Monday, November 27, 2017

Top 8 Bruce Lee Kicks in The Way of the Dragon (1972)

Today would've been Bruce Lee's 77th birthday!

In his honor, I am posting the Top 8 Kicks from The Way of the Dragon (1972) aka Return of the Dragon. I couldn't narrow it down to 7 kicks for the alliteration of 7's LOL


8. "Dragon Seeks Path" & "Dragon Whips Its Tail"
(I know, I know, it's 2 kicks :-)
This was the first scene in which we see Bruce's "Tang Lung" in action.

7. The Overhead Lamp Kick
(Look at the height Bruce gets on his vertical jump!)

6. Bruce X Whang Ing-sik - fast kicks

5. Bruce X Bob Wall - fast kicks
(feint low, go high - front to hook kick aka roundhouse)

4. Bruce X Chuck - Oblique kicks
(feint low, go high - oblique to hook kick aka roundhouse)

3. Bruce X Chuck - 5 rapid-fire kicks in succession

2. Bruce X Bob Wall - Stop Kick

1. Bruce Lee's Side-kick

If you liked this set of animated GIFs, please check out my next GIF set:

Which is your favorite kick from Enter the Dragon? Agree with my rankings? Please leave a comment and let me know.


My deepest gratitude to my friend Badger Johnson for reminding me about Way of the Dragon trivia.

  • Bruce Lee had Chuck Norris put on weight to appear larger and more formidable.
  • Bruce Lee cast Chuck Norris in the film, because he was one of the few who was fast enough to take him on. Chuck asked Bruce if he wanted to fight the champion (at the time, he was the US Karate champion). Bruce replied, "No, I wanna kill the champion".
  • Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris allegedly made real contact during their fight scenes.
  • Bruce Lee spent forty-five hours on the fight scene with Chuck Norris. His choreographed instructions for the scene took up nearly a quarter of the script.
  • Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were both born in the year 1940 (Chuck Norris was just eight months older than Bruce Lee).
  • Chuck Norris once said that he could never beat Bruce Lee in a fair fight.
  • According to the Bruce Lee documentary, "Way of the Dragon" is Linda Lee Cadwell's (Bruce's wife) favorite of all her husband's films.
  • Bruce Lee made several 'firsts' in the Hong Kong movie industry whilst making this. It was the first Chinese film be made in the West, and he was the first Hong Kong director to view daily 'rushes' in color. He insisted on doing this so he could ensure exact color - matching in editing, due to combining the location shots in Rome with the studio footage at Golden Harvest. He also refused to use the standard 'canned' music and commissioned a new score.
  • Bruce Lee dubbed almost all of the English speaking characters in this film including one line for the boss. That line is: "Take him out, but be careful with that gun in public".
  • Bruce Lee wrote the death threat note which the mafia gave to Uncle Wang.
  • Bruce Lee turned down the lead role in Huang mian lao hu (1974)/"Yellow Faced Tiger", directed by Wei Lo, in order to concentrate on making this movie.
  • In a phone interview with journalist Alex Ben Block during a lunch break on the set during early production, Bruce Lee confirms that the original working title for was originally 'Enter the Dragon'. However, once Bruce had gotten wind, that Hollywood had become interested in making a martial arts film with Bruce as the lead role based on the success of his two earlier films made in Hong Kong, Bruce decided to reserve the name and title 'Enter' for his first Hollywood breakout film and changed the name of this film to 'Way of the Dragon'.
  • In the Chinese language versions of the film (Cantonese and Mandarin), actor Whang Ing-Sik, who played the Japanese Fighter, actually spoke both English ("Who can do Karate better than the Japanese?") and Japanese ("Omae wa Tang Long ka?" meaning "Are you Tang Long?"). He was really a Korean martial artist.
  • Was billed "Return of the Dragon" during its western release in order to cash in on the success of Enter the Dragon (1973) as its "sequel".
  • The whole thing was shot without sound, with the actors looping their lines in post-production.
  • Unlike The Big Boss (1971) and The Chinese Connection (1972), in which guns only come into play when cops appear in the endings, the film has a more consistent presence of guns throughout the film. Even Tang Lung asks if he can buy a gun. This most likely comes back to an answer Bruce Lee gave in "The Lost Interview" (1971), when he was asked why so many martial arts films were period pieces. He simply used his fingers to mock pulling a gun out of his jacket, saying that this was the big reason. This would also come into play in_ Enter the Dragon (1973)_, when he asks, "Why doesn't somebody pull out a .45 and *bang*, settle it?" in regard to taking out the main villain, Han.
  • Bruce Lee hired Tadashi Nishimoto as cinematographer because he considered the Japanese to have greater technical expertise.
  • This was the first film that Bruce Lee made on equal footing with Raymond Chow, after they partnered their own company, Concord Productions.
  • Bruce Lee hoped to cast point-fighter Joe Lewis as an opponent in the film, but Lewis declined.
  • Last movie to be filmed in the actual Roman Colosseum.
  • According to the assistant director, Ching-Shun Mao, filming around the Colosseum was strictly forbidden, and the few scenes actually filmed there were quickly shot without the knowledge of the Roman authorities.
  • Most of the crew did not have international passports or working visas which meant they could only work in Rome for a maximum of three weeks. Bruce Lee and the crew made sure they got all of their required footage within just two.
  • Bruce Lee also played percussion on the music for the soundtrack.


  • This is one of only two films in which Chuck Norris plays a villain (the other film, Huang mian lao hu (1974), AKA: "Yellow Faced Tiger", is also a Hong Kong-produced film), and the only film in which he is killed (he is only knocked out in the other film as the villain).
  • Bruce Lee does not fight till almost 30 minutes into the movie.
  • Bruce Lee's character has only one confirmed kill in the movie. He just kills Colt (Chuck Norris). It's unclear if he killed Fred (Bob Wall) or knocked him out.
  • In the final fight between Tang Lung and Colt, Tang is using the traditional Kung Fu approach but nearly loses the fight. However when Tang begins to use the approach of Jeet Kune Do, Tang gets the upper hand.
  • Part of the music in this film is actually originally from the Ennio Morricone score for the Sergio Leone western Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). The music used for Chuck Norris is taken from that film's track, "As A Judgment" (AKA: "The Grand Massacre"), and "The Transgression" was used in many of the suspenseful scenes (including when Bruce Lee explores the Colosseum to face Chuck Norris' character). Additionally, an excerpt of a track from John Barry's score for the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971), "Death At The Whyte House," was used in the scene where Uncle Wang, showing his true colors, wickedly stabs Tony and Jimmy in their backs with a knife.

Please check out these selected Bruce Lee-related entries...

Animated GIF's of Bruce Lee:

Videos of Bruce:

Other Bruce Lee-related posts:


(This section I will not add towards November's tally as well as the header picture and video I made above... I will only use hand-drawn pictures or animated GIFs I've created towards Nov's NaNoWriMo totals):

It looks like I made my goal of 50,000 words via text and pictures towards the National Novel Writing Month/NaNoWriMo. Although I had a secondary goal of blogging everyday which I was not able to accomplish, but with NaNoWriMo, the ultimate goal was to blog regularly.

This post: 9,066 (1,066 words + 8,000 [8 GIFs at 1,000 each])
November running tally: 83,220 words
Words in excess of NaNoWriMo's 50,000:  33,220



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