6.1/10
16,896
131 user 51 critic

Game of Death (1978)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 8 June 1979 (USA)
Trailer
1:20 | Trailer
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 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chuck Norris was considered for the role of Steiner, but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

When Billy ascends to the top level of the restaurant to confront Dr. Land, only to find that he has apparently slit his wrists, the boxing bag and staircase from the fight with Hakim can be seen in the spliced-in footage of Bruce Lee. However, the boxing bag is supposed to be one floor below Dr. Land's office (on Hakim's floor). See more »

Quotes

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

An unofficial DVD release circling the Internet entitled "Game of Death: Integral" features a 127 min cut of the film featuring:
  • A large majority of Bruce Lee's original footage not used in the official release. This is most notable in the final three fights as there is now dialog between Billy Lo and Pasqual as well as with Hakim. The final three fights added up to only 10 minutes in the 1978 release, but the combined length of the fights in this cut is 25 minutes.
  • The greenhouse fight in the Hong Kong version is also in this cut along with an extended scene before the fight in which Billy Lo is training on his outdoor balcony as he hears banging noises from the other room. This is actually footage from Meng Long Guojiang with new sound effects added. Also, when Billy comes back to his apartment after the fight, he finds a note reading "Have you two made out your wills?" along with a phone call from Dr. Land in which all he says is "You bastard!" with a follow up villainous laugh.
  • The opening theme is replaced with an updated version of the Game of Death theme originally created for the Japanese film Bruce Lee in G.O.D.
  • The infamous "cardboard cutout head" shot shown in all other versions has been replaced with a close up shot of Bruce Lee from Jing Wu Men.
  • The even more infamous shot of the real corpse of Bruce Lee from his actual funeral has been replaced with a horizontally flipped shot of the outside of the funeral parlor with all of the fans standing outside.
  • All of the fake Bruce Lee yells have been replaced with real yells from stock audio.
  • The film's ending is an extension of the Hong Kong ending in which Billy Lo is arrested. However, the scene inter-cuts with Billy Lo (from the original Bruce Lee footage) walking back down the stairways of the Red Pepper Restaurant complex ending with him yelling out to the police in Cantonese "Help me!" One officer looks up and replies "Hurry down!" The scene ends with Billy Lo being taken away by the police, then fading to a tracking shot revealing the yellow and black tracksuit laying over top of a chair in an editing room and a narrator reading from Lee's Tao of Jeet Kune Do discussing "The Void".
  • The film also ends with a large number of bloopers and outtakes from Bruce Lee's original Game of Death footage.
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Connections

Edited into Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Barely watchable. Bruce Lee would be turning in his grave.
9 April 2003 | by The-GentSee all my reviews

I wish this wasn't credited to Bruce Lee's name, it's an embarrassment to all involved, and I honestly can't see why this film is praised by some people.

Lee filmed a few fight scenes for a movie before putting the project on hold to do Enter The Dragon, and of course his death. This is the finished product (without his input). His scenes were poorly edited into a full length piece of crap.

I tried to look past the fact that shots switched from old, grainy film to cleaner, sharper film continuously throughout any scene with the real Lee. I tried to look past the appalling effects; such as sticking a picture of Lee's face on a mirror, and filming it as if attached to someone's reflection. I even managed to look past the fact that the guy playing Lee's character for the rest of the film barely looked like him at all. But I still ended up with a bad taste in my mouth at the end of the film.

There is still a point of interest for Bruce Lee fans, the last 15 minutes are great, (the real) Lee's fight with Abdul-Jabar is amazing...But it didn't do the overall product very much help (for the full unedited version of what Bruce Lee filmed for this, check out the documentary on the man called 'Bruce Lee: A Warriors Journey'). This is my second bad experience with unfinished/unreleased films being edited into others, (see also, or more appropriately -- don't see also: Sam's Song starring Robert De Niro), so I have learnt my lesson. 2.5/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

8 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Game of Death See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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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
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