Bruce Lee websites are not exactly few and far between, but one thing that they all have is the LIST. That list usually has every screen appearance of the Master of Jeet Kune Do, however, if you’re someone that doesn’t want to waste time on watching an episode of Ironside for just a quick glimpse — well the list should be a proper one. It should be a list that contains only the projects that he was an integral part of the production, or in other words, “What films was he the star in?”
Lee starred in six major motion pictures, however of those six he was really only a ‘proper’ participant in four. Game of Death was in production when he received the call for Enter the Dragon, and because of the nature of the production, he chose to put his own project on the back-burner to concentrate on it. Hollywood was pumping an unprecedented amount of money into a martial arts film, which was only going to benefit him and future martial arts films in the coming decades.
Nearly two hours of footage was shot for the original production of Game of Death before it was put on hold, most of which was lost from the Golden Harvest editing rooms. The small amount of footage that still exists is now a forty minute film entitled Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, and can be found on various incarnations of DVD and Blu-ray as an extra feature. For a full movie to be released, this footage was put together and scenes added by Enter the Dragon director Robert Clouse. Stand-ins were used in alternating scenes, as well as footage taken from earlier in Bruce Lee’s career and Game of Death was released posthumously in 1978.
Although Game of Death II is billed as a sequel, it has no link to its predecessor other than its title and Bruce Lee‘s character’s name, Billy Lo. It was a pieced together by Ng See-yuen (Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Drunken Master, No Retreat, No Surrender, Once Upon a Time in China franchise), most of the footage coming from cut scenes of Enter the Dragon. The film was released in 1981, eight years after Bruce Lee‘s death.
So, without further ado, here’s the LIST:
- 1971 The Big Boss (aka Fists of Fury)
- 1972 Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection)
- 1972 The Way of the Dragon (aka Return of the Dragon)
- 1973 Enter the Dragon*
- 1978 Game of Death*
- 1981 Game of Death II* **
* released after his death
** stock footage from Enter the Dragon utilised
If you want a full list of all Bruce Lee appearances, then you can’t get any better than his IMDB page.