, but the first Lee-starring film still has a certain power
19 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

The first of the four Bruce Lee starring movies[ well, five, if you count Game Of Death]is technically the weakest. However, it's easy to see how it caused such a stir. Unlike most martial arts movies of the time, the film was set in the present day and attempted things like characterisation and even realism. These touches sometimes seem crude and even laughable now [for instance, check out the scene when the other workers of the factory are waiting for Lee to return, with it's exaggurated 'passing the time' actions]but when the film came out, it was a major step forward.

Even more daringly, the film has less fighting, with the fights being structured around the plot rather than the other way round, and bravest of all, the star of the film does not go into action into half way through. Instead, it cleverly builds suspense by having Lee as a guy who has sworn not to fight, and when he eventually cuts loose the result is exhilarating. However, it's obvious that none of Lee's opponents are a match for him and only the sequence when he battles a group of heavies in and around an ice factory really stands out. The clumsiness of much of the action [Lee was only allowed to choreograph the ice factory scene]is almost redeemed by the huge amount of gore and brutality.

Despite it's shoddy aspects, the film does have an odd power,especially towards the end. Lee's character is a very flawed hero who for a while badly strays from goodness and there is a sense that killing all the bad guys will not bring him redemption. In all three of Lee's Hong Kong films, violence never really solves things, it just makes things worse. Maybe that is why Lee's dated, sometimes awkward films are still watched again and again while many other films of the same time and genre have faded into obscurity. Well, that and Lee.


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