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The Way of the Dragon (1972)
"Meng long guo jiang" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  14 August 1972 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 20,594 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 50 critic

A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tang Lung / Dragon
Nora Miao ...
...
Ping Ou Wei ...
Ho (as Paul Wei Ping-Ao)
Chung-Hsin Huang ...
'Uncle' Wang (as Wang Chung Hsin)
...
Bob
Ing-Sik Whang ...
Japanese Fighter
Di Chin ...
Ah Quen (as Ti Chin)
Tony Liu ...
Tony
Little Unicorn ...
Jimmy
Malisa Longo ...
Italian Beauty
Fu Ching Chen ...
Tommy (as Tommy Chen)
Wu Ngan ...
Waiter
Lo-Ba Chen ...
Robert (as Robert Chen)
Jon T. Benn ...
Thugs' Boss
Edit

Storyline

Tang Lung arrives in Rome to help his cousins in the restaurant business. They are being pressured to sell their property to the syndicate, who will stop at nothing to get what they want. When Tang arrives he poses a new threat to the syndicate, and they are unable to defeat him. The syndicate boss hires the best Japanese and European martial artists to fight Tang, but he easily finishes them off. The American martial artist Colt is hired and has a showdown with Tang in Rome's famous Colosseum. Written by Darryl Schneider <fish2@datanet.ab.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MAN, CAN WE USE HIM NOW! Bruce Lee is back in the fantastic all new adventures of the Super Hero from "Enter the Dragon..." ..his last performance is his best! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

14 August 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Return of the Dragon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$130,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (censored)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The whole thing was shot without sound, with the actors looping their lines in post-production. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, Bruce Lee is eating several different types of soups and several times he takes a spoonful of an orange colored soup and as he puts it into his mouth some dribbles on his chin. The soup he dribbles on his chin is white. See more »

Quotes

Chen Ching Hua: How do you like this place?
Tang Lung: Its a waste. All of this. In Hong Kong, I would build on it. Make money.
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Jon Benn Interview (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

As A Judgement
(Colt's Theme)
by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Adorable mixture of silly slapstick and ritual violence.
23 August 1999 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

If, like me, you have only seen Bruce Lee in the wonderful, but portentous, ENTER THE DRAGON, than you might be surprised by this quite potty earlier film. In ENTER THE DRAGON, Lee was amused, but sombre; a fighting machine, pivotal piece in a deadly serious mythological puzzle, his strength never in doubt.

The first third of this film couldn't be more different. Played as (very funny) comedy, Lee is passive (we first see him waiting for someone), a figure of fun, a fish out of water, exagerratedly polite, bewildered by alien custom and language, as well as his own bowels. A number of scuffles take part early on in which he takes no part, and which make us doubt his prowess.

Lee directed this film, and his visual conception is much more inventive that Robert Clouse's (ENTER). Although it lacks the insane invention of A TOUCH OF ZEN, or the dizzy verve of Tsui Hark's films, Lee is not content with simple ego gratification. His two directorial mentors seem to be Melville and Leone. The former (hugely influenced by Oriental martial discipline himself) gave him a hero who is narcissistic (check the opening shot), whole; whose physical prowess is ironically the result of mental superiority, an almost Zen laid-backness; concealing the coiled, taut, muscle-burst of Lee's beautiful body.

Kung Fu is primarily an art of self-defense, and this film returns to these roots: its conception of protecting the oppressed rings throughout the film (in the seemingly gratuitous picture-postcard scenes, Lee makes the connection between European colonial splendour, and the poverty and repression of Hong Kong). Chuck Norris's character has betrayed Kung Fu by siding with the oppressor - his art is bestial and clumsy, lacking the spare geometric elegance of Lee's.

But Kung fu's self-defense is also a defence of one's 'self' (this is where Melville comes in) - it protects one from any threat to one's powerful wholeness, especially women (and men. There is a slight whiff of homophobia, mitigated by the outrageous campness of the film (all that red! The whole idea of SHANE recast in a restaurant!). This is ironic, since it is the proof of Lee's martial art power that makes the initially sceptical heroine (very stylish and lovely) fall for his charms (and who can blame her?).

Lee's second master is Sergio Leone, from whom he has learnt an irreverent approach to genre, with jokey zooms, close-ups and cuts; mocking, yet mournful and melancholic Morricone-esque music; a ritual stand-off between mythical archetypes (an awesome set-piece in the Colosseum), with the film's heart belonging to the slightly silly, but loveable, subsidiary characters.

The use of these iconoclastic directors adds a reflective and critical dimension to a genre previously (in its most populist form) a showcase for male vanity (although Lee never lets us forget how gorgeous and sweetly small and cuddly he is). A supremely entertaining film which unexpectedly achieves a climactic power and melancholy.


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