Enter the Dragon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Enter the Dragon
Traditional Chinese 龍爭虎鬥
Simplified Chinese 龙争虎斗
Enter the Dragon
Enter the dragon.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Traditional 龍爭虎鬥
Simplified 龙争虎斗
Mandarin Lóng Zhēng Hǔ Dòu
Cantonese Lung4 Zang1 Fu2 Dau3
Directed by Robert Clouse
Bruce Lee (uncredited)
Produced by Raymond Chow
Fred Weintraub
Paul Heller
Bruce Lee
Written by Michael Allin
Starring Bruce Lee
John Saxon
Ahna Capri
Robert Wall
Shih Kien
Jim Kelly
Bolo Yeung
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Gilbert Hubbs
Edited by Yao Chung Chang
Kurt Hirschler
George Watters
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Golden Harvest
Release dates
  • 26 July 1973 (1973-07-26) (Hong Kong)
  • 17 August 1973 (1973-08-17) (United States)
Running time
99 minutes
(English International Cut)
102 minutes
(Current Restored Version)
Country Hong Kong
United States
Language English and Cantonese
Budget $850,000
Box office HK$3,307,520.40
(Hong Kong)
$22 million (USA)[1]

Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong-American martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse, starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. This was Bruce Lee's final film appearance before his death on 20 July 1973 at age 32. The film was first released on 26 July 1973 in Hong Kong, six days after Lee's death. Lee was also one of the film's writers, along with Michael Allin.

Often considered one of the greatest martial arts films of all time, in 2004, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[2] The film was often thought of as the one that sparked the "Kung Fu Kraze" both in the United States as well as beyond.

Plot[edit]

Lee (Bruce Lee) is a Shaolin martial artist from Hong Kong who possesses great philosophical insight into martial arts as well as physical prowess. Lee receives an invitation from a mysterious man, Mr. Han (Shih Kien), to compete in a martial arts competition on his island. Lee later finds out that Mr. Han is involved with prostitution and drug trafficking on the island. Approached by the British Intelligence Agency, Lee agrees to go undercover and enter the competition to stop Mr. Han. With the help of his friends, Lee conducts his investigation on the island by searching for evidence and clues, which inevitably stirs up trouble with Han. In a final battle, Lee uses the lesson he learned earlier in the film to defeat and kill Han just as the military arrives to end the mayhem.

Cast[edit]

Historical Themes[edit]

Black Power in Enter the Dragon[edit]

Many feel that there are some connections between Enter the Dragon and the Black Power movement. The Black Power movement, by and large lead by Stokley Carmichael, was a racial empowerment movement. Carmichael believed in strengthening the black individual, as well as the black community, without the help of whites. Only then, could true and successful integration take place. Carmichael did not believe in peaceful resistance, and advocated for violence, stating that the Black community and the movement would achieve its goals by "whatever means necessary". Carmichael wanted to bring the country to its knees if it messed with a black man, and he claimed the movement would back up this sentiment.[8]

Themes that are present in within the Black Power Movement are also often present in martial arts movies, such as Enter the Dragon. These themes include use of violence, self-reliance, self-protection, "beating the man", and success of the underdog. This can be thought of as the reason why martial arts films have such a large black audience. These minorities in the black community can take pleasure in seeing the enemy destroyed, and the under dog rising up. This is a sentiment often reiterated within the black community.[2]

Decolonization and Enter the Dragon[edit]

The end of World War II set decolonization into motion around the world. Many territories formed new states and claimed independence from European rule, attempting to put an end to colonialism. During colonialism, countries in Africa and Asia, as well as across the globe, were exploited for their labor and raw materials. The inhabitants of these lands were treated brutally and divided up by the European power. After retaliation, Europe lost most of its territories or let them slip away, and the newly independent nations came to fruition in the 1950s and 60’s.[9]

Many historians and film critics have explored the connection between martial arts films and decolonization. Many believe that Decolonization was a major theme in many martial arts movies, as the "kung fu kraze" starting booming only a few decades after independence had been won. Some say it was the foundation of the films.[9] Some say that it was actually Bruce Lee who "opened up an allegorical link with the mass movement toward decolonization".[9] The theory is that when analyzing a martial arts film in the context of decolonization, the fight scenes represent the conflict between imperialism and the popular resistance. The antagonist, Han, is the imperialist, while the hero, Bruce Lee, is the revolutionary. Most of these Kung Fu films end with the defeat of villain against all odds, which represents liberation. So, these films are meant to offer their audience a powerful narrative of liberation.[9]

Context[edit]

Blaxploitation and Martial Arts[edit]

The film was arguably the first to combine martial arts films with the Blaxploitation genre. Jim Kelley is thought to be the first Blaxploitation character that appeared in a martial arts movie. He would then go on to be one of the Blaxploitation genres biggest stars. The success of the film, and the large black audience it attracted, caused other films to start incorporating these Blaxploitation characters more and more. Thus, the mingling of the genres was created. Both the Japanese and Black communities were related by their colonialist struggles, thus uniting them on screen.[10]

Advertising the Film[edit]

The film was heavily advertised in America before its release. The budget for advertising was over $1,000,000. It was unlike any promotional campaign that had been seen before, and was extremely comprehensive. In order to advertise the film, the studio offered free Karate classes, produced thousands of illustrated flip books, comic books, posters, photographs, and organized dozens of news releases, interviews, and public appearances for the stars. Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and Newsweek all wrote stories on the film.[11]

Music[edit]

The soundtrack to the film was composed by Lalo Schifrin, who was also the composer for Mission: Impossible. He composed the score by sampling sounds from China, Korea, and Japan. The sound track was a huge success as well, selling over 500,000 copies. It earned a gold record.[10]

Production[edit]

Jackie Chan's character gets his neck snapped by Bruce Lee

The scene in which Lee states that his style was the style of "Fighting Without Fighting" and then lures Parsons into boarding a dinghy, is based upon a famous anecdote involving the 16th century samurai Tsukahara Bokuden.[12][13]

Jackie Chan appears as a guard during the underground lair battle scene and gets his neck snapped by Lee. He also performed several stunts for the film, including the scene where Lee's character quickly climbs a rooftop at night. However Yuen Wah was Lee's main stunt double for the film, most notably for the more acrobatic feats in the film, such as flipping over the abbot's arms at the beginning and the scene where Lee does a back-flip when O'Hara catches his leg during their fight.[citation needed]

The title of the film was originally intended to be Blood and Steel.

Enter The Dragon was filmed without sound. All of the dialogue and effects were dubbed in during post-production.

Music[edit]

Further information: Enter the Dragon (soundtrack)

Argentinian musician Lalo Schifrin composed the film's musical score. While Schifrin was widely known at the time for his jazz scores, he also incorporated funk and traditional film score elements into the film's soundtrack.[14]

Reaction[edit]

Box office[edit]

In 1973, Enter the Dragon grossed an estimated $21,483,063 in North America,[1] on a tight budget of $850,000.[15] It was one of the most successful films of 1973.[16]

In India, the movie opened to full houses. In Hong Kong, the film grossed HK$3,307,536[17]—huge business for the time, but substantially less than Lee's Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon.

Critical response[edit]

The film was well received by critics and is regarded by many as one of the best films of 1973.[18][19][20][21] Critics have referred to Enter the Dragon as "a low-rent James Bond thriller",[22][23] a "remake of Doctor No" with elements of Fu Manchu.[24] J.C. Maçek III of PopMatters wrote, "Of course the real showcase here is the obvious star here, Bruce Lee, whose performance as an actor and a fighter are the most enhanced by the perfect sound and video transfer. While Kelly was a famous martial artist and a surprisingly good actor and Saxon was a famous actor and a surprisingly good martial artist, Lee proves to be a master of both fields."[25]

Many additional acclaimed newspapers and magazines reviewed the film as well. Variety complimented multiple aspects of the film, claiming that film was overall "rich in the atmosphere", the music score was "a strong asset" and the photography as interesting.[26] Additionally, The New York Times gave the film a rave review. The review stated "The picture is expertly made and well-meshed; it moves like lightning and brims with color. It is also the most savagely murderous and numbing hand-hacker (not a gun in it) you will ever see anywhere."[27]

The film currently holds a 95% approval rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, with 43 reviews counted and an average rating of 7.8/10.[28] In 2004, the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.[29]

The film also ranks No. 474 on Empire magazine's 2008 list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[30]

Legacy[edit]

Cartoon by Neal Adams depicting the final fight between Lee and Han from Enter the Dragon (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, October 1975).

The film has been parodied and referenced in places such as the 1976 film The Pink Panther Strikes Again, the satirical publication The Onion,[31] the Japanese game-show Takeshi's Castle, and the 1977 John Landis comedy anthology film Kentucky Fried Movie (in its lengthy "A Fistful of Yen" sequence, basically a comedic, note for note remake of Dragon) and also in the film Balls of Fury. It was also parodied on television in That '70s Show during the episode "Jackie Moves On" with regular character Fez taking on the Bruce Lee role. Several clips from the film are comically used during the theatre scene in The Last Dragon.

In August 2007, the now defunct Warner Independent Pictures announced that television producer Kurt Sutter would be remaking the film as a noir-style thriller entitled Awaken the Dragon with Korean singer-actor Rain starring.[32][33][34] It was announced in September 2014 that Spike Lee will work on the remake. In March 2015, Brett Ratner revealed that he wanted to make the remake.[35][36]

The popular video game Mortal Kombat borrows multiple plot elements from Enter The Dragon.

The popular 1980s martial arts video game Double Dragon features two enemies named Roper and Williams, a reference to the two characters Roper and Williams from Enter The Dragon.


The film is also recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Home video releases[edit]

DVD[edit]

Universe (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) letterboxed
  • Sound: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese
  • Supplements: Trailer, trailers for Way of the Dragon, The Big Boss, Game of Death, Legacy of Rage, star files
  • All regions, NTSC

Fortune Star – Bruce Lee Ultimate DVD Collection (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: Cantonese (DTS 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Mandarin (DTS 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English
  • Supplements: Original trailer, new trailer, still photos, slideshow of photos, celebrity interviews, unseen footage, Game of Death outtakes, Enter the Dragon alternate opening, 32-page booklet
  • Region 3, NTSC

Zoke Culture (China)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:40:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (DTS 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, French
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, "Blood and Steel: Making of Enter the Dragon", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", Linda Lee Cadwell interview gallery, "original" 1973 making-of featurette, "Backyard Workout with Bruce Lee"
  • All regions, NTSC

Warner – 30th Anniversary Special Edition (America)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Supplements: Disc 1: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, "Blood and Steel: Making of Enter the Dragon", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", Linda Lee Cadwell interview gallery, "Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout With Bruce Lee" Disc 2: "Curse of the Dragon" feature-length documentary, "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey" feature-length documentary, theatrical trailers, TV spots
  • Region 1, NTSC

Warner – 25th Anniversary Special Edition (America)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, Isolated music score, an all-new introduction and interview with Linda Lee Cadwell, "Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout with Bruce", "Bruce Lee In His Own Words", theatrical trailers, TV spots, cast and crew biographies, "Significance of Belts in Martial Arts" notes, "Heir to the Throne" – Jackie Chan notes, retrospective of Hong Kong martial arts films notes and stills, behind-the-scenes notes, reel recommendations – 16 movies
  • Region 1, NTSC

Warner – Limited Edition (United Kingdom)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, isolated music score, an all-new introduction and interview with Linda Lee Cadwell, "Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout with Bruce", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", theatrical trailers, TV spots, cast and crew biographies, 10 exclusive Enter the Dragon postcards, 8 reproductions of original lobby cards, reproduction of the original press brochure
  • Region 2, PAL

Blu-ray[edit]

Kam & Ronson (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1)
  • Sound: Cantonese (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1), Cantonese (Dolby True HD 7.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital EX 6.1), Thai (Dolby Digital EX 6.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional Chinese, English, Thai
  • Supplements: "Alternate opening credits", trailer, photo gallery
  • Region A

Warner (North America and South America)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:40:1)
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, "Blood and Steel: Making of Enter the Dragon", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", Linda Lee Cadwell interview gallery, "Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout with Bruce Lee", "Curse of the Dragon" feature-length documentary, "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey" feature-length documentary, theatrical trailers, TV spots
  • All regions

Warner (40th Anniversary Edition – Remastered)

  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen (2:40:1)
  • Sound: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (Dolby Digital Mono), German (Dolby Digital Mono), Italian (Dolby Digital Mono), Japanese (Dolby Digital Mono), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0), Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0), Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, Greek, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Turkish
  • Supplements: Audio commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin, "No Way As Way", "Wing Chun", "Return to Han's Island", "Blood and Steel: Making of Enter the Dragon", "Bruce Lee: In His Own Words", Linda Lee Cadwell interview gallery, "Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon" original 1973 documentary, "Backyard Workout with Bruce Lee", "Curse of the Dragon" feature-length documentary, theatrical trailers, TV spots
  • All regions

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Enter-the-Dragon#tab=summary
  2. ^ a b FLANIGAN, b. p. (1974-01-01). "KUNG FU KRAZY: or The Invasion of the 'Chop Suey Easterns'". Cinéaste. 6 (3): 8–11. doi:10.2307/42683410. 
  3. ^ Ryfle, Steve (10 January 2010). "DVD set is devoted to '70s martial arts star Jim Kelly". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Car Accident Claims Ahna Capri". Inside Kung Fu. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Lee's Dragon co-star dies at 96". BBC. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Bob Wall Interview: "Pulling No Punches"". Black Belt. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "A King of Kung Fu Films Savors Work and Honors". The New York Times. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  8. ^ Hoad, Phil (2012-07-18). "Why Bruce Lee and kung fu films hit home with black audiences". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  9. ^ a b c d Kato, M. T. (2005-01-01). "Burning Asia: Bruce Lee's Kinetic Narrative of Decolonization". Modern Chinese Literature and Culture. 17 (1): 62–99. 
  10. ^ a b Fu, Poshek. "UI Press | Edited by Poshek Fu | China Forever: The Shaw Brothers and Diasporic Cinema". www.press.uillinois.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  11. ^ Peirano, Pierre-François (2013-04-22). "The Multiple Facets of Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973)". InMedia. The French Journal of Media and Media Representations in the English-Speaking World (3). ISSN 2259-4728. 
  12. ^ "Bruce Lee Said What?". Martialdirect.com. 12 August 2007. 
  13. ^ "Bully Busters Art of Fighting without Fighting". Nineblue.com. 12 August 2007. 
  14. ^ Guarisco, Donald. "Lalo Schifrin: Enter the Dragon [Music from the Motion Picture] – Review". All Music Guide. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Variety says the film earned $4.25 million in North American rentals in 1973. See "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 19
  16. ^ Peirano, Pierre-François (2013-04-22). "The Multiple Facets of Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973)". InMedia. The French Journal of Media and Media Representations in the English-Speaking World (3). ISSN 2259-4728. 
  17. ^ "Enter The Dragon (1973)". IMDB. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  18. ^ http://variety.com/1973/film/reviews/enter-the-dragon-1200423093/
  19. ^ "The Greatest Films of 1973". AMC Filmsite.org. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  20. ^ "The Best Movies of 1973 by Rank". Films101.com. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Most Popular Feature Films Released in 1973". IMDb. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  22. ^ Enter the Dragon, TV Guide Movie Review. TV Guide. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  23. ^ The Fourth Virgin Film Guide by James Pallot and the editors of CineBooks, published by Virgin Books, 1995
  24. ^ Hong Kong Action Cinema by Bey Logan, published by Titan Books, 1995
  25. ^ Maçek III, J.C. (21 June 2013). "Tournament of Death, Tour de Force: 'Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray'". PopMatters. 
  26. ^ Staff, Variety (1973-07-31). "Review: 'Enter the Dragon'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  27. ^ "Movie Review - - 'Enter Dragon,' Hollywood Style:The Cast - NYTimes.com". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  28. ^ "Enter the Dragon Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  29. ^ "Enter the Dragon: Award Wins and Nominations". IMDb. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time". Empire magazine. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  31. ^ Rumsfeld Hosts No-Holds-Barred Martial Arts Tournament At Remote Island Fortress | The Onion – America's Finest News Source
  32. ^ Fleming, Michael (9 August 2007). "Warners to remake 'Enter the Dragon'". Variety. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  33. ^ CS (August 5, 2009). "Will Rain Awaken the Dragon ?". ComingSoon.net. 
  34. ^ Rich, Kathy (November 13, 2009). "Exclusive: Rain Confirms He's Still Considering Enter The Dragon Remake". Cinema Blend. 
  35. ^ Sternberger, Chad (September 16, 2014). "SPIKE LEE TO REMAKE ENTER THE DRAGON". The Studio Exec. 
  36. ^ mrbeaks (March 21, 2015). "Brett Ratner Is Trying To Remake ENTER THE DRAGON". Ain't It Cool News. 
  37. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  38. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 20 August 2016. 

External links[edit]