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Game of Death (1978)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 8 June 1979 (USA)
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A martial arts movie star must fake his death to find the people who are trying to kill him.

Directors:

Robert Clouse, Bruce Lee (uncredited)

Writer:

Robert Clouse (as Jan Spears)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Lee ... Billy Lo / Hai Tien (original 1972 footage) (archive footage)
Gig Young ... Jim Marshall
Dean Jagger ... Dr. Land
Hugh O'Brian ... Steiner
Colleen Camp ... Ann Morris
Robert Wall ... Carl Miller
Mel Novak ... Stick
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... Hakim / Mantis (original 1972 footage) (archive footage)
Chuck Norris ... Fighter (archive footage)
Dan Inosanto ... Pasqual / Third Floor Guardian (original 1972 footage) (as Danny Inosanto)
Billy McGill Billy McGill ... John
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung ... Lo Chen (as Hung Kim Po)
Roy Chiao ... Henry Lo
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... David (as Tony Leung)
Jim James Jim James ... Surgeon
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Storyline

In this movie, Bruce Lee is a very famous martial-arts master who stars in many films. After an unsuccessful murder attempt against him, everyone thinks his is dead, but he's just hiding, preparing his revenge... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bruce Lee challenges the underworld to a Game of Death.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

8 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bruce Lee's Game of Death See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,000,000, 1 January 1980

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,000,000, 1 January 1984
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original premiere) | (current existing footage) | (2000 incomplete) | (2000 incomplete) | (original cut) (1972)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Sammo Kam-Bo Hung almost didn't appear in the film. When Bruce Lee personally asked him to be part of the film, Hung waited for eight months without follow-up and eventually went to film projects in Korea and Thailand. He flew back to the set in China when promised that filming his part would only take a few days. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene when Bruce Lee from enter the dragon is shown. Bruce Lee really says, "You have offended my family." The quote for this film is, "So you got in here, finally." If you watch Bruce's lips carefully he doesn't pause even for a second like the quote from this film does. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Director: Cut! Okay, that's a print. That was great, Billy! Okay everybody...
[stage light collapses, crew gasps]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Japanese theatrical cut of the film is virtually identical to the American cut, except that it uses Bruce Lee's real battle cries during the fight scenes as opposed to the fake ones by Chris Kent. Also, there is an extra bit of Cantonese dialogue from the second fighter in the finale (played by Ji Hon Jae) in which he warns Billy Lo that he must defeat him to continue. This cut has been released as a bonus feature on the 2012 Japanese Blu-ray from Paramount Japan and the 2013 American Blu-ray from Shout Factory. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yie Ar Kung-Fu (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Game of Death
(Hong Kong version only)
Music by Joseph Koo
Lyrics by James Wong
Sung By Roman Tam
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Bruce Lee's Back (Courtesy of stock footage).
9 February 2005 | by Captain_CouthSee all my reviews

Game of Death (1978) was another film project that was a Warner Brothers and Golden Harvest joint production. Movie goers all around the world were still in shock from the sudden death of Bruce Lee. His last film Enter the Dragon was a worldwide success. After his death a plethora of knock-offs and wannabe Bruce Lees flooded the market place. Raymond Chow and company saw an untapped market for another film "starring" Bruce Lee. He heard of an unfinished film that Bruce was working on before he was dead. So he hired Robert Clouse to direct new footage so it could be worked into the existing one. Sammo Hung was hired to become the action director (he also appears as a prize fighter).

Robert Clouse used two doubles for Bruce Lee (one of them was Yuen Biao) and a lot of stock footage was used whenever it could. The use of the footage was a very, very bad idea. Many of the seems were obviously cut-and-paste and made the film look very cheap and exploitive fare. This was going to be another movie with Hong Kong actors and American ones thrown into the mix. Gig Young, Dean Jagger and Collen Camp (when she was extremely hot) co-star as well as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and several of Bruce Lee's friends. Instead of fleshing out the movie that Bruce was working on before he died, the film makers noticed that there were already several different films that were already made that bore a similarity to the original Game of Death. The new movie centered around a murder mystery and a lot of fighting peppered with a lot of action direction work from Sammo Hung.

The finished results were a mixed bag. The American cut of the film was not that great and is pretty mediocre. The Hong Kong version is a whole lot better with extra footage (It's also edited differently, has all the trademarks of a Sammo Hung film project instead of one by Robert Clouse). and more Hong Kong actors and plot. It must have been a success in Hong Kong because a sequel was made from even more unused footage and outtakes of Bruce Lee. This movie is actually better than this one because it doesn't take itself seriously, not as much recycled footage and the fight scenes are even better.

If I were to watch this movie I would recommend finding the Hong Kong version. It's a lot better than the boring American release.

Followed by the Tower of Death a.k.a. Game of Death 2.


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