7.7/10
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Enter the Dragon (1973)

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0:32 | Trailer
A secret agent comes to an opium lord's island fortress with other fighters for a martial-arts tournament.

Director:

Robert Clouse

Writer:

Michael Allin
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3,230 ( 11)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Lee ... Lee
John Saxon ... Roper
Jim Kelly ... Williams
Ahna Capri ... Tania
Kien Shih ... Han (as Shih Kien)
Robert Wall ... Oharra (as Bob Wall)
Angela Mao ... Su Lin (Guest star) (as Angela Mao Ying)
Betty Chung Betty Chung ... Mei Ling
Geoffrey Weeks ... Braithwaite
Bolo Yeung ... Bolo (as Yang Sze)
Peter Archer Peter Archer ... Parsons
Li-Jen Ho ... Old Man (as Ho Lee Yan)
Marlene Clark ... Secretary
Allan Kent Allan Kent ... Golfer
Bill Keller Bill Keller ... L.A. Cop
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Storyline

Enter the Dragon revolves around 3 main characters; Lee, a man recruited by an agency to investigate a tournament hosted by Han, since they believe he has an Opium trade there. Roper and Williams are former army buddies since Vietnam and they enter the tournament due to different problems that they have. It's a deadly tournament they will enter on an island. Lee's job is to get the other 2 out of there alive. Written by Emphinix

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first American produced martial arts spectacular! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for martial arts violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which Lee states that his style was the style of "Fighting Without Fighting" and then lures Parsons into boarding a dinghy is based upon a famous anecdote involving the sixteenth century samurai Tsukahara Bokuden. See more »

Goofs

During the second infiltration of Mr Han's underground lab, Lee is hiding out of shot whilst a nurse walks away from the camera through a doorway. When the nurse exits from the shot, Lee's shadow immediately appears on the floor from the left, revealing that the sequence was not filmed continuously. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lee: Teacher?
Shaolin Abbott: I see your talents have gone beyond the mere physical level. Your skills are now at the point of spiritual insight. I have several questions. What is the highest technique you hope to achieve ?
Lee: To have no technique.
Shaolin Abbott: Very good. What are your thoughts when facing an opponent ?
Lee: There is no opponent.
Shaolin Abbott: And why is that ?
Lee: Because the word "I" does not exist.
Shaolin Abbott: So, continue...
Lee: A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

In the UK, the film was passed 'X' by the BBFC with cuts for the cinema release in 1973. 5 cuts were made to violence including the removal of the broken bottle attack at the end of the Lee/Oharra fight. In 1979, the film was recalled so that a sequence in which Bruce Lee twirls and uses nunchaku could be deleted, along with another sequence in which nunchaku were seen being carried. In 1988 the video version was passed '18' with 1 minute 45 seconds cut. Three of the five violence cuts made in 1973 were waived but two were maintained (the first cut is to an offscreen neckbreak - this version cuts away just as Bolo crouches to jerk and snap a poor sap's spine. The second cut occurs when Bolo cradles the final opponent in order to slowly break his back - the process and sound effect of this act had been shortened). The cuts to nunchakus implemented in 1979 were repeated for video. However, in 1991 the Board modified its policy so that the weapon was no longer removed on sight. After 1991 a number of representations of nunchaku were passed but only when they were not actually in use. The video of "Enter the Dragon" was resubmitted again in 1993 for widescreen release. This time the two remaining violence cuts were waived, as was the brief sight of nunchaku being carried, in accordance with the new policy. The only cut made this time was to sight of Bruce Lee twirling and briefly using the nunchaku (21 seconds cut). "Enter the Dragon" was resubmitted in its uncut form in 2001 and, in accordance with the BBFC's revised policy, has now been passed '18' without cuts. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Steptoe and Son: The Seven Steptoerai (1974) See more »

User Reviews

 
Immortal (***** stars out of five)
27 July 2004 | by dee.reidSee all my reviews

In the years since his bizarre and tragic death, martial arts legend and master Bruce Lee has become a sort of icon within the Kung-fu movie circuit.

The last film that he completed before his death, 1973's "Enter the Dragon," has become not only a masterful showcase for Lee's talents (both fighting and acting), but in the 31 years since its release has become perhaps the definitive martial arts movie of all time.

Lee, in his first and last English-speaking performance, stars as a martial arts expert who is recruited by the British government to infiltrate an island fortress, under the cover of being invited to a martial arts tournament, to investigate a possible slavery/drug ring led by a former nemesis of his.

Indeed something is amiss at this isolated island fortress, as he discovers that his nemesis Han (Shih Kien) is the host of the tournament and is also the leader of the same gang that murdered his sister. Soon enough, Lee, together with two other martial artists, Roper (John Saxon) and Williams (Jim Kelly), go to work kicking a** everywhere until the final showdown with the murderous, one-handed villain Han in the classic "Hall of Mirrors" fight sequence.

"Enter the Dragon," a joint American-Chinese production, was intended to be Bruce Lee's introduction to Western audiences, but due to his tragic death just weeks before the film's American release, we will never know what he would have been capable of here in the states. Even more tragically, his son Brandon Lee would experience a similar fate just like his father only 20 years later with "The Crow."

There are so many classic fight scenes, which I can watch over and over without them ever becoming boring. Many of them still hold up very well, especially by 2004's standards, where fight scenes are mostly digitally enhanced or involve "wire" or "Matrix-fu" to make up for lack of actual stunt work; plus one has to remember that this film was made in 1973, in the days before wirework would become dominant in today's martial arts cinema. The "Cavern Fight" is probably my favorite fight sequence of all time, in any martial arts movie.

Many of the fights in this movie, more specially the ones where Lee is involved, have a surreal feeling to them. He brings a kind of grace to his action scenes that have yet to be topped by any actor alive today. Lee even brings many of his own personal philosophies to this film, which makes much sense and perhaps help to understand some of the more philosophical elements to the story. But more than anything, this was Bruce Lee's entrée to Americans; many people, including myself, were introduced to martial arts cinema through "Enter the Dragon."

There are also several cameos made by future martial arts stars that would eventually reach stardom, most notably Jackie Chan (as a henchman during the "Cavern Fight" sequence who has his neck broken by Lee) and Sammo Hung (as Lee's sparring partner in the opening fight sequence).

I could go on and on about what makes this movie immortal, but I feel I should let you see what makes it great. Bruce Lee was forever immortalized with this film and it will be cherished and praised forever.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

19 August 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Deadly Three See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,821
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical) | (VHS release) (USA)

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Dolby Digital (re-release)| Mono (original release)| SDDS (re-release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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