ENTER THE DRAGON
龍爭虎鬥 (USA/Hong Kong, 1973)
98 minutes, DCP, in Cantonese with English subtitles
Directed by: Robert Clouse
Starring: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Angela Mao, Shih Kien, Sammo Hung, Bolo Yeung
MC Yan and Fab 5 Freddy will attend the screening.
In 1973, Bruce Lee’s ENTER THE DRAGON split the world in half with its fists of fury and a high-pitched scream of rage. Now, to celebrate the most famous martial arts movie ever made, Warner Brothers and the New York Asian Film Festival are teaming up to present a screening of ENTER THE DRAGON followed by a panel discussion on the relationship between kung fu and hip hop featuring MC Yan and Fab 5 Freddy, as well as the North American debut of a gallery exhibit called “Kung Fu Wildstyle” featuring Bruce Lee-inspired grafitti art. Truly, this is an event that will kick your head off.
Directed by Robert Clouse and starring Bruce Lee, ENTER THE DRAGON is a punchdrunk ride through exploitation heaven that shaped the pattern for the thousands of martial arts movies that followed in its wake. Bruce plays a martial arts champ who goes undercover for British intelligence on the island of Mr. Han (longtime Hong Kong star Shih Kien) where he’ll fight in an underground tournament where the world’s best martial artists try to kill each other to earn a job with Mr. Han.
Competing against him are American exploitation star John Saxon and blaxploitation hero Jim Kelly. Lee is especially hacked off that his sister (Hong Kong martial arts heroine Angela Mao) was recently beaten to death in the streets by Mr. Han’s bodyguard. Bruce Lee is a beautiful animal in this flick, burning like a super nova as he dishes out beatdowns and neck breakings like candy at a Shriner’s parade. This was his one shot to show the world why everyone should know his name, and he seizes it with both hands and takes a big, bloody bite out of it.
Tragically, six days after the movie was released in Hong Kong, and just 3 weeks before it was released in the United States, Bruce Lee died. He never lived to capitalize on the fame he earned with ENTER THE DRAGON, but the movie went on to earn $200 million around the world. Watching this film again, 40 years later, you can understand why. It’s still that good. 40 years later as Warner Brothers, the original producers of ENTER THE DRAGON, release their Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray (on sale June 11), the power of this movie survives.
Sunday July 30, 9:15PM Walter Reade Theater Buy Tickets