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Returning to Shanghai to marry his fiancée, Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) a student of renowned martial arts teacher Huo Yuanjia, discovers his sifu has died. During the funeral, members of a local Japanese dojo show up and insult the Chinese students. The bullying continues, with Chen fighting back, but when he discovers the truth - that his teacher was poisoned on the orders of the dojo's master - he sets off on a doomed mission of revenge. Written by
The international title of this film was "Fist of Fury". In the United States the English dubbed version was released under the title "The Chinese Connection" to avoid confusion with "Fists of Fury", the title for the U.S. release of Bruce Lee's previous film The Big Boss (1971). The U.S. title was a play on the title of the highly popular film The French Connection (1971). See more »
When Bruce's character kills his Russian opponent near the end of the movie he grabs Petrov's hair by the top of his head. When he chops Petrov in the throat he suddenly has his hair from the back. See more »
[At the Shanghai Park gate]
Hold it. What do you want?
I want pass.
Not allowed, I'm afraid.
[Points to a sign that says "No Dogs And Chinese Allowed." A dog walks in]
You're the wrong color, so beat it.
[a Japanese official walks by and stops at the gate]
Hey you, come here! You want to get in there? Now, now, tell you what. There's only one thing you have to do. Pretend you're a dog and I'll take you in.
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Film maker Lo Wei directed this Bruce Lee classic Fist of Fury immediately after the success of Lee's first martial art film, The Big Boss. Fist of Fury tells the story of Chen (Lee) who arrives in Shanghai to his martial art school, only to learn that his beloved teacher has died and the funeral is going on when he arrives. Soon it is revealed that the death was without a doubt a murder and our fierce hero is going to solve the mystery..With the power of his fists and kicks.
This film is prehaps little too racist towards Japanese since they are depicted as dirty and greedy criminals here and some lines in the script are very underlining and judge the Japanese people too much. Then again, the film makes me wonder about racism in general since there is so much mayhem in the film and so many Chinese and Japanese get killed by each other, so maybe this film was not meant to be racist at all. Maybe the intention was to tell something about us who cannot live in peace with each other. All these things happen even today, 30 years after the film's release so the subject matter is definitely universal as it was back then in 1972. Still I would have toned down some of the dialogue bits since they are little too strong, and I think Bruce Lee himself didn't like the film's racial elements.
On the other hand, this film is really beautiful as it depicts the sensitive love between Bruce and Nora Miao, who is very beautiful and sweet female in this film, and also in other Lee's films. The scene at the teacher's grave is one of the most sensitive scenes of love I've ever seen, and those two characters are hand touchingly full of emotion. The themes in this film are mainly about relationships between individuals and humans in general, so the film has many things to offer moreover mere action. This is action classic with heart.
The film is famous for its legendary first nunchaku fight scene at the Japanese' training camp as Bruce shows for the first time his personal fighting tool and weapon, a pair of nunchakus. That fight scene even before nunchakus is among the greatest ever filmed since the choreography and timing is totally marvellous as the one take lasts very long without edits, and Bruce kicks and hits about ten victims during that, and the timing and stunt men had to be really sharp in order to not to get hurt for real. Also, the nunchaku fights in the film are incredible as Bruce uses his weapon without flinching an eye and with fierce look on his face. This all is even more powerful in his next film, Way of the Dragon.
The film was shot mostly in studio and there are only few exteriors in Fist of Fury. The staging is very convincing and the film's bigger budget compared to that of The Big Boss' really shows. The last fight in night time at the Japanese yard is very beautifully lighted and full of cinematic magic. The film is full of details and elements from Chinese culture and traditions, so this is little more personal and interesting film than The Big Boss, which had some irritating little flaws like the sound of Bruce' necklace he got from his mother and the scene where Bruce punches a guy through a wall with funny and campy result, which director Lo definitely didn't meant to look that funny.
Fist of Fury is a stunning piece of Hong Kong and world cinema and easily among Lee's greatest films. The atmosphere is created so convincingly that even people who usually don't appreciate action films should appreciate this, since this film is many more things than just action and fighting. Fist of Fury hasn't lost any of its power and punch during these 30 years and will remain one of the most important martial arts movies ever made. 9/10
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