Fist of Fury
|Fist of Fury|
Hong Kong poster
|Mandarin||Jīng Wǔ Mén|
|Cantonese||Zing1 Mou2 Mun4|
|Directed by||Lo Wei|
|Produced by||Raymond Chow|
|Written by||Lo Wei|
|Music by||Joseph Koo|
|Edited by||Peter Cheung|
|Distributed by||Golden Harvest
National General Pictures (Original US Distributor)
|Running time||108 minutes|
|Box office||Hong Kong:
Fist of Fury, also known as The Chinese Connection and The Iron Hand in the United States, is a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Lo Wei, starring Bruce Lee in his second major role after The Big Boss (1971). Lee plays Chen Zhen, a student of Huo Yuanjia, who fights to defend the honor of the Chinese in the face of foreign aggression, and to bring to justice those responsible for his master's death.
The film is set in the early 20th century in Shanghai. Chen Zhen returns to Jingwu School to marry his fiancée. However tragic news awaits him: his master Huo Yuanjia has died, apparently from illness. Chen is deeply saddened and traumatised by the sudden demise of his teacher. During the funeral, people from a Japanese dojo in Hongkou District show up to insult and taunt the Jingwu students. Wu En, the Japanese dojo's grandmaster Hiroshi Suzuki's translator and adviser, taunts Chen by slapping him on the chin several times, and dares him to fight him. Then the Japanese students, along with Wu, leave.
Shortly after, Chen goes to the Hongkou dojo alone to engage in a fight. Chen defeats all of them, including the students' master.
Chen takes a stroll to a park after that. He is refused entry into the park by a Sikh guard, since the sign said that no dogs and Chinese were allowed in the park. After the guard allows a foreigner to bring her pet dog into the park, a Japanese man approaches Chen and tells him that if he behaves like a dog, he will be allowed to go in. Chen beats up the man and his friends in anger. After the fight, Chen breaks the sign. The guard blows his whistle to alert the police, meanwhile the citizens that watched the whole fight help Chen to get out of the park entrance quickly.
Meanwhile, the Japanese students and their master retaliate by attacking Jingwu School on the orders of Suzuki. After causing severe damage, the Japanese students leave. Wu, following the Japanese students, warns Jingwu School to hand over Chen. Chen returns and realises that he has caused big trouble. His fellow students are reluctant to hand him over to the Japanese, so they make plans to help him escape from Shanghai.
That night, Chen discovers that Huo has all along been poisoned by Tien, the cook. Chen then sees Tien and Feng Guishi, the caretaker, talking. Chen kills Tien. Feng cowers behind a wall, unsuccessfully sneak attacks Chen, and Chen kills him. Chen hangs Tien and Feng's bodies from a lamp post. Chen's fiancée, Yuan Li'er, finds him hiding near Huo's grave. They share a passionate moment together briefly. At the same time, Suzuki forces the local police inspector, Inspector Lo, to arrest Chen but he eludes them. Then, while Suzuki welcomes his visiting friend Petrov, Chen kills Wu.
The angry Suzuki sends his men to attack Jingwu School and kill everyone inside. On the same night, Chen barges into the dojo to take his revenge, killing the students' master, and then kills Petrov and Suzuki. Chen returns to Jingwu School and finds everyone from Jingwu School and the Hongkou dojo dead. However, few Jingwu students remained. Yuan, Fan Junxia (the eldest student at Jingwu), and Fan Jiaqi were the only ones that survived. Lo was at Jingwu to arrest Chen. Chen agrees to surrender himself to Lo to protect his master's legacy. Lo says to Chen that he can always trust him since he is Chinese. In the final scene, Chen charges and makes a flying kick at a line of armed soldiers as they open fire at him. Chen is killed by multiple shots in the fire.
- Bruce Lee as Chen Zhen
- Nora Miao as Yuan Li'er (Yuan Le-erh), Chen Zhen's fiancée
- Riki Hashimoto as Hiroshi Suzuki, the master of the Hongkou dojo
- Robert Baker as Petrov, a Russian gang boss and Suzuki's friend
- Tien Feng as Fan Junxia (Fan Chun-hsia), the eldest student in Jingwu School
- Paul Wei as Wu En, Suzuki's translator
- Feng Yi as Yoshida, the head instructor in the Hongkou dojo
- Lo Wei as Inspector Lo, the police inspector
- Wong Chung-shun as Tien, the cook in Jingwu School
- Han Ying-chieh as Feng Guishi (Feng Kwai-sher), the caretaker in Jingwu School
- James Tien as Fan Jiaqi (Fan Chia-chi), a Jingwu student
Fist of Fury was accidentally released in the U.S. under the title The Chinese Connection. That title was a means of tapping the popularity of another film, The French Connection (starring Gene Hackman), released earlier in the U.S. for another Bruce Lee film, The Big Boss, which also involved drug smuggling. However, the U.S. titles for Fist of Fury and The Big Boss were accidentally switched, resulting in the former being released in the U.S. under the title The Chinese Connection until 2005, while the latter was released as Fists of Fury.
Recent television screenings and the current official DVD release (by 20th Century Fox, originally available in The Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection box set) in the U.S. have restored the original titles of all the films starring Bruce Lee. Fist of Fury is now officially known as Fist of Fury in the U.S.. The current DVD version also has a subtitle that says "A.K.A. The Chinese Connection" when the Fist of Fury title appears on screen, as the source material is the Fortune Star digital remasters.
Fist of Fury grossed HK$4,431,423 in its Hong Kong release.
Sync sound was not widely used in Hong Kong cinema for a long time so the voices (even on the original Cantonese track) for the film were dubbed. The voice of the Russian fighter Petrov on the original Cantonese track was dubbed by Bruce Lee, with added reverb.
This film marks one of the few times that a DVD has an alternative new commentary. Media Asia UK distributor Hong Kong Legends has released this film as a "Special Collector's Edition" and a "Platinum Edition". Bey Logan recorded two alternative commentaries for both releases. The usual process with re-releases on DVD is that the commentary is passed on to the next release. Logan decided to re-record his second commentary as he wanted to give it a new light, being an avid fan of this film. The re-dubbed theme song was played by Mike Remedios.
Sequels and remakes
- "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 19
- Weiler, A. H. "The Chinese Connection (1972) The Screen: A Chinese 'Fist of Fury':Stark Tale of Revenge Opens at Pagoda Shanghai Is Setting for Kung-Fu Combats". The New York Times.
- Fist of Fury - Hong Kong Film Archive database
- Official website
- Fist of Fury at the Internet Movie Database
- Fist of Fury at the Hong Kong Movie DataBase
- Fist of Fury at AllMovie