6.1/10
14,623
118 user 43 critic

Game of Death (1978)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 8 June 1979 (USA)
Clip
2:21 | Clip

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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)

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.

Director: Bruce Lee
Stars: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young man seeks vengence for the death of his teacher.

Director: Wei Lo
Stars: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien
The Big Boss (1971)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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
Stars: Bruce Lee, Maria Yi, James Tien
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly
Documentary | Action | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee is the subject of this thoughtful documentary by Lee aficionado John Little. Using interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and action sequences from Lee's ... See full summary »

Directors: John Little, Bruce Lee
Stars: Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Peter Archer
Action | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

After Billy Lo is killed while seeking the murderers of his friend, his brother Bobby goes all out to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Directors: See-Yuen Ng, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bruce Lee, Tae-jeong Kim, Jang Lee Hwang
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the life of the martial arts superstar.

Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly, Robert Wagner
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Official Golden Harvest tribute to the Master of the Martial Arts Film, Bruce Lee.

Director: Leonard Ho
Stars: Bruce Lee, James B. Nicholson, Hoi-Chuen Lee
The Green Hornet (1966–1967)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A newspaper publisher and his Asian valet/martial arts expert battle crime as the feared Green Hornet and Kato.

Stars: Van Williams, Bruce Lee, Wende Wagner
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A Karate champion and his manager are invited to participate in a martial arts tournament held in an island ended up fighting for their lives while rescuing kidnapped models.

Director: Jun Gallardo
Stars: Ramon Zamora, Evangeline Pascual, Eddie Garcia
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Lee ... Billy Lo / Hai Tien (original 1972 footage) (archive footage)
Colleen Camp ... Ann Morris
Dean Jagger ... Dr. Land
Gig Young ... Jim Marshall
Tae-jeong Kim Tae-jeong Kim ... Billy Lo (as Kim Tai Jong)
Biao Yuen ... Billy Lo (as Bill Yuen)
Robert Wall ... Carl Miller
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... Hakim / Mantis (original 1972 footage) (archive footage)
Mel Novak ... Stick
Hugh O'Brian ... Steiner
James Tien ... Charlie Wang / Fighter accomplice antagonist (original 1972 footage) (archive footage)
Dan Inosanto ... Pasqual / Third Floor Guardian (original 1972 footage) (as Danny Inosanto)
Chuck Norris ... Fighter (archive footage)
Roy Chiao ... Henry Lo
Russell Cawthorne Russell Cawthorne ... Surgeon
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Wall, who appears in the final version of "Game of Death", had also been slated to appear in the early 1970s version as intended by Bruce Lee. See more »

Goofs

During the first fight scene, we see a guy in a green jump suit is running at Billy and is back kicked. However when the kick forces the guy in green to flip, it is a guy in a black jump suit that flips yet he wasn't the one that was kicked. Then the guy in the green jump suit is kicked again when it should of been the guy in the black jump suit to receive that blow because the guy in green should of flipped after being kicked. 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

Roy Chiao appears only in the English language version and Casanova Wong appears only in the Chinese language version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last of Us (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Will This Be the Song I'll Be Singing Tomorrow?
Music and Lyrics by John Barry
Sung By Colleen Camp
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

As Brandon Lee once said: "Game of Death has 40 minutes of footage and the rest is junk"
16 March 2002 | by modiusSee all my reviews

Before Bruce Lee died he worked on scripts for Game of Death (also known under some titles as "song of the knife")...and shot some 40 odd minutes of footage including test screenings and actual fight sequences.

The idea of the film was to make a multi-layer, philosophical film made for the chinese and eastern audience to ask the question over martial arts style - the advantages and disadvantages of each style, as well as questioning the need for style anyway.

The film's main plot was to be based in Korea. Bruce Lee would be forced into storming a 4 or 5 storey Pagoda which is said to hold a infinite treasure with each level guarded by a different style.

The bottom floor would be held by hundreds of Karate students (much like the ending of Enter the Dragon), the first layer would be a style under the handle of "Gate of Enlightment".

The Second layer would be the Preying Mantis with elements of Wing Chun.

The Third layer would be a Philophino style whilst the Fourth, the Temple of Gold would be held by a Hapikdo expert (though I'm not sure about this).

The Fourth layer would be the Temple of the Unknown, guarded by one Kareem Abdul Jabbar - doing an unknown style.

Whilst shooting, most of the footage was lost to the ravages of time. And when Bruce Lee died, his fans cried out for any footage to be shown as a mark of respect.

The end footage of Bruce Lee fighting Jabbar and previous footage would be cut to bits by Robert Clouse and put into a new film under the same name. The end film is offensive and shatters the whole idea of the original GOD plot and story - but then again there wasn't enough info on the film to start with.

Bruce Lee fans were in uproar...the film was a shambles, yet was commerically succesful. Most of the film had no Bruce Lee in it, or had lookalikes or even worse used Stock Footage of old Bruce Lee films and interspliced it into the film.

The DVD, whilst is good, doesn't do much to help the film - there isn't enough info on the script notes...why is there so much text, why didn't they try to recreate the scenes, the floors or even re-do the film as new?

You'd be better off not to buy either the DVD or video version unless you want to waste money or actually are a die-hard bruce lee fan.

The DVD doesn't give you much - but then again there was never much to start with. You'd be better off looking on the Internet for the original GOD scripts and info or even multimedia - as even now on the web you can see the footage that Bruce Lee shot and never got into the original DVD or movie.

Overall this is a very, very weak film with a good score and bad camera angles and discredits Bruce Lee's image so much it becomes deeply offensive and patronising to the viewer.

In fact you could argue that this film singly-handly started the Bruce Lee imitators phenomnen.

Whether the film's patronising and offensive viewpoint is the fault of Robert Clouse, Sammo Hung who directed the fight sequences and drafted in the services of two look-a-likes or even the producer Raymond Chow is unknown, but what is clear is the fact they tried. and failed.

As Brandon Lee once said: "Game of Death has 40 minutes of footage, and the rest is junk". I couldn't agree with him more.

Overall: 2/10


59 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 118 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed