Game of Death was another film project that was a Warner Brothers and Golden Harvest joint production. Movie goers all around the world were still in shock from the sudden death of Bruce Lee. His last film Enter the Dragon was a worldwide success. After his death a plethora of knock-offs and wannabe Bruce Lees flooded the market place. Raymond Chow and company saw an untapped market for another film "starring" Bruce Lee. He heard of an unfinished film that Bruce was working on before he was dead. So he hired Robert Clouse to direct new footage so it could be worked into the existing one. Sammo Hung was hired to become the action director (he also appears as a prize fighter). Robert Clouse used two doubles for Bruce Lee (one of them was Yuen Biao) and a lot of stock footage was used whenever it could. The use of the footage was a very, very bad idea. Many of the seems were obviously cut-and-paste and made the film look very cheap and exploitive fare. This was going to be another movie with Hong Kong actors and American ones thrown into the mix. Gig Young, Dean Jagger and Collen Camp (when she was extremely hot) co-star as well as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and several of Bruce Lee's friends. Instead of fleshing out the movie that Bruce was working on before he died, the film makers noticed that there were already several different films that were already made that bore a similarity to the original Game of Death. The new movie centered around a murder mystery and a lot of fighting peppered with a lot of action direction work from Sammo Hung. The finished results were a mixed bag. The American cut of the film was not that great and is pretty mediocre. The Hong Kong version is a whole lot better with extra footage (It's also edited differently, has all the trademarks of a Sammo Hung film project instead of one by Robert Clouse). and more Hong Kong actors and plot. It must have been a success in Hong Kong because a sequel was made from even more unused footage and outtakes of Bruce Lee. This movie is actually better than this one because it doesn't take itself seriously, not as much recycled footage and the fight scenes are even better. If I were to watch this movie I would recommend finding the Hong Kong version. It's a lot better than the boring American release. Followed by the Tower of Death a.k.a. Game of Death 2.
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Joseph Ulibas (Captain_Couth)
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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