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DragonClaws

Missing In Action: Bruce Lee's Deleted Movie Scene's

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Introduction

Firstly, I'd like to say this is by no means a definitive look at every cut/missing scene from the late actor's/Martial Artist's filmography. I just thought this article might spark some discussion on the subject, between Kung Fu Fandom members/readers. This write-up features genuine deleted/cut scenes. Along with some theories I've come up with over the years, regarding possible cuts/alterations alongside fandom theories & Online Myth's . Looking exclusively at all four of Bruce Lee's complete Hong Kong Martial Art's films. The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of The Dragon and Enter The Dragon.

Feel free to share your own thoughts images and related media. In this, in depth thread on the subject of rare Bruce Lee film footage. Note that this is also a work in progress, I'll be adding even more content to this article in the future. Keeping checking the forums for up-date's and other new Little Dragon related discussions. If anyone has anything they would like to contribute to the following article, please send me a PM or contact me via this thread.

 

 

Missing In Action: Bruce Lee's Deleted Movie Scene's

 

Quote

I have seen the uncut version through Fred Weintraub. Fred has all of Bruce Lee's films in the original state uncut, because he was sent the films from Hong Kong by Raymond Chow to show what kind of actor / star Bruce was in HK, so Fred and Paul Heller can determine if they wanted to use him for Enter the Dragon. - David Tadman

 

The Big Boss

It's common knowledge among long terms fans, that Bruce Lee's The Big Boss underwent a lot of changes for its international release. The often talked about burning cart scene, Cheng's second visit to the brothel, the work-saw in the head etc. This was covered superbly by Jason Hart's well researched article. That really dug deep into the omitted scenes from Bruce Lee first box-office hit. For anyone yet to read this, I've included a link at the end of this write-up.

There are however, stills from the movie, that bring up questions regarding other cut scenes?. Most fans have seen the well-known and now iconic image of Bruce Lee's flying kick. Taken from one of the Big Boss's promotional pictures, it shows Lee kicking Peter Chan, who's wearing a blue t-shirt. Yet Chan never appeared in the finale of the movie. Yet you can spot his body lying on the floor during Cheng’s fight with the big boss. At around 1:30:28 into the movie, you can spot Peter Chan face down in the dirt, in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. As Lee and the boss continue to fight. If he didn’t appear in the finale?, what’s he doing laying there?. You can spot his body again in a later shot at 1:31:30.

Also, the two lackey’s who can be seen crawling away, behind Cheng's back, as Cheng approaches the mansion. Both are laid static on the ground during later clips in the final fight. Was this just bad continuity? or was there more to the last few scenes of the movie?. Did they film more footage, only to change their mind about it in the editing room?. When I emailed Jason Hart many moons ago, he said he thought they were just promotional pictures, featuring Peter Chan. I'll take his word, as he knows more about the movie than I do. Yet the presence of Chans body during the finale, still presents some un-answered question's.

Some fans speculate that there was an extended print of The Big Boss released on video in Greece and Spain?. There's also rumours of some German and Greek trailers featuring further cut scenes?. Is this the reason why you just dont see any official Greek, French or Spanish trailers for the film?. The only German preview I've seen is on YouTube, and its indentical to the British Rank trailer. Fan's have awaited for some kind of release for so long, would they accept a full screen foriegn dubbed version of one of the longer prints?. If a private collector choose to release it. I personally think we would have seen more unseen footage, if such VHS releases even existed.

 

1970's Spanish Big Boss promotional posters.

51ZPTiby3CL.jpg

 

 

An alternative shot of the flying kick promo photo. Note the bloody wound on the Thai stuntman to the far left, where Cheng stabs his character in the movie.

 

BL692.jpg

 

 

Here's the same cropped picture again, only taken from a slightly different angle.

 

image.png

 

 

Cheng subdues an angry worker at the ice factory, discarded scene? or mis-interpreted picture?.

BL618.jpg

 

This Singapore flyer for The Big Boss, features a rare image from the saw in head sequence. Take a look at the images, along the top of the flyer.

This item doesnt belong to me, its part of this collection, Link- https://bruceleeiconmuseum.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/original-flyers/

152.jpg?w=700&h=

 

 

Fist Of Fury

It's been rumoured that this movie originally had a longer run-time?. Some of the movies Hong Kong promotional leaflets etc, list the movie with a longer run time. A fan posted one of these on the Bruce Lee Lives forum, but sadly the link for the image no longer works. It might have just been a typo/error in regards to the longer run-time?. There have been suggestions, that there were more scenes featuring Cheng and the interpreter he pulls around in the rickshaw?.

One sequence, that was definitely cut from the movie, features Chen Zhen performing a kick on Mr Suzuki. The edit is very abrupt, fans looking for this cut should watch closely at around 1:34:37, just after he ditches the nunchukus, he goes to throw a kick but it abruptly cuts to the empty hand exchange. According to Bob Baker, when Chen bites Petrov's foot, the sequence also ran a bit longer, with Chen really biting down on his ankle. With Petrov finding it harder to shake him off. This he mentioned at a U.K convention, featuring him, John Saxon and Howard Williams.

There's another photo of a scene featuring Lee still in character, re-entering the Japanese dojo space. The scar on his chest, confirms that its after his duel with Mr Suzuki. Did the Japanese who slaughtered his school, return to the dojo before he left?. Or was there simply a shot of Chen reflectively walking away through the carnage he made?, let us know what you think?.

 

The missing kick.

BL627.jpg

 

Chen Zhen re-entering the Japanese dojo, after the Suzuki/Petrov fight.

BL459X.jpg

 

 

Way Of The Dragon

Fans of the little dragon have talked about the missing footage from Way Of The Dragon for many years. There's no concrete proof it even exists anymore, but there's a theory that more scenes were filmed. Like any conversation/writing about rare Bruce Lee footage, the information is vague at best. Related images and pictures are often even harder to get hold of. Vague also been a word that applies to this very article. There was a report in a 90's Bruce Lee fanzine, that talked about the discovery of lost WOTD footage. Again, I'm unable to post a link or image, but the fanzine has been seen/posted online by fans. Meaning it’s not just me claiming to have viewed the said article.

 

Quote

11/ Do you have any information concerning a deleted scene from way of the dragon : bruce looking at a venus statue with nora miao at her apartment?

DT: The only information I have on deleted scenes is that Fortune Star has everything. According to Peter Poon at FS, he told me they found three reels of footage in the can that originaly came from Golden Harvest and that he feels there are many scenes and outtakes within those reels. Not sure what they are going to do with them. I know there is something good in there, because there has been a lot of negotiation happening behind the scenes.

Source- https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/bruceleelivestributeforum/q-a-with-david-tadman-dt-t705.html

 

 

Did Tang Lung finally show the waiters his Kung Fu technqiues, without getting interupted this time?. The version of the scene that appears in the movie, doesnt have Lee topless.

the-return-of-the-dragon-lobby-card-n02-

 

Enter The Dragon

Like the Big Boss, the missing ETD footage has often been discussed about and listed by fans. Bolo beating up the guard who drops the luggage, when the contestants first arrive on the island. With the shot of Mr Lee, Williams and Roper watching from the shoreline. Then there's his death scene/final fight, which appears to have been shortened to remove use of a knife?. It also been rumoured that Warner Brothers cut out a shot of one of the racist cops, getting his head between the jaws of the dogs at the start of the movie. With test audiences laughing at the poor effects.

The extended nunchaku sequence that according to Impact magazine, featured in a rare international trailer for the movie. With Mr Lee fighting his way down another cavern corridor, before finally being trapped by Han. This shot is supposed to have been filmed from above. Maybe filmed from the point of view of Han's character?. Who later looks down on Lee when he's caputred by the sliding vertical steel doors. Having never viewed the footage myself, I can’t confirm if this longer version of the scene was actually filmed?.

What happens to Peter Archers character?, and did he have a larger role in the rough cut?. Then theres a still of one of Han's Dragon Ladies gang, sat on a motorbike. That's being towed on a trialer?, with Robert Clouse and Gil Hubbs on-board. This picture of this can be viewed at the end of this write-up. The woman was to be seen giving out invitations to Hans tournament. They filmed this footage, when Lee was not appearing on set. Would it have had a purpose in the finished version? or was it simply a scrapped idea?. Clouse talks about filming this scene in his making of ETD book.

Where the late director also mentions how the military helicopters featured at the end. Originally landed on Hans island, with the U.S Navy troops pouring out of them. There a few images circulating of Mr Lee and Roper looking at the aftermath of the films big outside brawl. Watching hans guards getting rounded up. While taking in the carnage caused by the big brawl. These scene's would have taken place after Lee's thumbs up to John Saxon, which ends the current version of the movie.

It’s a known fact that Bruce Lee's character receives a copy of his own book on Martial Arts, by Han. Saxons character Roper, being a fine art admirer. Get's his room decorated in modern art peices. His interest in this subject, is simply not included in the current prints at all. Williams gets a new sound system and three posters. One featuring a Black Power fist, one with Jimi Hendrix and third feautring a topless woman.. You can see the black power poster, on his wall in the theatrical cut. Yet the other two posters, only turn up in various pictures. This was all to show how Han's character had done his home work on Roper, Williams & Mr Lee.

 

Roper & Lee watch on as Han guards are rounded up.

 

2e4b82588fa52138dbbdc21c8dc1448b.jpg

 

Deleted scene with Saxon/Ahan Capri, the image on the left is taken in Williams room, note the two alternative posters incuding Jimi Hendrix.

31881127.jpg

 

Gil Hubbs and Robert Clouse filming the girl on the bike scenes.

Jxf6R1j.jpg?w=1060&ssl=1

lOmGORy.jpg?w=1060&ssl=1

 

 

Here's the link to the Jason Hart article, which goes further in depth, in regards to longer print of The Big Boss.

LINK- http://bruceleelives.co.uk/missingboss.html

While we cant prove some of the above scenes existed. Maybe someday in the future, new information or photos, might be able to confirm or debunk some of these theories?.

 

 

Edited by DragonClaws

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Nice work, Dragon Claws.

All I can say about of the possibility of any missing or delete scenes from Bruce Lee's movies being brought to light is that we are running out of time. The people who worked on these movies i.e. production staff, actors, etc.,. are getting older, memories are fading, not to mention the many that have already passed away. The more years go by, the less we are likely to anything new or unseen from these movies...

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10 hours ago, Shaolivevil said:

Nice work, Dragon Claws.

Thank you @Shaolivevil.

 

10 hours ago, Shaolivevil said:

All I can say about of the possibility of any missing or delete scenes from Bruce Lee's movies being brought to light is that we are running out of time. The people who worked on these movies i.e. production staff, actors, etc.,. are getting older, memories are fading, not to mention the many that have already passed away. The more years go by, the less we are likely to anything new or unseen from these movies...

Agreed, not to mention the fans who caught all these films first time round. Some have been wanting to see these missing scenes a lot longer than others have.

 

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On 1/4/2018 at 2:21 PM, DragonClaws said:

The Big Boss

It's common knowledge among long terms fans, that Bruce Lee's The Big Boss underwent a lot of changes for its international release. This was covered superbly by Jason Hart's well researched article. For anyone yet to read this, I've included a link at the end of this post. There are however, stills from the movie, that bring up questions regarding other cut scenes?. Most fan have seen the well-known and now iconic image of Bruce Lee's flying kick. Taken from one of the Big Boss's promotional pictures, it shows Lee kicking Peter Chan, who's wearing a blue t-shirt. Yet Chan never appeared in the finale of the movie. Yet you can spot his body lying on the floor during Cheng’s fights with the big boss. At around 1:30:28 into the movie, you can spot him face down in the dirt, in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. As Lee and the boss continue to fight. If he didn’t appear in the finale?, what’s he doing laying there?. You can see his body again in a later shot at 1:31:30.

Also, the two lackey’s who can be seen crawling away, behind Cheng's back, as he approaches the mansion. Both are laid static on the ground during later clips in the final fight. Was this just bad continuity? or was there more to the last scenes of the movie?. Did they film more footage, only to change their mind about it in the editing room?. When I emailed Jason Hart many moons ago, he said he thought they were just promotional pictures, featuring Peter Chan. I'll take his word, as he knows more about the movie than I do. Yet the presence of Chans body during the finale, always bugged me.

Not that this should come off as a surprise, but apparently the first part of Cheng's battle at the Boss' compound was somewhat longer than it actually was, and he scored a few more kills besides those that appear on mainstream cuts. I'm guessing Peter Chan played a very minor role as a henchman who ambushes Cheng. I'll dig up the comparison pics later on, but basically his "corpse" only appears nearby the pam tree only after Cheng gets slashed in the abdomen; we get a few shots of the palm tree before but Peter Chan and the other thug are nowhere to be seen, so presumably there was a brief moment when they ambushed an already-animalistic Cheng in the middle of his deadly duel with the Boss and meet an unpleasant demise. I was told that Cheng actually snapped the spine of one of the thugs (most likely Peter) and tossed the body in a nearby the tree, hence it's presence.

As for more footage, I might've mentioned this already but there have been talks of a 3-hour long rough, unedited cut of the movie immediately after production on BB wrapped up. Considering the intense editing and re-editing of the movie, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to assume that not only entire sequences were cut, but that BB featured an entirely different order of events for it's 2nd half.

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45 minutes ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

I'm guessing Peter Chan played a very minor role as a henchman who ambushes Cheng.

Sounds like a good possibility, the other thug you mention in the white shirt. He gets killed by Lee before his fight with Han Ying Chieh's evil boss.

 

46 minutes ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

As for more footage, I might've mentioned this already but there have been talks of a 3-hour long rough, unedited cut of the movie immediately after production on BB wrapped up. Considering the intense editing and re-editing of the movie, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to assume that not only entire sequences were cut, but that BB featured an entirely different order of events for it's 2nd half.

Maybe the Peter Chan stuff was deemed unecessary?, or Lee wasnt happy with how it looked?. Sure they must have filmed action footage, that was later ditched for different reasons.

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39 minutes ago, mpm74 said:

Awesome post, @DragonClaws. Are you single? Watcha doin' tonight? 

I couldn't help but imagine one of the prozzies from BB doing a solicitation with those words. :tongueout

7 minutes ago, One Armed Boxer said:

I confess to having more interest in Dragon Lee than Bruce Lee, but I have to give it up, that was one entertaining read @DragonClaws.

I'd be interested in reading more about your preference for Bruceploitation individuals over the original Little Dragon. I don't even disagree; I find such perspective more intriguing than anything.

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41 minutes ago, mpm74 said:

Awesome post, @DragonClaws. Are you single? Watcha doin' tonight?

LOL Much appreciated dude, I've been warned about you by @OpiumKungFuCracker and I'm not single at the moment.

Hope to add more to the article over the next year or so. There was a some other stuff I'd like to have included in regards to ETD. Just need to get hold of some images, as they say an picture is worth a thousand words. An image, can be much better than a load of random rambling that makes little sense.

 

11 minutes ago, One Armed Boxer said:

I confess to having more interest in Dragon Lee than Bruce Lee, but I have to give it up, that was one entertaining read @DragonClaws.

It's my first attempt at writing something other than a review, really appreciate the posiitive feedback. The more people get enjoyment from reading the article, the better.

Would love to write a peice on Dragon Lee's movie's too, but the information is even vaguer. With the hack jobs Asso-Asia did, you could probably write a couple of volumes on those movies.

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On 1/6/2018 at 4:53 AM, DragonClaws said:

Sounds like a good possibility, the other thug you mention in the white shirt. He gets killed by Lee before his fight with Han Ying Chieh's evil boss.

 

Maybe the Peter Chan stuff was deemed unecessary?, or Lee wasnt happy with how it looked?. Sure they must have filmed action footage, that was later ditched for different reasons.

Lee didn't have much say in what got cut and by extension neither did Lo Wei. They bemoaned the removal of Cheng's final visit to the brothel and most of the portipns of violence.

There's also the fact Hong Kong companies were straight up clumsy with editing and taking care of the master prints of their own products.

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5 minutes ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

There's also the fact Hong Kong companies were straight up clumsy with editing and taking care of the master prints of their own products.

True, the VHS release I had, was covered in white splice marks on the image, from the many cuts made to the movie.

 

6 minutes ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

Lee didn't have much say in what got cut and by extension neither did Lo Wei. They bemoaned the removal of Cheng's final visit to the brothel and most of the portipns of violence.

Sure that was no longer the cas y the time he made WOTD, due to his fame and box-office draw.

It's possible the film had a few different cuts, with no one version featuring all the deleted footage.

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8 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

Sure that was no longer the cas y the time he made WOTD, due to his fame and box-office draw.

It's possible the film had a few different cuts, with no one version featuring all the deleted footage.

Bruce definitely had more creative control in subsequent films, just in virtue of the fact those aren't even close to being awfully butchered like BB.

It's generally agreed that the innitial HK theatrical release had all of the missing footage except for the, you guessed it, saw-in-the-head part.

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15 minutes ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

Bruce definitely had more creative control in subsequent films, just in virtue of the fact those aren't even close to being awfully butchered like BB.

There's certianly more information in regards to the Big Boss missing scenes. If I listed all the missing footage from ETD, the list would be quite lengthy. There's not jut Bruce Lee scenes, there also deleted scenes just featuring other actor such as Saxon, Kelly, Capri, Yeung, Kien etc.

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3 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

There's certianly more information in regards to the Big Boss missing scenes. If I listed all the missing footage from ETD, the list would be quite lengthy. There's not jut Bruce Lee scenes, there also deleted scenes just featuring other actor such as Saxon, Kelly, Capri, Yeung, Kien etc.

Even the script for ETD (Blood and Steel) had extensive rewrites before proper filming actually started. 

Just to provide an example, here's a following quote of what could've been, courtesy of the greenbamboo forums.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/256969/message/1483775812

"In the original script, there is supposed to have a steamy scene where Lee Jun Keung and Mei Ling (Betty Chung) had a shower and love scene. But this was not shot. Unlike Roper and Williams who made love to the Han’s beautiful ladies, Bruce definitely would not allow his hero image be “ruined by these love scenes.” Another excuse he could use is Lee is a holy monk (external) and is thus, prohibited from womanizing as this is one of the taboos of the Shaolin Temple."

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15 minutes ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

Even the script for ETD (Blood and Steel) had extensive rewrites before proper filming actually started. 

Just to provide an example, here's a following quote of what could've been, courtesy of the greenbamboo forums.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/256969/message/1483775812

"In the original script, there is supposed to have a steamy scene where Lee Jun Keung and Mei Ling (Betty Chung) had a shower and love scene. But this was not shot. Unlike Roper and Williams who made love to the Han’s beautiful ladies, Bruce definitely would not allow his hero image be “ruined by these love scenes.” Another excuse he could use is Lee is a holy monk (external) and is thus, prohibited from womanizing as this is one of the taboos of the Shaolin Temple."

 

Here's another quote from that article by LJF.

 

Quote

The last being the original unedited Chinese version ETD that has never shown in the theatre before, which meant the one released and dubbed in Mandarin and the international English version ETD are both different versions from this one. According to Stephen, this original unedited Chinese version ETD footage contains some scenes which had not been shown in the cinema.

 

It strange how the the international version of ETD and TBB, have now become the standard versions released worldwide. When they prepared these films for international release, the newer cuts/prints then became the masters for all other releases. Meaning even H.K, had to put up with the shorter versions of ETD and TBB, for the home VHS/DVD/BR/Digital releases.

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2 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

It strange how the the international version of ETD and TBB, have now become the standard versions released worldwide. When they prepared these films for international release, the newer cuts/prints then became the masters for all other releases. Meaning even H.K, had to put up with the shorter versions of ETD and TBB, for the home VHS/DVD/BR/Digital releases.

That wouldn't surprise me. I certainly don't doubt that, for instance, they filmed more love scenes for BB (No way they let all of that female talent go to waste) than what we currently know about.

And with ETD beimg a tournament film there's without a doubt plently more fights filmed but did nor make the cut because those did not involve the main cast in any way.

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16 minutes ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

And with ETD beimg a tournament film there's without a doubt plently more fights filmed but did nor make the cut because those did not involve the main cast in any way.

Always felt the tournament was the weakest part of the story, and it got lost a little, amongst the other plot lines and action. It would be cool to see more of the fighters, and the main cast have more than one scuffle. Maybe they needed a montage throwing into the movie, in order to do this?.

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Here's a still of one of more talked about/common missng Enter The Dragon scene. Most of this sequence appeared in the 1980 Golden Harvest Bruce Lee swan song, Game Of Death 2. Lee inspects his room, showing him dismissing Han's yellow Martial Arts uniform, and looking at his own book, laid on the desk.

 

BL696.jpg

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Another shot, taken just beofre the second image. Note Peter Chan on the floor to the right, and Tony Liu to the far left.

bruce-lee-big-boss-saw-in-the-head-seen-

 

Here's a slightly larger colour version, of the saw in the head image, featured on the Singapore flyer for the Big Boss. This image is taken just seconds after the above one. The guy in the pale blue shirt is slightly blocking the impact of the saw. Tony Liu standing to the far left, is cropped off this image.

maxresdefault.jpg

Edited by DragonClaws

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3 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

Anyone have their own theories regarding some of the missing Bruce Lee movie scenes?

I have a few to share, but lets hear from you first :tongueout also may as well include a second question: What are your theories in regards to Bruce Lee material that has yet to be uncovered?

 

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1 hour ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

I have a few to share, but lets hear from you first :tongueout 

Shared most of my thoughts in the first post, working on a few more things which I'll hopefully add to that article in the future. I dont think the full length Big Boss is as elusive as its made out to be. I just don't think the Estate want to release the full length version, it might not sit well with the current image they present of Bruce Lee maybe?. Also it's only a handful of fans who want to see it, as bad as this sounds I think they'll probably sell more T-Shirtss, than they would a copy of the un-edited BB. Just a theory, it doesnt means that actually the case.

 

1 hour ago, Fist of the Heavenly Sky said:

What are your theories in regards to Bruce Lee material that has yet to be uncovered?

Thats a whole other story in itself, I feel legal rights and asking too much for footage, is what has kept a lot of stuff held back.

Edited by DragonClaws

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On 1/24/2018 at 2:06 PM, DragonClaws said:

Anyone have their own theories regarding some of the missing Bruce Lee movie scenes?

Alright, so to answer your question.......as stated a few times before, it is my belief that BB has a mostly different running order as far as the storyline goes. We would've still had a final fight between Cheng and Hsiao Mi, but the events leading to that would've happened in another way. I still believe there are loads of other footage filmed under the original director that we have yet to see, and even with Lo Wei there are also probably other footage that is unknown to us. 

The same would also apply to Enter the Dragon. Especially because it's original script (Steel and Blood) was an almost completely different beast compared to the finished product.

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