THE BIG BOSS

PrintE-mail Written by Richard Thomas

The Big Boss, also known as Fists of Fury by Western audiences, is a 1971 Hong Kong martial arts action film starring Bruce Lee and made the actor a star across Asia. In the film, Lee's character Cheng Chao-an, a Chinese man from mainland China who moves to Thailand to live with his cousin, takes on a gang of drug dealers.

Frustrated with Hollywood after the cancellation of the TV series The Green Hornet and America's reluctance to cast an ethnic Chinese actor, even one born in San Francisco, as a leading man, Lee left the United States for Hong Kong, hoping to win acceptance as a major star in America via the backdoor. Lee's gamble would ultimately pay off, with the famed philosopher/martial artist cast as the star of Enter the Dragon in 1973; the first Chinese martial arts film produced by a major Hollywood studio, Warner Bros.

While regarded by his fans today as the best martial artist of the 20th century and already a television star after his portrayal of Kato in The Green Hornet and Batman, Lee was still unproven in films. Initially then, James Tien, who was already a major film star in Hong Kong, was the main protagonist in The Big Boss. This was quickly changed, however, after the producers saw Lee's electrifying performance in his first fight scene. With the charisma of a prime Michael Jackson and the fighting genius of a Muhammad Ali, Lee takes out an entire gang of thugs single-handedly.

This Blu-ray release includes a wealth of extras, including documentaries and interviews with friends and relatives, to accompany the film that shed light on the Jeet Kune Do master’s unique philosophy on fighting and life.

THE BIG BOSS / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: WEI LO / STARRING: BRUCE LEE, MARIA YI, JAMES TIEN, YING-CHIEH HAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
 
 


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