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Enter the Dragon (1973)

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A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

Director:

Robert Clouse

Writer:

Michael Allin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Lee ... Lee
John Saxon ... Roper
Jim Kelly ... Williams
Ahna Capri ... Tania
Kien Shih ... Han (as Shih Kien)
Robert Wall ... Oharra (as Bob Wall)
Angela Mao ... Su Lin (Guest star) (as Angela Mao Ying)
Betty Chung Betty Chung ... Mei Ling
Geoffrey Weeks ... Braithwaite
Bolo Yeung ... Bolo (as Yang Sze)
Peter Archer Peter Archer ... Parsons
Li Jen Ho ... Old Man (as Ho Lee Yan)
Marlene Clark ... Secretary
Allan Kent Allan Kent ... Golfer
Bill Keller Bill Keller ... L.A. Cop
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Storyline

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 have. It's a deadly tournament they will enter on an island. Lee's job is to get the other 2 out of there alive. Written by Emphinix

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first American produced martial arts spectacular! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for martial arts violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

19 August 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Deadly Three See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$25,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$90,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical) | (VHS release) (USA)

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Dolby Digital (re-release)| Mono (original release)| SDDS (re-release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The crew filmed fight scenes for eight days in a row. John Saxon recalled, "I got to tell you, after those eight days I had enough of doing a karate movie." See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, Lee rebukes his student for looking down when he bows during a lesson, saying "NEVER take your eyes off your opponent!" Later in the movie, Lee does just that during his fight with Oharra. He looks at Han long enough for Oharra to grab Lee's ankles, in an attempt to cheat. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lee: Teacher?
Shaolin Abbott: I see your talents have gone beyond the mere physical level. Your skills are now at the point of spiritual insight. I have several questions. What is the highest technique you hope to achieve ?
Lee: To have no technique.
Shaolin Abbott: Very good. What are your thoughts when facing an opponent ?
Lee: There is no opponent.
Shaolin Abbott: And why is that ?
Lee: Because the word "I" does not exist.
Shaolin Abbott: So, continue...
Lee: A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense,...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

To celebrate the movie's the 25th Anniversary, 10 minutes originally not shown in the US version (but shown in the Chinese version) were restored, although it said only 3 minutes on the box. According to Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee's widow, this is the uncut version. Also included is "Bruce Lee: In his own words," the original theatrical trailer, a special "Behind the Scenes: The Filming of 'Enter the Dragon'" documentary, and never before seen photos. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jioksibi gwanmun (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Immortal (***** stars out of five)
27 July 2004 | by dee.reidSee all my reviews

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, 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.


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