Classic Bruce Lee Film Enter The Dragon Had A Multitude Of Challenges – SlashFilm


Actor and martial artist Bob Wall, who played the bodyguard O’Hara in the film, told Black Belt Magazine (via Far Out) that an extra on the movie once talked smack about Lee in Cantonese during a filming break. “I reckon you only act out your fighting. You’re not for real!” Wall recalled the man saying, noting that Lee was challenged often but typically “kept his cool.” This time around, though, Wall said Lee decided to take on the extra, and during the fight, Lee “slapped him around until the guy was all bloody and messed up.” Co-star Bolo Yeung also described the fight in an interview shared on YouTube (via ScreenRant). Yeung said the extra wanted to test Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, with Lee clinching the face-off with a high kick.

A fight like this one ended up in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 movie “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood,” prompting Lee’s family to note that Tarantino’s version wasn’t especially accurate. Less well-known are Lee’s calmer behind-the-scenes contributions to “Enter the Dragon,” like when, according to his daughter Shannon, he “rewrote the majority of the screenplay.” In her book “Be Water, My Friend,” Shannon Lee writes that the original script was “terrible,” with “none of the iconic scenes that exist today.”

Bruce Lee rewrote it and asked that the original scriptwriter be fired (a move that wouldn’t have been out of line, given that his production company helped fund the movie). According to Shannon Lee, the studio lied to her father, saying the writer had been fired while keeping him on. According to Matthew Polly’s biography “Bruce Lee: A Life,” Warner Bros. even debated recasting Bruce Lee rather than allowing him the level of creative control he asked for. Bruce Lee very nearly didn’t sign his contract, but the studio ultimately agreed to his terms.

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