Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DragonClaws

Bruce Lee: The Man & The Legend (Documentary)

Recommended Posts

 

Can anyone explian why the 1973 Golden Harvest docuementary film Bruce Lee The Man And The Legend, was never given a theatrical release in the West?. It seems everyone and their uncle was cashing on Bruce Lee at the time, 20th Century Fox with the Green Hornet films, not to mention all the movies coming out of Asia at the time. You would have thought that Raymond Chow would have seen big profits to be made, from an International release?. He did late re-work this same movie into another project, BL The Legend, released in 1984 on home video. However, The Man, The Legend remained unavailable on VHS, in the U.K at least, until the late 90's. Some lucky fans might have got hold of the rarer IMPORTED Hong Kong VHS, that was advertised in some magazines. Or did the movie get an earlier Western release, that I'm just not aware of?.

It just come to my attention, after getting the movie on Blu-Ray, as part of the BL Master collection. It's something I've not sat down and watched since renting the VHS many moons ago.

 

 

Cover art for the book celebrating the films 25th Annisversary, written by Andrew Stanton & Will Johnston.

 

Li-Xiao-Long-di-Sheng-yu-si-364092-Detai

 

Edited by DragonClaws

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Phantom Dreamer said:

What happened to this fluffy guy? Linda just left him in Hong Kong?

I'm not sure what happened to the two dogs, seen playing together in the film.

I wonder if Chow gave Linda Lee any money from the release of The Man The Legend?, maybe the Estate didnt want it released in American/European cinemas at the time?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Bruce Lee: The Man and The Legend" plays these Pink Floyd tracks:

"One of These Days":
This is basically the "theme" of the documentary, used in the trailer, and primarily in the Game of Death rough edit footage. A later portion of the track also plays during the Enter the Dragon footage when Lee obtains the staff in the underground fight.

"On The Run":
This is used in the section showing the "Sai Fong" test photos.
 

When I hear "On the Run" I think of the Chicago Bulls playing that song when the visiting team's starting lineup was introduced back in the day at both Chicago Stadium and the United Center.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Golden Harvest/Cathay Films( in the UK) wouldn't release it because it was  poorly edited and would need a re-vamp before release.

This info came from a Kung fu monthly in the day, it was promised that such plans were under way but it never turned up, An ideal slot

would have been to release it with Game of Death back in 78. To be honest it isn't good, it's a touch morbid. The narrator is terrible and the sequences don't

link or flow together but still (ha) it did lead to Bruce Lee the Legend.

Edited by shukocarl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend is indeed a mediocre documentary. It was obviously hastily put together. It's notable because it was the first, came out the same year he died, and included Game of Death footage. Bruce Lee: The Legend is superior, even though it has less footage from his Golden Harvest office and home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, shukocarl said:

Golden Harvest/Cathay Films( in the UK) wouldn't release it because it was  poorly edited and would need a re-vamp before release.

This info came from a Kung fu monthly in the day, it was promised that such plans were under way but it never turned up, An ideal slot

would have been to release it with Game of Death back in 78. To be honest it isn't good, it's a touch morbid. The narrator is terrible and the sequences don't.

link or flow together but still (ha) it did lead to Bruce Lee the Legend.

Cheers dude, you are right about it being mordbid, with a large chunk of the film devoted to Lee's funeral. Not sure how much they paid the local T.V company who filmed it?.

Seem to recall reading somewhere, that one of the Asian prints featured the log scene from G.O.D?. Was Andrew Stanton or Will Johnston who mentioned this in IMPACT?There's so much B.S when it comes to this subject, it could just be a hazy memory of a internet rumour from years ago.

12 hours ago, Phantom Dreamer said:

It was obviously hastily put together. It's notable because it was the first, came out the same year he died, and included Game of Death footage. Bruce Lee: The Legend is superior, even though it has less footage from his Golden Harvest office and home.

Its Bruceploitation alright, I wonder how Chow approached Linda about making this one?. It's not ike Bruce Lee hadnt made them a lot of money already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

Cheers dude, you are right about it being mordbid, with a large chunk of the film devoted to Lee's funeral. Not sure how much they paid the local T.V company who filmed it?.

Seem to recall reading somewhere, that one of the Asian prints featured the log scene from G.O.D?. Was Andrew Stanton or Will Johnston who mentioned this in IMPACT?There's so much B.S when it comes to this subject, it could just be a hazy memory of a internet rumour from years ago.

Its Bruceploitation alright, I wonder how Chow approached Linda about making this one?. It's not ike Bruce Lee hadnt made them a lot of money already.

I don't know, but all these years later, Linda's speech at the airport prior to departing Hong Kong is still creepy and strange. "I don't hold anyone responsible for my husband's death". etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Phantom Dreamer said:

I don't know, but all these years later, Linda's speech at the airport prior to departing Hong Kong is still creepy and strange.

Yeah, they re-used that footage for the The Legend, I've not watched it for many years.

 

24237_1_large.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2017 at 4:12 AM, DragonClaws said:


Can anyone explian why the 1973 Golden Harvest docuemtnary film Bruce Lee The Man, The Legend, was never given a theatrical relase in the West?. It seems everyone and their uncle was cashing on Bruce Lee at the time, 20th Century Fox with the Green Hornet films, not to mention all the movies coming out of Asia at the time. You would have thought that Raymond Chow would have seen big profits to made, from an International release?. He did late re-work the movie into anohter project, BL The Legend, released in 1984.

Going back to your original question, can you really envision Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend, a quickie documentary, playing in cinemas in the West? Home video didn't really become a thing until the 1980s and that's why Bruce Lee: The Legend came out and Bruce Lee: The Legend made The Man and the Legend redundant.

Edited by Phantom Dreamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15/12/2017 at 5:53 PM, Phantom Dreamer said:

Going back to your original question, can you really envision Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend, a quickie documentary, playing in cinemas in the West?

I could see it getting a release at the time, just look at the stuff Dick Randal got away with releasing in the form of Young Bruce Lee/The Real Bruce Lee. BTMTL, may have been rough around the edges, but it was probably more factual than lot of the Bruceploitation that followed it. Or at least it featured the real Bruce Lee.

Amazed how they got away with using actual shots of Lee's open casket, on some of the films lobby cards. Game Of Death 78 aside, it was probably one of Golden Harvest's biggest eploitation movies.

Edited by DragonClaws

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone here shed on light on the rumoured longer cut of BLTMTL?, that was shown in Asia, before the film was given a Western release on Home Media. I cant recall if it was Will Johnston or Andrew Stanton, who said they watched a longer cut, featuring the mising log scene with Dan Inosanto and Chih Yuen. For anyone who hasnt heard of those guys, they used to runs the Bruce & Bradon Lee Association in the U.K, which ran until the early noughties. They also produced the Little Dragon film,  Martial Arts Master documentary, for Warner Brothers in 1993. I think Stanton still writes for Martial Arts Illustrated?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew Stanton visited Golden Harvest Studios, He was asked if he would like to watch a movie in their screening room.

He asked for BLTMTL because he had never seen it, and got to see the version you are talking about.

He is the only person i know who has seen it.

Also GH did a longer version of BLTL in the early 80`s then released the shorter (current) version a few years later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, makone said:

Andrew Stanton visited Golden Harvest Studios, He was asked if he would like to watch a movie in their screening room.

He asked for BLTMTL because he had never seen it, and got to see the version you are talking about.

He is the only person i know who has seen it.

Also GH did a longer version of BLTL in the early 80`s then released the shorter (current) version a few years later.

Thanks for clearing that up Makone, I never knew about the longer version released in the 80's. You don't mean the The Legend film?, that re-used a lot of stuff from TMTL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DragonClaws said:

Thanks for clearing that up Makone, I never knew about the longer version released in the 80's. You don't mean the The Legend film?, that re-used a lot of stuff from TMTL.

Yes thats the one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/28/2018 at 10:24 PM, makone said:

Andrew Stanton visited Golden Harvest Studios, He was asked if he would like to watch a movie in their screening room.

You were right, I recently posted the GOD article from IMPACT magazine, that mentions Staton seeing that footage.

The article I'm talking about, was posted in the Game of Death thread, if you are interested?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DragonClaws said:

 

Bruce Lee The Man The Legend U.S photo book (1974).

I think this book shares only the same title as the documentary?.

 

23256b_b6cab12fe65014d3bccebc2417ba78a9.

23256c_06ddef231e9d175e19660d538814f625.

23256a_7bb019ea3b0da24e92c448483886ee4c.

I had that mag...same title but nothing to do with the documentary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×