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Plot: 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… Runtime: 102 min Release Date: 19 Aug 1973
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, <more>
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.
Long held to be the grand-daddy of all martial arts films, Enter the Dragon was recently re- released on DVD with the full treatment digital restoration, a few short scenes added back in, and interviews with all of the surviving cast, plus some extras about the film and a few interviews with Bruce Lee. Most of you have probably already seen it, as it's thirty years old, but even though the film is almost absurdly steeped in the 70s, it still holds up remarkably well. Aside from dangerously wide lapels and some corny era-related dialogue most notably delivered by Jim Kelly, the <more>
film's only African American . Enter the Dragon still delivers the same powerful punch it did three decades ago.Of course, back then, it was merely the best martial arts film. Now, however, it is the chief testament to the grace and skill of Bruce Lee, and the only one of his four films that he had any sort of creative control over and you can see the difference between this and his Hong Kong films easily.Lee does a Tony Danza and plays Mr. Lee, a shao-lin warrior who is recruited by a foreign government it's assumed to be the English but is never explicitly stated to infiltrate the island of a megalomaniac martial artist named Han Kien Shih who holds tournaments to find the best martial artists in the world. And because that's not enough motivation, it's also revealed that Han's bodyguard, Oharra Robert Wall killed Bruce's sister three years ago. So, like every Lee movie, there is a personal vendetta involved, and like every Lee film, Bruce's character asks forgiveness from his family for the deadly violence he is about to unleash. Along for the ride are gamblaholic Roper John Saxon and ghetto survivor Williams Kelly .The plot seems like a contrivance now, but that was before it was copied to death in the last three decades. It's actually a plausible and somewhat clever excuse to show people what they came to see Bruce Lee repeatedly kicking butt. From the opening fight scene against Sammo Hung through the fabulous finale where Lee single-handedly takes on half the island, the movie is a joy to watch on the physical level. It's the world's greatest martial artist at his peak, in a showcase perfectly designed for him. It was an ideal if unintentional shrine to the man.Lee is not merely content to let us watch him bash people, though; some of his philosophy penetrates the movie, which is probably the real reason why Enter the Dragon has stayed so fresh so long. Lee talks about spirituality with a young charge and even gives us an amusing and illustrative lesson in his 'art of fighting without fighting' which is the credo of any real warrior. Lee also shows us the flip side; the show-offs and power-hungry who are only in it for the physical and material advantage. He takes care to show us how debased they are before dispatching them, however.While Saxon and the rest of the cast are perfectly acceptable Jim Kelly overdoes it a bit, but oddly that fits the film , Lee is terrific in this piece. Bruce Lee was a riveting performer and nowhere is that better demonstrated than in this movie. It's a testament to his legacy that three decades later, no one has come close to his skill, and people are still stealing ideas from him Kill Bill, etc. . It gives one pause while watching Enter the Dragon to think of just what Bruce Lee could have accomplished had he lived.I suppose those who don't like martial arts wouldn't care for this film, but I've seen it convert even unbelievers before. Lee is that good, and that charismatic, that you can't help but be drawn to him. Certainly his greatest film is worth checking out again on this spiffy new re- release. Even if you're not the biggest martial arts fan, how often do you get to check out a legend at the top of his game?
The "Citizen Kane" of the martial arts films genre (by filmz2004)
What more can be said of the man whom millions consider one of the greatest action stars of all time. Enter the Dragon is the Citizen Kane and Bruce Lee is the Orson Welles of the martial arts film genre. This film marked the most successful merging of both Hong Kong and American cinema. From the opening scene to the final fight scene it was Bruce Lee at his best. His near perfect physique, leading man good looks and innate charisma transcended the derivative script and gave it a timeless quality. Having read the original draft of Enter the Dragon originally titled "Blood and <more>
Steel", The final film is a far cry from it. He turned major monologues into short but memorable phrases like "It is like a finger pointing away to the moon". Very few people then, and now could utter those words and be taken seriously. It was Bruce Lee not writer Michael Allin who gave the movie it's spiritual core and it was Bruce Lee not directed Robert Clouse who gave it its sense of cinematic style. Proof of this lies in the fact that both Allin and Clouse were never able to reproduce the quality or success of Enter the Dragon before or after Bruce Lee. Bruce borrowed heavily from Clint Eastwood's persona and gave it his own unique twist. After all these years, Enter the Dragon stands alone in the genre and stands as one of Hollywood's most profitable feature films.
When it comes to kung fu, Bruce Lee is a legend. When it comes to kung fu cinema, Enter the Dragon is the most highly regarded. In other words, you owe it to yourself to see this flick! The story is relatively simple but quite sufficient and sprinkled with humor. The locations and setting are wonderful as well. The characters are one of the main attractions here though, with the gambling but honorable Roper John Saxon , the feisty and unorthodox but effective! Williams Jim Kelly , Chinese Hercules Bolo, and the great baddie Han, the hand man. Bruce Lee's presence, of course, steals <more>
the show. While some of the fight scenes from Lee's Chinese Connection I think that's the one may rival the ones here, ETD is a far more well-rounded film. The variety of exciting fights are skillfully choreographed and there's not too much downtime from the action either; even in the flash back we have some excellent female butt-kicking. And you gotta love that 70's soundtrack! This is a classic action film that will never be forgotten. The two-disc DVD was loaded with goodies; you really couldn't ask for more, except for maybe a better commentary. Producer Paul Heller was dull, dry, and had little to offer.
The best martial arts film I have ever seen (by truly36)
Thirty years later I would like to say that I remember this film as one of the greatest films I have ever seen in my life. I do not know exactly why, but it is, maybe, because the music we listen on it has been always with me in the last 25 years or so. Bruce Lee was an icon, I also remember the Green Hornet TV show, and the extraordinary combination of sound and images in this film allow us to dream about to be a hero or something like that. I have seen the film many times and each one was almost different than the other one, this is one of those films in which you can notice different <more>
things every time you see it again, even if you are not an expert in martial arts as if it is the case about me. Thanks Bruce, where ever you are, for your incredible style.
Enter The Martial Arts Hall Of Fame! (by Witchfinder-General-666)
"Enter The Dragon" of 1973 is not only essential for Bruce Lee fans, but a must-see for every lover of cult-cinema for a variety of reasons. While director Robert Clouse's stylish and violent Martial Arts extravaganza is not necessarily the greatest Bruce Lee flick, it is his most famous and most influential film, both due to the fact that it was his first American-produced film and the first American-produced Martial Arts film ever , and, mainly, because it was the last film the Master appeared in before his untimely death. More precisely, "Enter The Dragon" had its <more>
world premiere only six days after the great Martial Arts icon had passed away on July 20th, 1973. The film's cult-status even excels its level of fame - the iconic picture of Bruce Lee with bleeding scratches on his chest must be one of the most widely known movie stills ever, and is immediately recognized even by people who have never seen the film and don't know its title. This film basically was the kick-off to the popularity of Martial Arts films in the Western World, but even apart from the fact how influential it was, this is a great film to watch. In its style, it somehow resembles funky and incomparably more violent Marial Arts version of the older James Bond films - sexy ladies and eccentric villains come along with stylish and ultra-violent unarmed battle on a beautiful remote island.Kung Fu expert Lee Bruce Lee is applied to attend a tournament on a remote island owned by the mysterious Han Kien Shih . Besides engaging in fights, Lee is to infiltrate the villainous Han's evil crime syndicate. But love of justice is not Lee's sole motivation to come to the island, as one of Han's henchmen is responsible for his sister's death... Lee is not the only kung fu-expert participating in the tournament, of course. Several other great fighters have arrived, most memorably the crafty Roper played by none other than the great John Saxon and the super-cool Williams played by Jim Kelly, basically THE black Martial Artist, who went on to make another film with director Clouse, "Black Belt Jones" the following year . And then there are more familiar faces for Martial Arts fans, such as the monstrously-looking Bolo Yeung and the scar-faced Robert Wall. Angela Mao, Ahna Capri, and a bunch of other foxy ladies provide most welcome female eye-candy in-between the fights. The martial arts sequences are stylish, violent, and, in one word, amazing. Bruce Lee himself did the choreography of the fights - I don't suppose I need to say any more. All that is accompanied by a funky soundtrack and the typical awesome 70s feeling that my fellow fans of cult-cinema love so much. This is an absolute must-see for Martial Arts- and Cult-cinema fans, and I also highly recommend it to anybody else. I know the following statement is nothing new or original, but it sure is to the point: Bruce Lee was THE MAN, and always will be, and not an entire army of Jet Lis and Jackie Chans can ever replace him!
Very stylish and intense martial arts action film (by mstomaso)
As a child, one of my first and best friends was a strange boy who worshiped the ground Bruce Lee walked on - cutting his hair, taking Jiu Jitsu and Hapkido lessons, and often stalking around with that intense animal fury that only Lee could create all over his 7 year old face. My friend took a lot of abuse for this and other odd behaviors with dignity that his hero would have applauded. Unfortunately, Mr. Lee passed from this world very young, leaving a legend and a pair of shoes that have never really been filled. For most Americans, this is the only Hollywood film worthy of mention with <more>
his name in the cast. Don't get me wrong, I love Jackie Chan and Jet Li and even the few Chow Yun Fat roles involving martial arts, but each of these actors have their own, very big, personalities, and - at least in the case of Chan - have built their own unique legend. Unlike his successors, what Lee excelled at was the intense physicality and drama of his performance. He worked every muscle of his body in every beautifully choreographed fight scene of Enter The Dragon, and made art out of violence in ways that today's Hollywood gun violence schlock-directors can only dream of. And Enter the Dragon is one of his most stunning vehicles.The pseudo-Taoisms are kept to a minimum and concentrated near the beginning of this film. Lee enters a martial arts tournament to avenge the murder of his sister, and to defend the honor of the Shao Lin Temple, where he helps to train young martial artists. John Saxon, a down-on-his luck playboy and brigand is the closest thing to a co-star, and comes to the tournament hoping for a solution to his financial problems. The tournament is hosted by a mass-murdering heroin manufacturer who hides his production facilities, literally, beneath a martial arts school, using the instructors and students in the school as an army of body guards. Kien Shih is absolutely compelling as the evil Han, even if his fight scenes are, at times, a bit less convincing than the master Lee's. Lee and Shih are the performance highlights of the film. Though Saxon does a passable job, his performance is a bit fibrous at times.Worth seeing for the sets and settings alone, this film is driven well by its fast pace, simple but engaging story line, and the sheer talent of Bruce Lee. Of course, there are the usual problems of the martial arts genre - villains whose sense of honor for the most part only applies to life-threatening situations fighting would-be heroes, the lack of any weapons besides fists and unused knives, unnecessary nude scenes - it is very easy to overlook these problems and just enjoy the film.Highly recommended.
Nice seeing Bruce Lee in action! (by OllieSuave-007)
Enter the Dragon is the final movie that martial arts great Bruce Lee filmed and is a fast-paced, no-nonsense action film about him joining a competition sponsored by renegade Shaolin artist Han Kien Shih . Lee wants to stop his nefarious ways of darkening the martial art and spy on his illegal opium trade.It's great seeing Bruce Lee in action as he displays some of his most iconic martial arts moves, from his throwing bad guys left and right around to him swinging those nunchuks . Him investigating Han's illegal operation bring a little suspense to the story and reminds us of a good <more>
old detective movie. The acting was good for the most part as Kien Shih makes a great villain and John Saxon and Jim Kelly make a good supporting duo. The flashback scenes in Saxon and Kelly's background drag the movie somewhat, but the excitement begins when they reach Han's island. It's nonstop action from there.Overall, it's a good martial arts movie. Also, look for the cameo appearances of Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Wah and Lam Ching-Ying.Grade B+
"It hits all by itself..." One of the first, mandatory stops on the tour of MA movies (by Quinoa1984)
I finally saw Enter the Dragon all the way through in the past I caught snippets on late night TV and never got into it before changing the channel, no offense , and I must say this is indeed a highly likable, engrossing, and influential film, for all the right and wrong reasons. Right because it has influenced countless followers in the martial-arts/kung-fu genre, and can be counted on as holding some of the finest, slickest not slick in the sense of Jackie Chan's amazing stunts or the artsy-fartsy slickness of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fight scenes ever filmed. Wrong because <more>
behind the "coolness" that follows Lee in nearly every shot and his awesome skills as a fight co-coordinator on top of being an action star, is a storyline featuring villains and supporting characters that soon fizzle out in the viewers' interests. I know it's a minor squabble for such a film, many a kung-fu fan might say, but I felt that cheesy, tongue-in-cheek poking me in many scenes even as I found myself enjoying them.Lee plays, well, Lee, a master of the Shaolin school who is recruited to participate, and in undercover infiltrate, in a fighting tournament on an island that's run by a vile gangster named Han Kien Shih , who in between fights holds slaves and opium addicts. Along with this are a couple of supporting characters also participating in the tournament including Williams Jim Kelly and American businessman Roper John Saxon, who isn't actually all that bad through most of it .Like I said, the story sort of speaks for what content is there, and the cheesiness the minor characters, over-dubbing English over English as I saw it , brings it down as a motion picture in and of itself. However, I certainly recognized that through whatever flaws come in the baseline of the script and acting is compensated by Bruce Lee- even as he makes those trademark sounds woooaahh! as he fights off dozens at a time, there's an unmistakable grace and magnitude to what he does here. Possibly his most famous sequence, the climax involving the mirrors, is enough to endure most of the movie, but all the other fights as well make the whole experience worthwhile. To sum the review up, I do agree with the argument that Enter the Dragon tends to be over-rated many say this is the greatest martial arts film ever and say it without seeing the countless films that have come out of Chinese cinema , but as a star in the genre Bruce Lee helped to popularize, he proves here that HE and his philosophies & techniques "there is no technique" he states early on will endure for decades and generations to come.