10. Ice Factory Fight Scene from "The Big Boss" Bruce Lee's 1st movie which was filmed in Hong Kong after Bruce was rejected for the lead role in the hit TV series "Kung Fu" which was given to David Carradine. Bruce left the US for Hong Kong with the determination of making his movies speak for themselves. Hollywood was simply not ready for Bruce in the late 60's. After filming the Green Hornet and some other minor parts Bruce had failed to gain any lead parts. "The Big Boss" was his first of 3 low budget films and flying in the face (literally) of all the current Hollywood executives who had rejected him previously quickly ate crow.
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One memorable fight scene as Bruce burst onto the international movie scene with this fight. My favorite part is when Bruce slams the dude into the barn wall cutting out the exact shape of a human profile! Kind of comical although effective. If you look at Bruce Lee's expression on his face, the intensity that he is so famous for is just beginning to develop.
Bruce Lee wanted to make films in Hong Kong that were in the vein of "Realistic Street Fighting" and against the grain of Hong Kong's norm of Flying Swordsman on wires.
9. Nunchuck Fight Scene "Way of the Dragon" 1972
Bruce's 3rd film out of Hong Kong had by this time involved him in the directors chair, not to mention all of the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes and script writing.
The significance of this fight scene involves a weapon that had really never been seen before on the big screen, except for Bruce , that of the "Nunchucks" 2 pairs! Taking out some Italian thug gang members who were trying to extort funds out of the restaurant. Mistakenly the mob Boss orders his thugs not to use any guns!
8.Weapons Upgrade "Enter The Dragon" 1973
Undeniably the greatest fight scene ever , ripped to the bone, shredded muscle and fierce intensity take on a brigade of Hans security guards. Starting out bare handed and quickly upgrading to a bo staff, then escrima sticks and finally the nunchucks. Notice one of the extra's getting beat up is actually none other than Jackie Chan! A considerable upgrade in budget for this film happened after Bruce Lee made 3 films in Hong Kong and finally earning his Hollywood respect and big salary . Enter The Dragon was his best work and was released about 3 weeks AFTER he died! He did not even get to see the massive impact the the film would eventually have on the whole world.
7. The Giant "Game of Death" 1978
A film Bruce entirely wrote , acted in , choreographed and directed. Game of Death was the film Bruce went to work on immediately after finishing up Enter The Dragon. Unfortunately Bruce only completed the Fight scenes for the Game of Death, shortly before his own death. The movie was discovered and made into a movie using the fight scenes at the very end, while the rest of the story was created with body doubles. The Giant played by Kareem Abdul Jabbar the famous NBA star and also a real life student of Bruce's. Game of Death's fight scenes took place in a huge Pagoda of progressing levels of enemies representing different styles of fighting. The top level being the style of the Unknown. Bruce Lee shows that a small guy 5'7 135 lbs can defeat a larger opponent, taking him out with a nice choke!
6. Vengeance "Enter The Dragon" 1973
Avenging the death of his sister ( ever see this plot before?) Bruce takes out Hans main body guard Ohura, played by Bob Wall. Bruce has a small injury on his right hand which he incurred during the filming of the fight scene when Bob Wall accidentally cut Bruce with the broken bottles. The rumor during filming was that Bruce was going to hit Bob with a fatal kick. Not so only a cinematic one! As the actor Bob Wall flew backwards into a stack of chairs one of the extras actually got a broken arm.
This scene contains the most intense facial expression ever recorded.
5. Facing Petrov "Fists of Fury" 1971
Bruce's 2nd film out of Hong Kong, pits him against one of his real life training students Rob Baker.
You can easily see the progression of Lee's style growing into the epic world take over that it becomes. His intensity is turned up a notch or three . Jackie Chan is also an extra in this movie who gets the pulp beat out of him. Not a bad way to start out a movie career eh? In this scene Bruce's hand motions are slowed down as to confuse his opponent when actually Bruce had to move slower because prior fight scenes could not catch the action of his kicks and punches!
4.No Respect "Fist's of Fury" 1971
Avenging the death of his master... Bruce takes on a rival martial arts school bare handed...well until he picks up the chucks! Makes them eat paper hahaha.
3.Finish Him "The Big Boss" aka "The Chinese Connection" 1971
The final battle with what very well could have started the video game phenomena of battling the Big Boss at the end!
2. Hall of Mirrors "Enter The Dragon" 1973
One of the greatest fight scenes ever. Bruce confronts the master behind the evil island tournament "Han". The mirror scene was literally a nightmare trying to film because of the difficulty of hiding the cameras from every shot. Visibly stunning fight choreography where Bruce got his most iconic image , that of 3 lines scratches on his face and chest from Hans metal claws. If you catch the soundtrack to this film it is the cheasiest ever, however the budget for the soundtrack back then was around $30,000 which was considered huge for any film. It was actually upgraded after the initial starting amount which was considerably lower...
1. Killing Chuck Norris! "Way of The Dragon" 1973
Set in an epic arena the fight that only Bruce Lee could do . Most people these days think Chuck Norris is invincible ... well Bruce mopped the floor with him! Notice that throughout the fight Bruce's character is actually losing until he adapts to the fight by bouncing up and down on his toes like a boxer to throw off his opponent. Of course ripping the chest hair off is quite astonishing itself. I particularly enjoy the cat innocently observing the fight as it goes down, fitting imagery as Bruce moves like a cat... R,I.P Chuck Norris
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