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

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  February 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 17,689 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 56 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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Director: Wui Ng
Stars: Ying Cheung, Lan Law, Bruce Lee


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)
Drinkstand owner (as Mao Ke-hsiu)
Shan Chin ...
Hua Sze
Chih Chen ...
Foreman (as Chen Chao)
Chia-Cheng Tu ...
Tso Chen ...
Ice Factory Manager
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Chan ...
(as Hui-yi Chen)
Lung Chan ...
Gatekeeper / Blue Shirt Henchman


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fists of Fury  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (original rejected english dubbed)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The mansion of the film's villain was, and still is, a Thai mausoleum. Usually, due to Chinese superstition, another location would be chosen to avoid a movie from being cursed. However, whether it was time restraints or the appearance of the location, it was not made public that it was a mausoleum until the film was completed. See more »


During Cheng's final battles wearing the long sleeve shirt, the sleeves start to roll up and down on their own. See more »


[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 »


Spoofed in King of Comedy (1999) See more »


Theme From How To Make a Monster
Composed by Paul Dunlap
(Only in Cantonese version)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

be sure to see the uncut version
17 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

Sometimes a genre's "defining films" are some of the most unusual. In Bruce Lee's debut, Lo Wei's uncharacteristically interesting directing takes us to moody, almost giallo-esque nooks and crannies (the "red room scene" is outstanding), and some of the violence goes way beyond the boundaries of good taste and into horror/splatter territory as well. There's a sleazy sexist exploitation vibe I could do without (that, ironically enough, wouldn't be carried over into the cheaper mid/late 70s films Bruce Lee inspired), but it's fairly negligible.

Some people might criticize the movie for being "slow," but it has a deliberate, meaningful narrative arc that gives emotional value to the action that does occur. Give me this sort of pacing over this five-cuts-a-second MTV style movies have had since the 90s any day.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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