Bruce Lee - The Legend
In rather bold fashion, narrator, James B. Nicholson, does his best to orate the life and times of international action legend, Bruce Lee, in this 90 minute featured presentation. Now to complement James' structured chronology, on show their are a number of archived video clips, stock images, and notable appearances by the following people: Linda Lee Cadwell, Jackie Chan, Raymond Chow, Robert Clouse, James Coburn, George Lazenby, Steve McQueen, Nora Miao, Hugh O'Brian, Kien Shih, Hon Sang Siu, Betty Ting Pei, Robert Wall, Margaret Walter, and Gig Young.
What now follows is a basic break-down of how this program plays out:
and where was Bruce Lee born? On
the 27th of November, 1940, in a
situated in Chinese Hospital . San Francisco, America
was he born in
Americawhen Bruce's origins were Chinese; specifically ? Bruce's parents -- Lee Hoi-chen and Grace Ho -- were prolific performers in a travelling Peking Opera company. And they were passing Shunde, Guangdong San Franciscoat the time Bruce wanted to show his face to the world.
Bruce have a good time growing up in
Hong Kong? Kind of. It was very 'alternate' to say the least. He became a child actor thanks to his Father's contacts, and starred in twenty juvenile roles. And even if he wasn't very good at school, he was very good at dancing and fighting.
was his preferred style of martial art?
Although Bruce was trained in the art of Wing Chun by his teacher
-- Yip Man -- over time, he himself decided to abolish 'systems of styles',
and devised 'Jeet Kune Do' -- The Way of the Intercepting Fist -- once he
eventually set-up a school back in
did Bruce go back to
America? Two reasons really. Firstly, to get away from some trouble he was having in Hong Kongat the time -- i.e. his profuse street fighting. And secondly, to study philosophy at University, which inadvertently led him to teach Jeet Kune Do and star in a number of television roles -- most notably: 'The Green Hornet' and 'Longstreet' TV series.
is Linda Emery? Linda is Bruce's
wife. They married in 1964 and had two children together --
Brandon(1965) and Shannon (1969).
is Raymond Chow? Once Bruce
Hong Kongfollowing his brief acting career in America, Raymond was the film producer who managed to coax Bruce into making some more movies over there. Such as 'The Big Boss', 'Fist of Fury', and 'Way of the Dragon'.
- Did Bruce bring any of his own personality to these flicks? Yes. Yes he did. He always played characters that were 'fish out of water' archetypes who fought against 'foreign oppressors'. Plus he emphasized certain fighting techniques during his action scenes, as well as behaved as he normally would in certain social situations too.
wait a minute! Didn't Bruce make more films than this? Correct. Whilst in Nepal with James
Coburn scouting for locations on a project they were both devising -- called
'The Silent Flute' -- Bruce was inspired to make another movie called 'The
Game of Death' due to the Pagoda's he saw in this lo-cal. However, whilst
he was in the process of making this subsequent movie,
Americacame a calling, and though and behold 'Enter the Dragon' became his next top priority.
did Bruce ever get to finish making the 'Game of Death'? No. Unfortunately
not. When he went back to
Hong Kongto complete this film, Bruce died in an apartment belonging to Taiwanese actress, Betty , because of a head-ache tablet she gave him, that he asked for. The autopsy defined Bruce's demise as 'Death by Misadventure'. Ting Pei
- What happened after that? The burial. The mourning. The controversy. The Bruce-exploitation movies. And the completion of his final film.
A legend lives on...
Now like some of you out there in cyberspace, I was first introduced to Bruce Lee in my very informative years. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was at home sitting in front of the television set, and in came my Dad with a brand new Video player and a couple of cassettes he swiped from his dodgy pal, Kamil, wedged under his arm. Straight away we had to set it up. We just had too. So I could see one of these cassettes called 'The Big Bus'.
Well, I thought it was called 'The Big Bus'. I was very young at the time you see. And my reading wasn't all that proficient. So how the hell was I supposed to know that 'The Big Bus' was in fact 'The Big Boss'? (Click here for my review). Or that this martial arts movie would get me so perplexed once I finally sat down and watched it, that I became infatuated with it over the next couple of days?
No! This didn't have anything to do with the bad dubbing or the rather simplistic story-line. And no! It did not have anything to do with Bruce's fighting either.
Err? Not directly anyway.
You see, in laymen's terms, I just couldn't understand why Bruce's character had to hold himself back because of that stupid pendent he wore around his neck, associated with some duty bound obligation bestowed upon him. I could not get my head around this principle! I was confused! If I could do some of the stuff Bruce did in that movie, I'd be jumping around like a lunatic kicking the crap out of 'whatever' because I could.
Then one day it stuck me. BOING! This 'filmic device' is what made the film work in the first place, right? Whilst defining what Bruce's character was like as a human being at the same time. He was controlled. He was well disciplined. And he was an honorable person who wanted to do the honorable thing.
Granted, I only realized this fact after watching an episode of '
Sesame Street' -- but
that's another story -- just like 'Bruce Lee, The Legend' is 'another story' where his life is concerned.
Yeah. Let me tell you a bit about this 'feature' now. Listen, I mean this with all due respect, because in all honestly I feel that this documentary is a very good piece of work. It's well structured. It has some great pieces of lengthy archival footage in it. Plus all in all the complete package is fairly competent for someone who does not know very much about Bruce Lee.
For example, I did like Nora Miao and Raymond Chow's pieces' to the camera -- they were very revealing I thought. Plus this is the first time I've ever seen Bruce's 'American funeral' too -- that was a very nice yet morbid surprise. Also, I did enjoy the section that compared Bruce to his films -- that was a great addition in hindsight. As for the rest of it though -- well -- I'm afraid to say that I've seen it all before.
Bless you buddy Bruce. You're always alive in my eyes. As you were in this program.
THE RATING: A-