Retro: our movie & TV vault... a fresh look
at neglected classics and cult favourites
"Graceful, powerful, humorous, and charismatic; Lee at his best." - Leonard MaltinPromoted as the 'totally uncut version', with "legendary nunchaku sequences" reinstated, this re-release of the seminal Hong Kong actioner is a welcome treat for all fight fans.
Shanghai, in the 1930s. Chinese boxing student Chen (Bruce Lee) is shocked to learn that his teacher has died in suspicious circumstances, and it's later revealed that he was poisoned by the bad-guys at a Japanese karate school. Chen, vows to take revenge and several intense battles follow, hand-to-hand, and with weapons. There's no mistaking the ability and prowess on display as Chen defeats an entire roomful of foes, before tackling and beating both the rival camp's wicked samurai and a brutal Russian muscleman (American martial artist, Bob Baker).
Fist Of Fury (aka: The Chinese Connection) has some comedic moments - as when Lee dons disguises to infiltrate the enemy's premises to eavesdrop on their plot against him. It also features Lee's first and only screen kiss (with Nora Miao) and some acidic commentary on racism - as in the "sick man of Asia" insults, and a sign banning dogs and Chinese from a park. The dark spirit of feudal nobility is rarely more ignoble than here.
Lee may have been rejected (for being "too Chinese"), in favour of Californian David Carradine, for the lead role in successful TV series Kung Fu, but he proves his worth here with superior, memorable and devastating action scenes.
DVD extras: this Special Collectors Edition disc features terrific animated menus, a full whack digitally re-mastered anamorphic transfer, AC3 5.1 sound, choice of watching the dubbed (which is awful) or English-subtitled version, scene access (30 chapters), nine-part animated biography of Bruce Lee (text plus voiceover, 21 minutes) extensive image galleries - including production stills, bonus pictures from The Big Boss movie, George Tan's excellent Tracking The Dragon archive of rare b/w photos, Fist Of Fury slideshow (four minutes), two trailers, video interviews (subtitled) with Max Lee (18 minutes) and Tony Liu (13 minutes), audio commentary by Bey Logan (author of book Hong Kong Action Cinema), details of eight other HK Legends releases.