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The Big Boss (1971)

Tang shan da xiong (original title)
2:35 | Clip
A young man sworn to an oath of non-violence works with his cousins in an ice factory where they mysteriously begin to disappear.


Wei Lo, Chia-Hsiang Wu (uncredited)


Wei Lo (screenplay)





Credited cast:
Bruce Lee ... Cheng Chao-an
Maria Yi ... Chow Mei
James Tien ... Hsiu Chien
Marilyn Bautista ... Miss Wuman (as Malalene)
Ying-Chieh Han ... Hsiao Mi (The Boss)
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
Chia-Chen Tu Chia-Chen Tu ... Uncle (as Chia-Cheng Tu)
Chih Chen ... Ice Factory Manager
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Chan ... Ah Pei (as Hui-yi Chen)
Lung Chan ... Gatekeeper / Blue Shirt Henchman
Stephen Chang ... Disciple
Ching-Ying Lam ... Ah Yen (Cheng's cousin)


Cheng 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>

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factory | See All (1) »


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R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Scenes cut from the film:

. Longer fight between Cheng Chao-An/Hsiu Chien against the gambling den bouncers, in which the bouncers try to run the two over with a burning cart. . A scene of dialog with Hsiu bragging about the aforementioned fight to the other cousins and their uncle once they've returned home.

. A scene of dialog with Chiao Mei, Cheng and their uncle before going back to the ferry dock.

. A scene of dialog between Cheng and the drink stand girl (Nora Miao) after Bruce sees his uncle off at the ferry docks.

. Longer and more graphic scene of the first two cousins' deaths via large circular saws.

. Longer fight between Hsiu and Hsiao Chiun featuring a shot of Hsiu with blood literally squirting out of his head due to a knife attack.

A cut from the banquet scene where Cheng gets drunk. While his vision blurs, he hallucinates and sees Sun Wuman topless, and it quickly changes to an image of Chiao Mei.

. More bodies shown in the ice blocks when Cheng is investigating at the ice factory.

. The infamous "saw in the head" scene in which Cheng slams a handsaw into a villain's head

. Slightly extended scene with Cheng finding his cousins murdered.

. An entirely deleted sequence of Cheng returning to the brothel prior to the final fight. He picks a prostitute in a red sweater (who is actually visible in the background the previous time Cheng visits the brothel), and they go to her room. They both completely strip down, and they proceed to make love in bed. Cheng subsequently takes out all his remaining money, and lays it down on the prostitute's stomach while she's sleeping. He also then sees a bag of prawn crackers and decides to take them as a "last meal". This explains why he has the crackers when he shows up at the boss' mansion.

. A second "blood tasting" shot, in which Cheng tastes the blood from his stomach when he's been cut with a knife by The Boss. See more »


The bandage on Bruce's right hand changes sizes through out the course of the film. It eventually disappears by the film's end. 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 »

Alternate Versions

While the 2013 US Shout Factory DVD and Blu-ray features a Cantonese mono track, all of the Pink Floyd tracks have been replaced with already present library cues from other sections of the film. This also applies to the one lone King Crimson track. See more »


Referenced in Charlie Bartlett (2007) See more »


Big Boss
(Main Theme)
Performed by Peter Thomas
(Only in English dubbed versions)
See more »

User Reviews

Bruce Lee's Goriest Movie
23 April 2001 | by eibon09See all my reviews

Tang Shan Da Xiong/The Big Boss(1971) is of all the Bruce Lee movies the most censored and cut because of some scenes of graphic violence. The violence in its uncut form seems to be on the level of the Street Fighter flicks with Sonny Cheiba. Bruce Lee doesn't show off his fighting skills until mid way through the film. What a great fighting performance Bruce Lee gives the viewer when he beats up the big boss's factory workers. Interestingly, the film has a couple of erotic scenes that are unusual for a Kung Fu movie. Both these scenes were either trimmed or cut from the picture. Bruce Lee's films would get less bloody by the time he did Enter the Dragon(1973). Mr. Vampire actor, Ching Ying Lam has a small part as the cousin of Cheng Chao An. Film that brought Bruce Lee international stardom even though the film was not very good. For a Kung Fu flick Bruce Lee is unable to show his full ability as a martial artist due to the filmmakers concern about his appearence in film. Bruce Lee would not fully utilized his excellent skills until the fight sequence at the Japanese martial arts school in Jing Wu Men(1972)/The Chinese Connection.

The Big Boss(1971) is noted for the infamous scene cut from the film of Bruce Lee spitting a man's head in half with a saw. A scene that has been lost scene since probably the film's debut in Hong Kong theatres. Just as infamous as the lost Pirhana scene of Cannibal Holocaust or the lost eye sucking scene from Full Contact. This sequence is definitely a scene that may have influenced similar sequences in The Streetfighter(1974). This one scene makes The Big Boss(1971) a must find in its fully uncut and uncensored form. Bruce Lee does well for what little material he had to work with. One gory sequence that was trimmed for the film's US release was the scene where Cheng sticks his fingers deep into the main villain's torso. It would be great if someone would find elements from The Big Boss(1971) in order to put together the longest print possible. The Hong Kong version is superior to the badly cut and badly dubbed American version. Its the version that I recommand the most for Bruce Lee admirers and fans.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Miramax [United States]


Hong Kong


Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

February 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fists of Fury See more »

Filming Locations:

Pak Chong, Thailand


Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Golden Harvest Company See more »
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Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (original rejected english dubbed)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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