Fist of Fury: Wikis

  
  

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Fist of Fury

Hong Kong Poster
Directed by Lo Wei
Produced by Raymond Chow
Written by Lo Wei
Starring Bruce Lee
Nora Miao
Music by Joseph Koo
Distributed by Golden Harvest
Release date(s) Hong Kong March 22, 1972
Running time 108 min.
Country Hong Kong
Language Mandarin/Cantonese
Gross revenue HKD $4,358,928
Followed by New Fist of Fury (1976)

Fist of Fury (simplified Chinese: 精武门traditional Chinese: 精武門pinyin: Jīng Wǔ Mén; formerly known as The Iron Hand & The Chinese Connection in the United States,[1] (and not to be confused with Fists of Fury, which is the former US title of The Big Boss) is a Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Lo Wei in 1972. It starred Bruce Lee in his second major film after The Big Boss. Bruce Lee plays Chen Zhen, a fictional student of Huo Yuanjia, who fights to defend the honour of the Chinese and to bring to justice those responsible for his master's death.

Contents

Plot

The film is set in the early 20th century in Shanghai International Settlement. The martial arts student Chen Zhen returns to Jingwu School to marry his fiancée Yuan Le-erh. However tragic news awaits him; his master Huo Yuanjia had died, apparently from illness. Chen is deeply saddened and traumatised by the sudden demise of his beloved master. Not long after the funeral, some Japanese students from a Dojo in Hongkou show up. They present a sign to Jingwu, bearing the words "sick men of the East" (東亞病夫), seemingly as to insult Huo Yuanjia. They taunt the Jingwu students to fight them and promise that they will "eat their words" if the Jingwu students dare to fight them and defeat them.

Shortly after, Chen Zhen goes to the Hongkou Dojo alone to return the "gift" (the sign). He meets with hostility from the Japanese students and they engage in a fight. Chen Zhen defeats all of them, including their Sensei, single-handedly and effortlessly. He uses his master's style of fighting Mizongyi and a Nunchaku as a weapon during the fight. He smashes the glass on the sign and makes the students who taunted him earlier chew up the paper bearing the derogatory words, so as to make them literally "eat their words".

Chen takes a stroll to a park after that. He is refused entry into the park by a Sikh guard who points towards a sign reading "No dogs and Chinese allowed" (狗與華人不得入內). After the guard allows a foreigner to bring her pet dog into the park, a Japanese man approaches Chen and tells him that if he behaves like a pet dog, he will be allowed to go in. Chen beats up the man in anger and proceeds to smash the sign with a flying kick.

Meanwhile, the Japanese students retaliate by attacking Jingwu School on the orders of their master Hiroshi Suzuki. The Jingwu students are caught by surprise and are totally unprepared for the onslaught. After causing severe damage, the Japanese students leave. They warn Jingwu School to hand over Chen Zhen or else Jingwu will be closed and all the students put under arrest. Chen returns and realises that he has caused big trouble. His fellow students are reluctant to hand him over to the Japanese so they make plans to help him escape from Shanghai.

That night, Chen secretly overhears a conversation between the cook and the caretaker and discovers that his master was killed after consuming biscuits laced with poison. He bursts in and confronts them. Chen kills them in blind rage after they claimed responsibility for Huo Yuanjia's death. Chen hangs their bodies from a lamp post after that. The next day, the Jingwu students discover the bodies and suspect that Chen is responsible. However, Chen is nowhere to be found. Eventually, Chen's fiancée finds him hiding near Huo Yuanjia's grave. They share a passionate moment together briefly. At the same time, Suzuki forces the local police inspector to arrest Chen Zhen and bring Chen back to him. The beleaguered inspector has no choice but to repeat the Japanese's earlier warnings to Jingwu School. That night, Chen confronts Suzuki's translator and forces a confession out of him, learning the entire truth behind his master's death. He kills the translator after the latter attempted to sneak up on him and he hangs the body from the lamp post.

The angry Suzuki decides to take matters into his own hands. He sends his men to attack Jingwu School and kill everyone inside. On the same night, Chen barges into the Dojo to take his revenge. He takes down every single Japanese combatant he meets. Afterwards Chen battles Petrov, a Russian gang boss in league with Suzuki and his plans, who was visiting the Dojo at the time of Chen's attack. The two fighters at first starts out evenly matched, but when Petrov is eventually unable to keep up with the speed of Chen's attacks he too goes down in defeat. Finally, Chen corners Suzuki inside his office. Suzuki uses a Katana to fight back but he is no match for Chen, who is armed with a Nunchaku. In the dramatic ending of the fight scene, Chen sends Suzuki soaring out of the room with a flying kick and kills him, thus avenging his master's death. Chen returns to Jingwu School and finds that many of his fellow students have been killed during the Japanese's raid, although all of the raiders have been killed in the fight as well. Shortly after, the police arrive and place him under arrest for murder. Chen speaks to the inspector in private and is assured that Jingwu School will prevail after he leaves. In the final scene, Chen charges and makes a flying kick at a line of armed soldiers just before they open fire at him.

Background information

The film is loosely based on Chin Woo Athletic Association, the actual school from which the film took its Chinese title. Chen Zhen is actually a fictional character created by director Lo Wei for the film.[2]

The real Jingwu School still survives to this day and has expanded to cities worldwide. Its headquarters is in Malaysia and the students strive to keep the Jingwu spirit to this day. The scenes in which Chen smashes the pejorative signs and the final scene are well received by Chinese audiences as a show of ferocious ethnic pride.

The former U.S. title The Chinese Connection, trading off the popularity of the recently-released Gene Hackman film The French Connection, was originally intended for Bruce Lee's previous film, The Big Boss, due to the theme of drugs in the film. However, the U.S. titles for the films were accidentally swapped for an unknown reason so this film carried the title The Chinese Connection until 2005, despite being obviously unrelated to the content of the movie. The Big Boss in the U.S. had the title Fists of Fury, leading to much confusion. Recent American TV showings and the current official US DVD release, originally available in The Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection box set, from Twentieth Century-Fox has restored the original titles of all the renamed Bruce Lee films; this film is now officially called Fist of Fury in the United States. The current DVD version also has a subtitle that says "A.K.A. The Chinese Connection" when the Fist Of Fury title appears on screen since the source material is the Fortune Star digital remasters.

This film is one of Bruce Lee's most influential works, as it is one of the main reasons behind the shift in Hong Kong cinema from swordplay to empty-handed fighting, which initiated the "Golden era of Kung Fu Cinema" of the 1970s.

Cast

  • Bruce Lee as Chen Zhen - the protagonist of the film
  • Nora Miao as Yuan Le-erh - the love interest and fiancee of Chen Zhen
  • Riki Hashimoto as Hiroshi Suzuki - the master of Hongkou Dojo. He is the primary villain in the film.
  • Robert Baker as Petrov - a Russian gang boss who joins Suzuki
  • Tien Feng as Fan Chia-Chi - the eldest student of Huo Yuanjia
  • Paul Wei as Hu En - Suzuki's translator.
  • Feng Yi as Yoshida - the Hongkou Dojo's Sensei (head instructor)
  • Lo Wei as the police inspector
  • Hwong Chung Hsin as Tien - the cook from Jing Wu School. He is actually a spy and Yoshida's younger brother.
  • Han Yin-chieh as Feng Kwai-Sher - the caretaker from Jing Wu School.
  • James Tien Chun as Fan Chun-hsia - a student from Jingwu School
  • Maria Yi as Yen - a student from Jing Wu School
  • Lee Kwan as Hsu - a student from Jingwu School
  • Tony Liu as Chin - a student from Jingwu School
  • Chin San as Tung - a student from Jingwu School

Notable stuntmen

Trivia information

  • Jackie Chan appears as an extra in the school training scenes just before the Japanese attack Jingwu School. He was also the stunt double for the villain Suzuki in the final scenes. He can be seen flying through the air after Lee's character delivers a flying kick. Jackie fell much farther than originally intended, at a height of 15 feet. After it had been caught on film, Lee rushed over to see if he was alright.
  • The Japanese man from the park entrance scene is played by Yuen Wah, who later appeared in many other Hong Kong action films and in Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle. He was also Bruce Lee's acrobatics double.
  • The famous American comedian/film star Steve Martin is allegedly seen as an extra in the final scene, just before Lee's character leaps up in the air only to be fired at. Though this is widely rumored, Steve Martin has never been credited with such a role. The legitimacy of this rumor is debatable.[3] Hong Kong movie expert Bey Logan eventually confirmed that he had made up the rumour and apologised for it.[4] At the time of filming Steve Martin would have been around 26, considerably younger than that man looked. Also he did not have his grey hair at that age.
  • It was rumored that Bruce Lee himself suggested that Chen should be killed off at the end of the film. It was because he wanted to make a point that violence and crime didn't pay. However he also suggested that Chen die with honor, hence the character being shot to death trying to leap over the policemen shooting him.

Box office

Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury managed to gross HK$4,358,928.

Opening Song

I use hands to hold my fellow man
I use hands to help with what I can
But when I face an unjust injury
Then I'll change my hands into fists of fury

I use hands to show my friendliness
I use hands to give a kind caress
But when a man slaughters his fellow man
Then I'll change my hands into fists of fury

No more hands will give my love to you
But you know I've done what I must do

I've fought the strong and I did right the wrong
When I change my hands into fists of fury

Historical inaccuracies

  • In the original, Japanese martial artists are shown wearing their hakama (skirts) backwards. This is not the only Chinese martial arts film of that time to make this mistake.
  • During one of the rickshaw ride scenes, there is a motorcycle or moped covered with a rainproof cover clearly visible parked on the pavement - an anachronism given the film is set circa 1908.
  • At the gateway with the infamous "No Dogs and Chinese Allowed" sign, some passers-by are shown in modern-day clothes (early 1970s), contradicting the 1908 setting.

Dubbing

Sync sound was not widely used in Hong Kong cinema for a long time so the voices (even on the original Chinese track) for this movie were dubbed. In fact, on the Chinese track the voice of the Russian fighter when he speaks English is dubbed by none other than Bruce Lee himself (with added reverb).

This film marks one of the few times that a DVD has an alternate new commentary. Media Asia UK distributor Hong Kong Legends has released this film as a "Special Collectors Edition" and a "Platinum Edition." Bey Logan recorded two alternate commentaries for both releases. The usual process with re-releases on DVD is that the commentary is passed onto the next release. Bey decided to re-record his second commentary as he wanted to give it a new light and also being an avid fan of this film. The theme song is played by Mike Remedios.

Sequels and Remakes

  • Jackie Chan starred in a sequel titled New Fist of Fury; it was his first major lead role. The film was a total failure in theatres due to the incoherent storyline and poor fight scenes. The film nearly ruined Chan's future career and some considered him simply a Bruce Lee imitator.
  • Two more sequels were made (which have no continuity with Jackie Chan's New Fist of Fury), starring Bruce Li as Chen Zhen's brother Chen Shen, avenging his brother's death. Despite the fact that New Fist of Fury is technically the "official" sequel (due to both director Lo Wei and leading actress Nora Miao returning), many martial arts film fans prefer the first of the Bruce Li sequels over Jackie Chan's sequel.
  • ATV (A terrestrial channel in Hong Kong), made a 30 episode TV series Fist of Fury[5] starring Donnie Yen as Chen. The last 15 episodes have a similar plot to the movie while the first 15 are about Chen joining the Chin Woo school.
  • Jet Li's 2006 film Fearless is loosely based on the real life of Huo Yuanjia, Chen Zhen's master in Fist of Fury.

DVD Releases

Australian DVD Artwork

Mega Star (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) letterboxed
  • Sound: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish
  • Supplements: Trailer, Trailers for The Big Boss, Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, Game of Death
  • All regions, NTSC

Mega Star 2nd Release (Hong Kong)

  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) letterboxed
  • Sound: Cantonese (DTS), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish
  • Supplements: DVD: Commentary by Donnie Yen, Commentary by Bey Logan, Trailer, Trailers for The big Boss, Way of The Dragon, Enter the Dragon, Game of Death, Secret Area, Production Notes, Photo gallery, Mini Nunchaku's Additional VCD: Music video with clips from Bruce Lee films
  • All regions, NTSC

Fortune Star - Bruce Lee Ultimate DVD Collection (Hong Kong)

  • Released: April 29, 2004
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: Cantonese (DTS 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Mandarin (DTS 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional, Simplified Chinese, English
  • Supplements: Original trailer, New trailer, Still photos, Slideshow of photos, Celebrity Interviews, Unseen footage, Game of Death outtakes, Enter the Dragon alternate opening, 32-page booklet
  • Region 3, NTSC

Fox (America)

  • Released: May 21, 2002
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) letterboxed
  • Sound: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Supplements: None
  • Region 1, NTSC

Fox - Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection (America)

  • Released: October 18, 2005
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (DTS 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Supplements: Original trailer, New trailer, Celebrity interview, Still photos, Slideshow of photos, Bobus trailers
  • Region 1, NTSC

Hong Kong Legends - Special Collector's Edition (United Kingdom)

  • Released: February 19, 2001
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:43:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Dutch
  • Supplements: Original trailer, UK Promotional trailer, Rare photo archive with Rare stills, Posters, Lobby card artwork, Interview with Max Lee, Interview with Tony Liu
  • Region 2, PAL

Hong Kong Legends - Platinum Edition (United Kingdom)

  • Released: January 23, 2006
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1) anamorphic
  • Sound: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Dutch
  • Supplements: Disc 1: Commentary by Bey Logan, Biography of Bey Logan Disc 2: Reflections On the Master: A First Amongst Equals: Interview with Sifu Dan Inosanto, Tracking the Dragon: Interview with Linda Palmer, Legacy of a Master: Interview with Jeff Imada, Frieend to the Stars: Interview with Joe Torreneuva, Fist of Fury Remembered: Master of Bushido: Interview with Jun Katsumura, The first Lady: Interview with Nora Miao, Blade of Fury: Interview with Riki Hashimoto, Fist of Fury Location Guide with Bey Logan, Promotional Archive: Original Cantonese trailer, UK Promotional trailer, Fist of Fury: Platinum Promo, HKL Promotionals and Premier Asia Promotionals, The Magic Lantern: Rare Photo Archive
  • Region 2, PAL

Blu-ray Disc Release

Kam & Ronson (Hong Kong)

  • Released: August 6, 2009
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (2:35:1)
  • Sound: Cantonese (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1), Cantonese (Dolby True HD 7.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital EX 6.1), Thai (Dolby Digital EX 6.1)
  • Subtitles: Traditional Chinese, English, Thai
  • Supplements: Yuen Wah Interview
  • Region A

See also

References

External links








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