At the time this film held the world record for a scene that needed the most takes, over a thousand for the "shuttlecock soccer" scene. See more »
Around 1h19m (the barn fight scene), Cowboy (Mars) gets kicked off the loft by the Big Boss (Ing-Sik Whang). Dragon (Jackie Chan) is situated near the middle of the ladder. Just as the Big Boss kicks him in the back, the next cut shows him at the top of the ladder. See more »
Scenes of out-takes from the action scenes play under the credits. See more »
Some early international releases of this film were shorn of the sequence in which Dragon is forced to recite poetry. This is most likely because it was deemed to be something that would have confused audiences unfamiliar with the culture. See more »
Work-shy student Dragon (Chan) and his madcap pal Cowboy (Mars) spend their days getting up to mischief, frustrating the elders, chasing girls, and competing in the village sport - in which contestants scramble to the top of a tall wooden pyramid, the "bun tower", to retrieve a golden ball, rugby-fashion. When Dragon overhears a fiendish plot by smugglers to sell China's national treasures overseas, the pair leap into action. Also, Cowboy's wealthy father is kidnapped by the villainous and lethal Big Boss (In-Sik), and the scene is set for a furious martial arts showdown.
An attempt to claw back some native credibility after his first US outing The Big Brawl (1980) flopped Stateside, Dragon Lord saw Chan returning to Taiwan to work on a sequel to his directorial debut Young Master (also 1980). It would be ultimately abandoned - along with months of wasted footage - for a confused, if enjoyable affair, with no real script.
Accordingly, Dragon Lord also crashed and burned at Hong Kong theatres, much to the director's chagrin, who'd attempted to "make a new kind of action picture". As Chan told 'Combat' magazine years later: "I got rid of the kung fu and tried to put in sports, but I found that the audience didn't want that." But if Dragon Lord almost shot down Chan's rising star there and then, it did set a template for successive hits; tightly-choreographed acrobatics taking precedence over traditional Shaolin combat-styles; outtakes featuring aborted stunts over the credits; a winning goofy charm.
Stand-out sequences include a Badminton-like game played with shuttlecocks (but no bats), and the climactic fight between Mars, Chan and real-life Taekwondo master In-Sik, which is both simultaneously deadly and near-clownish (if this film had an overall sound it would be "Boiinngg!", or possibly "Kuhumperwhumpf!").
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