Bruce Lee, the Legend (1984) - full transcript

The Official Golden Harvest tribute to the Master of the Martial Arts Film, Bruce Lee.

ANNOUNCER: More ancient
than the earliest records

of Chinese civilization
are legends.

Legends of great warriors,
of knights and wizards,

and mysterious monks

who could perform
wondrous feats.

In these fabulous beings

was embodied the essence
of good and evil.

They had
the power to fly

and the strength
to defeat whole armies.

These fables thrived
until about 100 years ago,

and then
a new legend was born.

According to the Chinese
astrological calendar,

1940 was the year
of the dragon.

Bruce Lee was born on the 27th of November of that year.

The place
was San Francisco.

His father, Lee Hoi-Chuen,

was a leading comic actor
in Hong Kong,

and was appearing in a touring Cantonese opera troupe,

something like
the Chinese equivalent

of a vaudeville show.

His wife, Grace,
who was half-German,

was accompanying him.

The tour over, the Lee family
returned to Hong Kong

when Bruce
was 3 months old.

A family portrait
in their Nathan road flat

shows Bruce
at the center.

Bruce considered
his first film role

was in
The Beginning of a Boy

which he made
when he was six.

Two years later,
he played a leading role

inMy Son, Ah Chung.

Much of the material
written about Bruce Lee

states that he never appeared
in films with his father.

These rare scenes
fromMy Son, Ah Chung

prove the opposite.


this was the first
of their films together

in which Bruce had a more important role than his father.

The theme of this film
was fairly typical

of many of the more than
20 he appeared in

before returning
to San Francisco in 1958.

InAh Chung,
Bruce Lee is an orphan,

whose only education is what he can find on the street.

Hey, you little brat.
Put that down, you!


In what is almost
a preview in miniature

of a scene
inEnter The Dragon,

Bruce picks up a broomstick
and attacks.

Why did you
hit me for?

Why did you steal?

It'’s not your business.

You'’re a thief.

I'’ll get you, you pig!

Now then tell me
the truth.

Where were you
last night?

Are you scheming
against me, eh?

You little devil, you!

Are you going to tell me
the truth, are you?

Come along,
speak up, I say.

Tell me the truth,
you little devil.

You'’ve been nothing
but trouble

ever since
you came here.

I'’ll see that you'll
get a good fighting.


You beat up my brother,
I'’ll chop off your head!

You devil!

I'’ll kill you.

How much
of his own character

did Bruce bring
to these roles?

And how much were
his screen characters

beginning to infuse
into his own personality?

As time went on,
Bruce would play

more and more
of the kind of role

that could be described
as a problem youth.

Many of these
reflected themes

of films popular in the United States at the time,

films like
Blackboard Jungle.

One of Bruce'’s films is calledBoys on the Street.

If we watch him closely
in the many street brawls

with which
these films abound,

we can already see
the beginnings

of the trademarks
of expression and gesture

which he would later make
so very much his own.

I got a big mouth,

but I can back it up
with my fist.

You want
to pick a fight?

You said it,
you asked for it.

Hey, stop it.

Paper Tiger, after all.

Stop it, will you?

You kids
shouldn'’t fight here.

This is my place,
now get out of here.

I dare you follow me.

he took my box.

Get him.
Come on.

[ all clamoring ]

Hey, you!

[ cheers and applause ]

These kids
really have guts.

You want some more?

I took your shoeshine box to
get you your first square-off.

Now you know
I mean business.

Come on, kids.

Come on, kids,
let'’s go.

Oh, come on, let'’s go.

Snapshots from
the Lee family'’s photo album

show Bruce growing to be
a handsome young man,

with a normal interest
in girls

and motorbikes.

Although he was bright,
Bruce was not a good student,

at least not
in the scholastic sense.

He was more interested
in learning martial arts.

Bruce always maintained

that his first teacher
was his father,

who was a devotee
of the fighting forms

known as Tai Chi.

But his first real teacher
was Yip Man,

a master
of the Wing Chun style.

The roots of Wing Chun

reach back to
the famed Shaolin Temple.

As this demonstration from
the filmWarriors 2 shows,

it emphasizes
lightness and quickness

rather than power
and strength.

Stretch out two fingers.

You must try to catch it
when I let it go.

Pick it up.

Do you realize
why you can'’t catch it?

when your eyes see it fall,

your brain signals
your hand nerves to react,

but there'’s a delay.

So we'’re aiming
to minimize that delay.

That'’s why Wing Chun

on touch and speed.

there'’s no other way.

The wooden man
is a Wing Chun training aid

used to develop quickness
and flexibility in attack.

Your enemy
will not stand still.

Your reactions must be
one step ahead of his.

Otherwise you'’re dead.

Therefore, your fists
have got to strike

with the speed of light.

Try again.

But kung fu was
not Bruce'’s only interest

outside movies
at that time.

He was quite
a snappy dancer,

and in 1958, won a Hong Kong
cha-cha champion.

But somehow,
even his achievements

on the dance floor
led back to kung fu.

This is Siu Hon Sung,

another of Bruce Lee'’s
kung fu teachers.

He explains how Bruce
negotiated a deal with him.

One day Bruce took me
to a coffee shop.

He said, "You'’re a master
of your styles of gung fu,

and I'’m a pretty good
cha-cha dancer.

Why don'’t we do a deal?

You teach me gung fu,
I'’ll teach you cha-cha."

Now an average person
would take 3 to 4 weeks

to learn my basic moves,

but Bruce took only 3 nights
to master the moves.

So much
for my cha-cha lessons.

Bruce didn'’t even give me time
to learn the basic beat.

The Orphan
was the second last film

Bruce would make
before leaving for America.

In it, he played
the most extreme

of his delinquent
loner roles.

His final film
in Hong Kong

was a complete contrast
ofThe Orphan,

and to any role
before or after.

The Thunderstorm
is probably the only film

in which he doesn'’t have
one single fight scene.

Although there are
confrontations in the film,

all the emphasis
inThe Thunderstorm

is on the character'’s refusal

to be drawn to fight
under any provocation.

This reluctance,
at least initially,

was a character device
that would feature heavily

in all of Bruce'’s
later films.


Can I help you,
Mr. Chan?

Mary, mom knows
you'’re leaving us.

It'’s hard to find jobs
these days.

She wants me
to give you $100.

thank her for me, please,

but I just
can'’t take her money.

I'’m really sorry
about today.

My brother
didn'’t mean it.

He'’s sorry.

I promise
he won'’t do it again.

That'’s what he told me
to tell you.

Don'’t apologize,
Mr. Chan.

Well, anyway,
I'’m not your maid anymore.

Mary, I'’ve never
treated you like a maid.

I'’m your friend, Mary.Leave her alone!

Mr. Wong.

Sorry about today.

Chan, just leave
my sister alone.

what'’s wrong with you?

Mr. Chan was merely
offering to help us out.

We'’re from a poor family.

My sister will marry
a simple working man.

Yes, cooking meals,

washing clothes,
bearing children--

these are what
she'’ll be doing.

Any thoughts
of going to school

or marrying
a very wealthy man

will just bring her

That'’s only one way
of looking at it.

I think--Chan, I'’m warning you.


If I see anyone from
your family seeing my sister

or coming to my neighborhood,
I'’m gonna kill him.


Are you
out of your mind?

Mr. Chan, I think
you better excuse us.

All right.

Mr. Wong, I know
you dislike me very much.

However, I still want
to be your friend.

Let'’s shake hands.

I don'’t follow
foreign habits.

It is quite likely that
Bruce would'’ve returned

to San Francisco anyway,

as he needed to do so
by the time he was 18

to confirm
his American citizenship,

but the fact that
things were hotting up

in his constant confrontations with rival street gangs

and that his mother had
to stand guarantor for him

to avoid
police prosecution

probably hastened
his departure.

Bruce Lee took the next steamer to the city of his birth.

On the way, he made
a little extra money

giving dance lessons.

From San Francisco,
he moved quickly to Seattle.

A Chinese restaurant
called Ruby Chows

provided him
with accommodation

in return for work.

He served in the restaurant
and lived in the attic.

Once established,
a dramatic change occurred.

He enrolled
in high school

and the school dropout
became a diligent student.

He still practiced
kung fu passionately,

but not longer
on other people.

Graduating from high school,

he went to university
to study philosophy.

His art teacher
still treasures

two of the drawings
he did at the time.

WOMAN: Bruce
was a good student.

And his work with me
was always very ambitious,

and I'’ve no doubt that he was
the same in all his classes.

For the ambitious Bruce Lee,

it was not enough to be
a good martial artist.

He had to be the best.

He taught kung fu

to a group
of fellow students,

one of whom
was a 19-year-old girl

called Linda Emery.

They were married
and moved into this small

but comfortable house.

The former bully
and man about town

became the ideal
husband and father

to Brandon
and later Shannon.

A kung fu demonstration
at Long Beach in 1964

turned out to be one
of the most important events

in Bruce Lee'’s life.

It was seen
by an acquaintance

of a television producer

who was looking
for someone to play

Charlie Chan'’s
number one son

in a proposed series.

A screen test
of Bruce was arranged.

Tell us your name,

your age and where
you were born.

My last name is Lee.

Bruce Lee.

I was born
in San Francisco in 1940.

I'’m 24 right now.

And you worked in movies
and pictures in Hong Kong?

Yes, since I was
around 6 years old.

And when did you
leave Hong Kong?

when I was 18.

I see.

Now look over to me,
Bruce, as we talk.

I understand you
just had a baby boy.Yeah.

And you'’ve lost
a little sleep
over it, have you?

Three nights.

And tell the crew
what time

they shoot
the pictures
in Hong Kong.

Oh, it'’s mostly
in the morning

because it'’s kind
of noisy in Hong Kong,

you know, around
three million people there.

So every time
when they have picture,

it'’s mostly,
say around,

12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
in the morning.

I see.

Look directly
into the camera, Bruce.

Directly at it.

And now give me
a three-quarter this way.

And hold it.

And give me a profile
that way, all the way.

Good, hold it.

Now come back to a profile
on the other side.

Now hold that.

Give me a three-quarter
on that side.

And then give me a right
into the camera again.

All right, now the camera
will pull back.

And, Bruce,

first show me
the movements

in the classical
Chinese theater.

Classical Chinese theater?

Well, you know, what we
talked about in the office.

How they walk
and how they start to move.

in a Chinese opera,

they have the warrior

and then the scholar.

The way the warrior walk
will be something like this.

Walking this way,
straight, come out, bend,

straight and then
walk out again.

An ordinary scholar,

will be
just like a female,

a weakling, 90 pounds...
[ indistinct ].

He'’ll be just walking,
you know, like a girl, real--

shoulder up
and everything.

So by the way
they walk,

you can immediately
tell who they are.

Right. What character
they represent.

Now show us some
gung fu movements.

Well, it'’s hard
to show it alone,

but I will try
to do my best.

All right. Maybe one of
the fellows will walk in.

Yeah, it would be--

Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Come on, Lee, get in there!

[ indistinct
happy chatter ]

Although accidents
do happen, but, you know--

There are
various kinds of strikes.

It depends on
where you hit

and what weapon
you will be using.

To the eye,
you would use fingers.

Don'’t worry, I won't.

To the eyes
or straight at the face,

from the waist
everything on.

Hold it, just a minute.

Let'’s move this gentleman
around this way

so you'’re doing it
more into the camera.

Okay, swell.

And then there is
bent-arm strike

using the waist again

into a back fist.

Let'’s have
the assistant director

back up this way.

[ laughter ]

Okay, go ahead.

And then, of course,
kung fu is very sneaky.

You know, the Chinese,
they always hit low,

from high
go back to the groin.

Now turn around
the other way,
would you, Bruce?

Okay. Yeah.

Would you want me to--

MAN: These are just
natural reactions.

Right, right.That is
a natural reaction.

Right into the camera.
Cheat into the camera
a little bit.

Show us again.

All right. Go ahead.

There is a finger jab,
there is a punch,

there is the back fist
and then low.

Of course,
then they use leg,

straight to the groin
or come up

or if I can back up
a little bit,

they start back from here
and then come back.

All right.He'’s kind of worried.

For various reasons,

the series
was never produced,

but it did lead
to the role of Kato

in the series
The Green Hornet.

While the show itself
was not exactly

an overwhelming success--

it lasted
30 half-hour episodes--

Bruce received
favorable reviews

and was probably more
popular than the star.

He had a small part

with James Garner.

And then came

I'’ll be kicking you.
You ready?

Ready.One and two!

You all right?That guy'’s fantastic!

Now what is this--

what is this thing
you do?

In Cantonese,
Jeet Kune Do,

the way of
the intercepting fist.

Intercepting fist, huh?

Or foot.

Come on, touch me
any way you can.

You see?

To reach me,
you must move to me.

Your attack offers me

an opportunity
to intercept you.

In this case, I'’m using
my longest weapon,

my side kick, against
the nearest target,
your kneecap.

This can be compared
to your left jab in boxing,

it'’s much more damaging.

I see.

Well, speaking
of a left jab--


This time I intercept
your emotional tenseness.

By now, Bruce Lee'’s
Jeet Kune Do classes

were so famous
he could charge $275 an hour,

and even then he could pick
and choose his students,

students like
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

Steve McQueen
and James Coburn.

However, Bruce Lee'’s
overriding ambition

was Hollywood.

But Hollywood
was not responding.

The movie roles
were not forthcoming,

and it was
a bitter disappointment

when he was passed up
for the lead

in the TV seriesKung Fu.

He returned once again
to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, 1970.

Apart from
one brief visit in 1968,

Bruce Lee had been away
for 12 years.

Arriving in Hong Kong,
he first approached

what was then Hong Kong'’s
biggest movie studios.

None of the studio bosses
seemed to recognize

the potential in Bruce.

He was just another actor,
they said.

Who could tell?

One who could, it seems,
was Raymond Chow,

the head of
a small new studio,
Golden Harvest.

Good morning.Good morning.

The director says
it'’s his best work so far.

I'’ve seen it once

and I think
it'’s absolutely terrific.

All right,
let'’s roll, then.

Raymond Chow was first
and foremost a filmmaker.

Although now
the corporate head

of his new
Golden Harvest studio,

his production

led him
to constant contact

with producers,
directors and writers.

[ indistinct conversation ]

On the busy
Hong Kong grapevine,

Chow had heard
of Shaw'’s unsuccessful offer

and made sure he saw
a demonstration Bruce gave

on a local TV station

before returning
to the U.S.

The demonstration
Bruce gave

on the TV show
was very impressive.

He side kicked

five 1-inch pots
and broke four.

In addition,
he kicked

and broke
a 1-inch pot dangling.

Now that takes tremendous
amount of strength

and perfect timing.

But what
impressed me more

was when I talked to him

on a long distance call.

He picked
the most popular

Hong Kong-made
action picture at that time

and asked a very
blunt question.

He asked me whether
that was the best we could do.

I had to say yes.

He then assured me

with sincerity
and confidence

that he could do
much better.

How could
I doubt this man?

Raymond Chow
offered Bruce Lee

a two-picture deal
with Golden Harvest.

Bruce signed
and flew to Thailand

to start work
onThe Big Boss.

The Big Boss,
released asFists of Fury

in the U.S.A.,

was made on
a modest budget

under fairly
appalling conditions

in the small village
of Pak Chong in Thailand.

For the first time,
Bruce Lee was in his element.

Here was not
the aesthetic philosophizing


Here were not the quick
economical knock-downs

ofThe Green Hornet.

And most certainly,
here was not the hard,

sharp economy of movement

that Bruce Lee had been
teaching his students.

Here suddenly
was a whole new style

of martial arts

Rich, red-blooded,

and bursting
with power and energy.

And the public loved it!

In Hong Kong, it broke

all previous
box office records.

Bruce Lee was a star.

[ speaking
in foreign language ]

Bruce Lee is incredible.

Well, Bruce Lee didn'’t
like to waste any time.

He wouldn'’t beat
about the bush.

He got very direct.

Is Bruce Lee your hero?


Tell me what you
like about him.

He always
wins the bad guys

and he is
a very quick mover.

A question of
body movement,

the choreography,
the timing--

in fact,
the overcoming

of the limitations
of the human body.

I mean,
he'’s not an action man

like Eastwood
or Bronson.

I suppose he'’s more
like a Nureyev.

Both Bruce Lee
and Raymond Chow

were delighted
with the success
ofThe Big Boss

and set about finalizing plans for the next film.

WithThe Big Boss
a huge success,

Raymond Chow
allocated a larger budget

to the next film

and agreed that
Bruce would play

a larger role
in producing it.

In the meantime,

Linda and the family
moved to Hong Kong

and set up house
in suburban Kowloon Tong.

This 11-room,
2-story villa

with its small
Japanese-style garden

may not have turned heads
in Hollywood,

but for crowded
Hong Kong,

it was nothing
short of a palace.

There was room for the family
and friends to relax.

Bruce divided
his time at home

between his study

and his
exercise equipment,

which seemed to be

The second film was called
The Chinese Connection

in America, but was
released in Hong Kong

and elsewhere
asFist Of Fury.

This film took
the cinematic expression

of rage and pure
destructive fury
to new limits.

It also put weapons
in the hands of Bruce Lee
for the first time

in the form
of the deadly nunchakus,

two sticks joined
by a thong or chain.

Not surprisingly,

Fist Of Fury again
smashed box office records,

including the one Bruce Lee
had so recently set.

Bruce was soon
at work again

developing ideas
for his next film.

He went location hunting
all over Italy

and finally,
he decided on Rome.

He brought
over Bob Wall,

a top U.S. martial artist

and established champion

who would make
a formidable opponent

in his new film
Way of the Dragon.

From Korea, he added
Tae Kwon Do expert

Hwang In-Shik.

As well
as being the star,

Bruce Lee
wrote and directed

Way of The Dragon.

[ speaking
in foreign language ]

The result is another
sell-out success

to the extent
that in Hong Kong

the showing of the film had to be suspended at some theaters

while the police
worked out ways

to handle the traffic jams
and massive crowds.

Nora Miao, a dynamic
young Hong Kong actress

co-stared with Bruce in all but the last of Bruce'’s films.

Here she discusses
the recurring themes

of Bruce Lee'’s films.

When did you first
start to know him?

Um, our families
have known each other

ever since
I was a little kid.

But then at that time,
Bruce went to the States

and he was
very young, too.

So I didn'’t get
to meet him

until he came back
to Hong Kong

for his first movies
for Golden Harvest.

But surprisingly I didn'’t
meet him in Hong Kong.

where did you meet him?

I actually met him
in Thailand,

where we were filming
The Big Boss.

I see,
talking about his movies,

a lot of people
observe that

there are a lot of
autobiographical elements

in Bruce Lee'’s movies.

Did you experience
or did you find any incidents

that he tried to relate his
experience through his movies?

Did you find any?

In a way, yes.

He always
related his films

to his growing up
in foreign country.

And he likes to play
the part of a man

arriving in a strange land.

InThe Big Boss,
he was alone in a new town

trying to succeed
in a new job.

Even the country,
Thailand, is strange.

He has no friends and does not know his potential enemies.

Now this is a good town

and it'’s very different
to back home.

So be careful,
don'’t get into fights, Chang.

Remember your promise.

You'’re on your own
from now on.

Don'’t worry, uncle.

InFist of Fury he was
a student returning home

to find
everything had changed.

His teacher murdered
and his school and race

insulted by
a foreign-led rival school.

InWay of the Dragon,
Bruce is a country boy

from a Hong Kong village
who goes to Rome

to help
in a Chinese restaurant.

The isolation
of Bruce'’s character

is further underlined
by the barrier of language.

Here, he can'’t make himself
understood enough

to get something
to eat.

[ bizarre groan ]


Bruce went to the States
when he was very young.

And from
what Bruce told me,

he felt that,
being a foreigner,

he had to do his best
in whatever he did.

And also, perhaps,

he was such a good
martial artist, you know.

In times, people
tend to pick fights with him.

InThe Big Boss,
the pendant Bruce wears

is a reminder of a promise he has made to avoid violence.

In his films, Bruce never went
looking for a fight.

Well, not initially,

his character would resist

intolerable provocation

before violence
was virtually forced on him.

Yeah, we'’re very thirsty,

We need to cool off,
come on.

GIRL: Leave me alone,
you'’re hurting me.

MAN: Come on, we'’d like
to have a little bit of fun.

Don'’t meddle,
no fighting.

Remember your promise.

GIRL: If you
don'’t leave me alone,

I'’m going to call
the police.


Then only when he was pushed
beyond his ability to resist

did he become the attacker,
the aggressor.

All right.

Hold it.

Now you get out of here,
I'’m warning you.

You bastards
can'’t push us around.

You want to fight?

I'’ll take you on.

Personally I think
Bruce was a great actor,

a very good director
and a very good filmmaker.

And his main ambition
in life

is to introduce
Chinese kung fu

and Chinese movies
to the whole world.

And he wanted to show
that the Chinese

could be just as good
as anybody else.

In all of Bruce'’s films,

the enemy were always
foreigners, non-Chinese.

Even when
he was pounding

the life
out of his compatriots,

it was made
abundantly clear

that they were misguided
pawns of a foreign boss.

InThe Big Boss,

he works in an ice factory
run by Thais.

The Thai foreman
and his gang

bully the Chinese workers
into servility.

[ indistinct chatter ]

[ chatter ceases ]

Get to work!

To hell with you, man!
You lousy pig!


It took the brutal
and bloody murder

of his Chinese fellow workers to push Bruce over the edge.

InFist of Fury,
the Japanese are the enemy.

[ indistinct ] delivers
an insulting
message to Bruce'’s school.

The characters read,

"The Chinese are
the Sick Man of Asia."

clear a space there.

My friends here promise
to put up a good fight.

Must be someone.
Who'’s your champion, huh?

Mm, so many here and not
one of you with any courage.

What'’s the matter
with the lot of you?

You afraid of us, huh?

[ laughing ]

Later in the film, a sign
on a park gate is an insult

that cannot be ignored.

Hey, you.
What do you want?

I will pass.

No, no, not allowed,
I'’m afraid.

And that?

You'’re the wrong color,
so beat.

Hey, you,
come here.

You-- you were wanting
to get in here?

No, no, no, no.
Tell you what.

There'’s only one thing
you need to do.

Pretend you'’re a dog
and I'’ll take you in.

InWay Of The Dragon,
which takes place in Rome,

the underworld
is trying to extort money

from the Chinese restaurant
where Bruce is working.

Almost every day,
Italian thugs

go to the restaurant
to harass the Chinese,

forcing them to agree
to the payments they demand.

May I help you?

May you help me?


Invariably, these foreigners'’
assaults on Bruce

and those
who he championed

were not just personal
or physical,

but strongly racial,

leaving Bruce
no other alternative

but to demonstrate
the effectiveness

of Chinese martial arts.

Movement number four,
dragon seeks path.

Dragon whips his tail.

[ indistinct
happy chatter ]

Bruce'’s screen
personality as a hero

was undeniable
and unshakable.

How much of that personality
has been transferred

or injected
into his real life?

I would say
without a doubt,

the screen image of Bruce

was very much like
the Bruce in real life.

He was so energetic that even
when he was among friends,

his gestures were
very physical.

And even when he was relaxing,
he looked very restless.

Left, right,
left, right, left.

One, two, left, right.

Hup two, three, four.

Left, right, left--

what'’s going on there?

Hup two, three, four.

One, two, three, four.

Left, right, left,
right, left, right.

Hup two, three, four.

A-one, two, three, four.

Left, right, left, right,
left, right, left, right.

One, two, three, four.

Bruce didn'’t drink,

so the parts he played didn'’t
know how to drink either.

Well, Chang,
how about a little drink?

You'’re quite a drinker.

You put it away
like water.

MAN: That will make you
feel better.

In his movies,
his relationship with women

is usually shy
and awkward,

often coy
and invariably wholesome.

Mai, you'’ve grown
very pretty.

Well, if I was
10 years younger, I'’d--

Chang, meet our
younger sister, Chow Mai.

This is Chang,
our cousin.

How are you?
It'’s hot.

Let me go.

I must go.

I'’ll see you later.

While there are occasional
hints of romantic feelings,

Bruce'’s leading ladies
are usually treated more like

one of the boys.

Overt sexuality
is only alluded to

when the encounter
is with a prostitute,

and then only when Bruce'’s lack of sophistication

allows it to happen.

The foreigners
here are quite friendly.

You'’ll see.

When people smile,
you smile back.

It'’s only right.

While you'’re here,
just don'’t be so uptight.

In the only bedroom scene
Bruce ever filmed,

a prostitute
first gets him drunk,

and even then
he goes to sleep.

In his films, Bruce Lee
was at his best as a fighter

rather than a lover.

But he was very concerned
that he would be typecast

as a one-character performer.

InFist of Fury,
he used the device

of disguising himself,

perhaps with the object

of demonstrating
his dramatic range,

here as a news vendor.

You see
what they'’re doing?

Forcing my hand.

But where can
I find him in this place?

why not try

to get back
to Jingwu school,

see if he'’s
turned up there, huh?

Here as
a telephone repairman.

Good afternoon there.

I'’m from
the telephone company.


What on earth
took you so long?

We haven'’t got
all day, you know.

Just got my orders
minutes ago.

These vignettes were more
comedic than convincing.

But later
around the time

he was working on
Game Of Death,

he was experimenting
with a whole range

of new characters.

He makes a very believable
blind swordsman,

his version of a character
called Zatoichi,

who appeared
in several Japanese films

popular in Asia
at the time.


[ combatants react ]

these characters

were all developed
from classical archetypes,

and most were associated
with traditional weaponry,

contrary to his
declared philosophy

of the martial arts.

It is not possible to say

how he would'’ve developed
these characters,

but it is interesting
to conjecture

what Bruce Lee
would have made of roles

like the classic period
Chinese swordsman

in films like
Duel to the Death.

For some time,
actor James Coburn,

writer Stirling Silliphant

and Bruce had been
trying to put together

a project to be called
Silent Flute.

Finally, 20th Century-Fox
agreed to do it,

but on a tiny budget

and providing it could be
shot in India.

Bruce and his colleagues
spent weeks

location hunting there
and in Nepal.

India, they decided,
was a waste of time,

but it was in Nepal
that pagodas like these

gave Bruce an inspiration
forGame of Death.

Bruce never
crystallized the plot,

but it went
something like this:

there would be a great
martial arts training center

based in
a many-storied pagoda.

Each level would be
guarded by a master

of a different martial art.

Bruce began to accumulate
the people he wanted to use.

Dan Inosanto...

The Korean seventh-degree
Hapkido master

Ji Han Jae.

He began
doing screen tests.

This footage
of the tests and outtakes

has never been
publicly shown before.

In his still-
incomplete concept
forGame Of Death,

his ultimate objective
would be to get to

whatever was at the top
of the pagoda.

In the middle of this,
producer Fred Weintraub

had finally convinced
Warner Bros.

to co-produce a project

with the partnership
of Raymond Chow

and Bruce Lee.

This was to be
Enter The Dragon.

At last, Bruce Lee
was to play the lead

in a Hollywood movie.

He applied all his energies
to his performance

and worked closely
with director Robert Clouse

in staging all the martial arts action in the film.

Bruce Lee first formally
set out his methods

in this early book,

Chinese Kung Fu,
published in 1963.

He also illustrated it
with precise drawings

which highlighted
every detail of the text.

The photographs were taken
in the parking lot

next to Ruby Chow'’s.

Two martial art students

how some of these moves
work in action.

During his career,

Bruce had never failed
to enlighten his peers

with his in-depth
analysis of martial arts.

Well, gung fu
is originated in China.

It is the ancestor
of karate and jujitsu.

It'’s more
of a compete system

and it'’s more fluid.

By that I mean
it'’s more flowing.

There is continuity
in movement

instead of one movement,

two movement
and then stop.

The best example would be
a glass of water.

Why? Because water
is the softest substance
in the world,

but yet it can penetrate
the hardest rock or anything,

granite, you name it.

Water also
is insubstantial.

By that I mean
you cannot grasp hold of it.

You cannot punch it
and hurt it.

So every gung fu man
is trying to do that,

to be soft like water
and flexible

and adapt itself
to the opponent.

A karate punch is like
an iron bar, wang!

A gung fu punch
is like an iron chain

with an iron ball
attached to the end,

and it go wang!

And it hurts inside.

Well, gung fu
can be practiced

alone or with a partner.

Practicing alone
may involve forms.

Some imitate a crane,

a monkey,
a praying mantis.

This is a crane form.

Start off.

Many of the moves
Bruce used in his films

were designed
more for a dramatic effect

than as examples
of Jeet Kune Do.

It is also true

that much was an accurate
exposition of his art.

Here he deals with
an attempted grab and throw,

followed unwisely by an attempt to sneak up behind.

A defense and counter
to a clubbing attack

from the side.

A deadly
two-handed knife attack

is foiled
with the help of a jacket.

against a sword.

Even Bruce admits that
this a very uneven contest

and would
normally be avoided.

And it'’s not a situation
which many students today

are likely to encounter.

When used effectively,

the wooden staff
is an excellent weapon
against knives.

A seemingly
impossible situation,

an empty-handed defense
against a sword.

Only with incredible speed

and almost
psychic anticipation

could anyone survive.

Bruce was
absolutely insistent

about physical fitness.

He said, "Training is
one of the most

neglected phases
of athletics.

Too much time is given

to the development
of the skills

and too little
to the development

of the individual
for participation."

MAN: As I worked with him,
I don'’t think anyone ever

trained as hard as Bruce did.

I don'’t think anyone
in the world ever trained

as dedicated a trainer
as Bruce was.

It is a popular belief
that Bruce Lee

was born with
an exceptional physique.

Nothing could be
further from the truth.

As a child,
he was rather frail.

he never ate well at home,

a habit
which seemed to persist

even when he returned
to the United States.

It was only through many years of constant exercise

and finally reappraising
his dietary habits

that he built himself

into the superb
physical specimen

he was to become.

Bruce'’s emphasis
on physical fitness

opened up a new path
for martial art students.

They followed his advice

of applying modern
exercising techniques

to the field
of martial arts.

They learned to appreciate
Bruce'’s outlook.

"One may know
all the fighting techniques

in the world,
but if one is not fit

one does not stand
a chance in a real fight."

His fame and following
grew and grew.

Whole magazines were devoted
to one aspect or another

of his life and career.

In the world of martial arts
and action movies,

Bruce Lee was king.

This is noted
Taiwanese actress
Betty Ting Pei.

Her undeniable charms
had been revealed

to good advantage
in numerous film roles,

often as a seductress
or femme fatale.

For some three months, her name had been romantically linked

with that of Bruce Lee,

as had many others
in the past.

Whether there is any truth
behind any of the stories

of these liaisons

a matter of speculation.

Certainly, though, it could not have been a disadvantage

for any ambitious
young actress

to be linked
with Bruce Lee.

On the afternoon
of July 20th, 1973,

Bruce Lee
went to the apartment
of Betty Ting Pei.

They were to meet
Raymond Chow
later for dinner,

an appointment
Bruce Lee was never to keep.

He was rushed to hospital
in an ambulance.

Betty had phoned
Raymond Chow at
the restaurant saying

Bruce had laid down
with a headache

and she couldn'’t
rouse him.

Chow rushed
to Betty'’s apartment.

Doctors were called,
and finally an ambulance.

Bruce Lee was certified
dead on arrival

at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Hong Kong was stunned.

And as the word spread,
people read with shock

and disbelief.

The next day,
thousands of people

jammed the streets

the Kowloon Funeral Parlor.

Several hundred
extra police were detailed

to try to control
the crowd.

No one could believe
that someone like Bruce Lee,

so young, so fit,
could just die.

But Betty Ting Pei
would say nothing.

Bruce was my
very best friend,

but now he'’s gone.

Bruce trusted me a lot.

But at that time,
I didn'’t want to

nor do I need
to explain anything.

Because of our relationship,
I'’ve been blamed unfairly.

His death
came as a shock

and there has been
a lot of pressure on me.

I'’ll never let anything

spoil the relationship
I had with Bruce.

At the funeral, Linda arrived
with Raymond Chow.

Above a portrait of Bruce

is a banner
in Chinese reading,

"A star
sinks in a sea of art."

All around are draped
thousands of tributes.

Relatives and close friends
bow in respect.

Linda and the two children
are draped in the traditional

white robes of mourning.

Members of the funeral party
filed past the open coffin.

Few can hide their grief.

Linda and the children take a last look as they too leave.

The public controversy

about Bruce Lee'’s death
was still raging,

but it was only
at the Hong Kong airport,

about to board a plane

that was carrying
Bruce'’s body to Seattle,

that Linda finally
broke her silence.

It is my wish
that the newspapers

and the people
of Hong Kong

will stop speculating
on the circumstances

my husband'’s death.

Although we do not have
the final autopsy report,

I hold no suspicion
of anything

other than natural death.

I myself
do not hold any person

or people responsible
for his death.

Fate has ways
we cannot change.

The only thing
of importance is that

Bruce is gone
and will not return.

He lives on in our memories
and through his films.

Please remember him
for his genius, his art

and the magic he brought
to every one of us.

For we who knew him
very well,

his words and thoughts
will remain with us forever

and influence
the rest of our lives.

In Seattle awaits
Linda'’s family

and more bereaved
relatives and friends.

And a second funeral.

Beside the coffin
was placed

a yin and yang symbol
of Jeet Kune Do.

Among the many who came
to pay their respects

were friends and coworkers
like Dan Inosanto,

Jim Kelly,
Robert Clouse

and other actors
and producers.

Former students James Coburn
and Steve McQueen

silently recalled their
memories of their master.

Bruce'’s mother
said her last goodbyes.

And finally,
Linda and the children,

Brandon and Shannon.

Coburn, McQueen
and the other pallbearers

throw their white gloves
on the flower-decked casket.

And at last, it was over.

Or was it?

Back in Hong Kong,
the inquest started,

and once again the public
began to speculate wildly

on Betty Ting Pei'’s role

in relation
to Bruce'’s untimely death.

At that time,
there was a lot of talk,

scandalous rumors about us.

I was under
a lot of pressure,

but I told myself,

silence is the best answer.

I treasured Bruce'’s
friendship very much.

That'’s why I have put up
with the gossip

without saying anything
to anyone.

The experts argued over
the results of the autopsy

until the court
was satisfied

Bruce Lee had died
of cerebral edema,

swelling of the brain
caused by hyper sensitivity

to an ingredient
of Equagesic,

the tablet he took
to relieve his headache.

The verdict,
death by misadventure.

Bruce has left us.

For movies,
it was the fall of a star.

For his fans, they have lost
their most respected idol,

but most important, his family
lost their dearest one.

But for myself, I have lost
a very dear friend.

The coroner'’s verdict

took some of the pressure
off Betty Ting Pei.

She resumed
her film career.

But her subsequent evasive
public statements

about Bruce Lee'’s death did
nothing to quell persistent

and popular rumors
that Bruce had died

they were making love.

Before long,
she became a devout Buddhist

and took to long periods
of fasting.

It was not until
10 years after the event

that Betty Ting Pei went
on Hong Kong television

and for the first time
denied that

she and Bruce had
sexual relations

on the day
of his death.

All she had done,
she said,

was to let Bruce
rest in her bed

and to give him the painkiller for his headache.

continued to arrive

from Bruce'’s fans
long after his death.

And there were others
who saw it

as a great opportunity
to be exploited.

Imitators on the screen
appeared by the score.

But there was one last
real Bruce Lee film.

He had shot many thousands
of feet of film

forGame of Death.

After his death, an extensive
worldwide search was done

to find someone
who could possibly

double for Bruce
in the missing scenes.

Many candidates were flown to Hong Kong for screen tests.

And from the film footage
of these screen tests,

two look-alikes
were finally selected

to enact
the missing scenes.

To complete the film,

Raymond Chow
brought back Robert Clouse,

the director
who had worked with Bruce
onEnter The Dragon.

On the first day
of the recommencement
of filming,

the entire cast and crew took
part in a simple ceremony,

offering food and wine
and burning incense

to the spirit of Bruce Lee.

[ indistinct speech ]

how would you compare

Enter The Dragon
with Game Of Death?


Enter The Dragonwas done about,

I guess,
6 or 7 years ago,

and, um, was, uh,

the, uh, last picture
that Bruce made.

And then, of course,
now Game Of Death.

It'’s a very large film.

Production is large.

Most of the leading actors
are from United States.

Hugh O'’Brian, Gig Young,

Dean Jagger,
Colleen Camp, so on.

It did really
very well on the film.

It'’s interesting

because the film
was about a third done

before Bruce died.

There'’s a good question
in some people'’s mind

as to whether
Bruce did die.

Of course,
I'’ve always been

a fan of Bruce Lee'’s

as millions of people
have throughout the world,

Russell, so I was actually
very thrilled to be in

which I consider

in many ways
not historical,

but to capture
the footage

that Bruce Lee
had already shot

when he
unfortunately died.

A traditional
Chinese lion dance

has always been
a powerful means

of bringing in
good fortune

and dispelling evil spirits.

It'’s not so surprising

that the reworked plot
of the prophetically titled

Game of Death found room
for a chase scene

through just
such a spell.

Not all the action
would be kung fu.

Top Hollywood stuntmen
were brought to Hong Kong

for these exciting scenes.

[ whistle blows ]MAN: You all right, Billy?

Yeah.All right. Love it.

[ applause ]

Is Billy okay?

Nice one, nice one.

There were many who thought
it could never be done,

but in 1978,
Game Of Death

was finally completed,

and fans all over the world could see at last

the final work
of Bruce Lee.

How do you like that?

Today, his popularity
has hardly diminished.

He'’s still a popular
feature of movie

and martial arts magazines
of many countries.

The Bruce Lee imitators
have faded into obscurity,

but perhaps a new
young star like Jackie Chan

can rise
to the same heights,

a different kind of star
with his own unique style.

Hold it!
Get down!

[ gunshot ]

What'’s going on?

Look out!

But even a star
like Jackie Chan

does not claim to be
the new Bruce Lee.

There will never be
a new Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee has gone,
but his spirit lives on.

This is Bruce Lee,
the legend.

[ man reads
onscreen text aloud ]

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