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The Big Boss (1971)

Tang shan da xiong (original title)
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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.

Directors:

Wei Lo, Chia-Hsiang Wu (uncredited)

Writer:

Wei Lo (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Bruce Lee ... Cheng Chao-an
Maria Yi ... Chow Mei
James Tien ... Hsiu Chien
Marilyn Bautista 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 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)
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax [United States]

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

February 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fists of Fury See more »

Filming Locations:

Pak Chong, Thailand

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Golden Harvest Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (original rejected english dubbed)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original director was Ng Gar Seung, however, he was replaced by Wei Lo a few weeks into production. The original star was also James Tien, who plays Hsiu Chien, while Bruce Lee was to be a co-star. However, when directors changed, the stars switched, giving Lee top billing. This may also be part of the reason why Lee does not fight until halfway through the film. See more »

Goofs

After the prostitute tells Cheng about the drug smuggling, he leaves. She is sitting with her back to the door when Mi's son sneaks in. You hear the knife flying through the air and see her face as it hits her in the chest. If she had her back to the door, how did the knife embed in her her chest? See more »

Quotes

[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

In the Japanese Print, there are several revisions:
  • The film is dubbed in English.
  • The soundtrack is a mix between the English dubbed version, the Hong Kong re-release version and music made especially for the Japanese print. While this cut came out before the re-release in Hong Kong, it is most likely that veteran Golden Harvest composer Joseph Koo was called in to create new music tracks for the Japanese version, which would later be reused in the Cantonese re-release.
  • Instead of playing the end of the theme song for the ending like in the U.S. version, the song "To Be A Man" is performed by James Wong and instrumentals by Joseph Koo.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Fists of Fury 2 (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Communication in Hyperspace
Performed by Peter Thomas
(Only in English dubbed versions)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Thrilling Chop-Socky in which wild combat scenes provide an overwhelming view of Bruce lee's skills.
11 July 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The film was based on the true story of Cheng Chiu-on who fought the tyrants in Thailand . As Chein (Bruce Lee choreographed his own fight scenes) is a city boy who moves with his relatives to work at an ice Factory . He does this with a family oath , as he was forced to make a promise to his mother after his father was killed in a fight . The promise was the following : never to get involved in any fight and to make sure he would not fall to the same fate and that he'd live to raise his own family. 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 . As he confronts it head on with his mastery of martial arts while investigating the strange disappearances his cousins . Meantime , he falls in love for beautiful women (Maria Yi and the usual Nora Miao as a Drinkstand owner) and Chein makes love prostitutes (Thai brothel featured in the film was actually a genuine and functioning brothel and they were actual whores who were paid more by Golden Harvest than they would normally receive in a day by their clients) . As Chein seeks vengeance for the death of his relatives and friends ; dispatching numerous thugs and hundreds of Karate experts at violent combats and , he , finally , takes on the villainy of the Big Boss.

A vengeance story about a young man in an ice factory that seeks revenge when his cousins mysteriously begin to disappear . Nice Bruce Lee as an undercover fighter who works with his cousins and sworn to an oath of non-violence . Although , the original star was also James Tien, who plays Hsiu Chien, while Bruce Lee was to be a co-star. However, when directors changed, the stars switched, giving Lee top billing. This violent Chop-Socky displays action-packed , thrills , fast-paced a lot of zooms , and wild fighting images . In fact , this is the only Lee film to be censored in its original country due to graphic violence . This is the only Bruce Lee film (excluding his childhood films and Green Hornet re-edit films) missing his use of the nunchucks . It packs violent combats sequences filled with bounds and leaps ; including Karate , Judo, Tae Kwon do , Hapkido , Wushu and being the only Lee trademark present in this film is his triple kick attack . Exciting and rousing struggles carried out by Bruce Lee , he wasn't doubled and did his own stunts . And impressive final fighting , the key fight sequence between Lee and the Big Boss . The international title of this film was "The Big Boss". In the United States the English dubbed version was originally to be released under the title "The Chinese Connection", a play on the title of the highly popular film French Connection (1971). For some reason the title was changed to "Fists of Fury". As a result, to avoid confusion with Bruce Lee's following film known elsewhere in the world as "Fist of Fury" (1972) , the latter film's title for its U.S. release became first "The Iron Hand" and then "The Chinese Connection".

The motion picture was professionally directed by Lo Wei and well produced by Raymond Chow-Golden Harvest . Although , the original director was Ng Gar Seung, however, he was replaced by Wei Lo a few weeks into production . It achieved big hit smash at box office , in fact , circa 1971 , this was the highest grossing film of all time in Hong Kong, beating out American productions Sound of the music (1965) and Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). Lo Wei also directed the successful "Laugh Track: Chinese Connection" because of the movie's racial content and personal disagreements, Bruce Lee quit working with Lo Wei after this movie . And made various Jackie Chan recitals as ¨New fist of fury¨ and ¨Spiritual Kung Fu¨.

This is a top-notch Kung-Fu movie with the unforgettable Bruce Lee . Bruce Lee played the biggest international hit smashes , such as ¨Fist of Fury¨ that was previously realized to his American box office ¨Enter the dragon¨. This one was made later but released before ¨Lee's Return of dragon¨ with Chuck Norris as contender , and Lee had formerly starred ¨way of the dragon¨ or ¨¨Enter the dragon¨ is his last complete movie character but his next film ¨ Game of death¨ was absurdly edited after his death . This Kung-Fu actioner was well realized by Lo Wei , an expert on Chop-Socky movies and he directed various Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan vehicles . This "The Big Boss" also titled "Big Brother of Tongshan" or "Fists of Fury" or "Fists of Glory¨ is indispensable and essential seeing for Lee fans and Karate enthusiastic.


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