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The Way of the Dragon (1972) Poster

Trivia

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Last movie to be filmed in the actual Roman Colosseum.
Bruce Lee dubbed almost all of the English speaking characters in this film including one line for the boss. That line is: "Take him out, but be careful with that gun in public".
The whole thing was shot without sound, with the actors looping their lines in post-production.
Chuck Norris once said that he could never beat Bruce Lee in a fair fight.
According to the Bruce Lee documentary, this is Linda Lee Cadwell's (Bruce's wife) favorite of all her husband's films.
Bruce Lee had Chuck Norris put on weight to appear larger and more formidable.
Bruce Lee's directorial's debut.
Bruce Lee cast Chuck Norris in the film, because he was one of the few who was fast enough to take him on. Chuck asked Bruce if he wanted to fight the champion (at the time, he was the US Karate champion). Bruce replied, "No, I wanna kill the champion".
Was billed "Return of the Dragon" during its western release in order to cash in on the success of Enter the Dragon (1973) as its "sequel".
Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris allegedly made real contact during their fight scenes.
According to the assistant director, Ching-Shun Mao, filming around the Colosseum was strictly forbidden, and the few scenes actually filmed there were quickly shot without the knowledge of the Roman authorities.
Bruce Lee wrote the death threat note which the mafia gave to Uncle Wang.
Bruce Lee spent forty-five hours on the fight scene with Chuck Norris. His choreographed instructions for the scene took up nearly a quarter of the script.
Bruce Lee also played percussion on the music for the soundtrack.
This was the highest grossing film in Hong Kong in 1972, beating the records set by Bruce Lee's previous films.
To prepare for his directorial debut, Bruce Lee bought and read a dozen books dealing with every aspect of film-making.
In the Chinese language versions of the film (Cantonese and Mandarin), Korean actor Wong In-Sik actually spoke both English ("Who can do Karate better than the Japanese?") and Japanese ("Omae wa Tang Long ka?" meaning "Are you Tang Long?).
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Unlike The Big Boss (1971) and The Chinese Connection (1972), in which guns only come into play when cops appear in the endings, the film has a more consistent presence of guns throughout the film. Even Tang Lung asks if he can buy a gun. This most likely comes back to an answer Bruce Lee gave in "The Lost Interview", when he was asked why so many martial arts films were period pieces. He simply used his fingers to mock pulling a gun out of his jacket, saying that this was the big reason. This would also come into play in_ Enter the Dragon (1973)_, when he asks "why doesn't somebody pull out a .45 and *bang*, settle it?" in regards to taking out the main villain, Han.
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Most of the crew did not have international passports or working visas which meant they could only work in Rome for a maximum of three weeks. Bruce Lee and the crew made sure they got all of their required footage within just two.
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In a phone interview with journalist Alex Ben Block during a lunch break on the set during early production, Bruce Lee confirms that the original working title for was originally 'Enter the Dragon'. However, once Bruce had gotten wind, that Hollywood had become interested in making a martial arts film with Bruce as the lead role based on the success of his two earlier films made in Hong Kong, Bruce decided to reserve the name and title 'Enter' for his first Hollywood breakout film and changed the name of this film to 'Way of the Dragon'.
Bruce Lee made several 'firsts' in the Hong Kong movie industry whilst making this. It was the first Chinese film be made in the West, and he was the first Hong Kong director to view daily 'rushes' in color. He insisted on doing this so he could ensure exact color - matching in editing, due to combining the location shots in Rome with the studio footage at Golden Harvest. He also refused to use the standard 'canned' music and commissioned a new score.
Ing-Sik Whang who played the Japanese Fighter, was really a Korean martial artist.
Bruce Lee turned down the lead role in Huang mian lao hu (1974), directed by Wei Lo, in order to concentrate on making this movie.
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Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were both born in the year 1940 (Chuck Norris was just eight months older than Bruce Lee).
Bruce Lee hired Tadashi Nishimoto as cinematographer because he considered the Japanese to have greater technical expertise.
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This was the first film that Bruce Lee made on equal footing with Raymond Chow, after they partnered their own company, Concord Productions.
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Bruce Lee hoped to cast boxer Joe Lewis as an opponent in the film, but he declined.
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Riccardo Billi, who served as the film's associate producer and played the bank manager, would later marry Malisa Longo, the actress who played the Italian woman who attempts to seduce Tang Lung.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

This is one of only two films in which Chuck Norris plays a villain (the other film, Huang mian lao hu (1974), AKA: "Yellow Faced Tiger", is also a Hong Kong-produced film), and the only film in which he is killed (he is only knocked out in the other film as the villain).
Bruce Lee does not fight till almost 30 minutes into the movie.
In the final fight between Tang Lung and Colt, Tang is using the traditional Kung Fu approach but nearly loses the fight. However when Tang begins to use the approach of Jeet Kune Do Tang gets the upper hand.
Bruce Lee's character has only one confirmed kill in the movie. He just kills Colt (Chuck Norris). It's unclear if he killed Fred (Robert Wall) or knocked him out.
Part of the music in this film is actually originally from the Ennio Morricone score for the Sergio Leone western Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). The music used for Chuck Norris is taken from that film's track, "As A Judgment" (AKA: "The Grand Massacre"), and "The Transgression" was used in many of the suspenseful scenes (including when Bruce Lee explores the Colosseum to face Chuck Norris' character). Additionally, an excerpt of a track from John Barry's score for the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971), "Death At The Whyte House," was used in the scene where Uncle Wang, showing his true colors, wickedly stabs Tony and Jimmy in their backs with a knife.

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