The Big Boss aka The Fists of Fury was the feature film debut of Bruce Lee in a lead role. Earlier in life, Bruce Lee was a child actor and star. Years later whilst in a America, he became a Martial Arts instructor to the stars, writer and MMA fighter (well, the equivalent to one). Lee always wanted to become a acting superstar. But the roles he could obtain in Hollywood were limited for actors of Asian descent so he went back to Hong Kong to establish himself as an international star.
Bruce Lee stars as Cheng Chow Ahn, a young rascal who is sent to live with some cousins in Thailand after getting in trouble one too many times in Hong Kong. He made a vow to his elderly mother to never fight again. His cousins are working at an ice plant pooling their savings together so they can return home with enough money to buy a business. Unknown to them, the ice plant is a front for a drug smuggling operation and those that are nosy and don't join disappear. Cousin Cheng becomes a foreman (after turning the tide in a brutal sit down strike) vows to discover what happened to the missing workers. During his discovers, he finds out about the plant's dirty secret and is caught up in a bloody mess as he tries to topple The Big Boss.
Production on the film took place in Thailand with a small crew. Golden Harvest at the time was a fledgling company who made Cantonese language films (as opposed to Shaw Brothers, the big kids on the block who made Mandarin productions). The shoe string budget, along with a tight shooting schedule and a few eager extras who wanted to try and test their fighting skills with Lee hampered the filming. But when the film was released, the public reaction in Hong Kong and around Southeast Asia was huge and Bruce Lee was on his way to becoming a star.
The movie itself is brutal, bloody and gory, I was surprised by who violent the Hong Kong version of the film was. I read about how even more violence was edited out after it's initial screening. Bruce Lee didn't care for the brutal violence and made one more picture with Lo Wei (Fist of Fury) before making his own film (Way of the Dragon). If you want to see some hardcore violence and exploitation then you'll want to see The Big Boss.
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About the reviewer
Joseph Ulibas (Captain_Couth)
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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