The Big Boss (aka Fists of Fury)

"Alright! Hold it! Now you get out of here, I'm warning you. You bastards can't push us around. If you wanna fight, I'll take you on."   - Cheng

release year: 1971
genre: martial arts action
viewing setting: home DVD, 12/3/17

synopsis: When people start disappearing at an ice factory, it's up to newly-arrived cousin Cheng to get to the bottom of things.

impressions: This was the film that Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong to make, since he couldn't get a leading role in America yet. It was his first big-screen role and it catapulted him to stardom. This one's actually pretty serious/adult - it has a lot of death and murder, and some nudity. The protagnist is a young guy who comes to town and lives with his cousins, and all they want is to find some honest work, which apparently means the ice factory. The only problem is, the factory is a front for moving drugs, and there are levels of authority of that operation (headed by, naturally, the big boss.) There was a title naming mix-up back in the early 1970s, but the proper name of this movie is "The Big Boss" whereas the next one was properly named "Fist of Fury." Anyway, what you really need to know is that there's plenty of fighting, and it's good and acrobatic. Hell, this is the Bruce Lee where someone gets kicked through a wall, leaving a person-shaped hole in the wall.

acting: Due to the dubbing, we in Region 1 can't really match the spoken words to facial and bodily movements, but it seemed pretty good. Bruce Lee is a quiet young man who made a vow not to fight, but eventually moves past that (specifically at around 45:00.)

final word: Bruce Lee's first movie, and a pretty good one that got overshadowed by the couple that were even better.

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