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Game of Death (1978)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 8 June 1979 (USA)
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2:22 | Clip
A martial arts movie star must fake his death to find the people who are trying to kill him.

Directors:

Robert Clouse, Bruce Lee (uncredited)

Writer:

Robert Clouse (as Jan Spears)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Lee ... Billy Lo / Hai Tien (original 1972 footage) (archive footage)
Gig Young ... Jim Marshall
Dean Jagger ... Dr. Land
Hugh O'Brian ... Steiner
Colleen Camp ... Ann Morris
Robert Wall ... Carl Miller
Mel Novak ... Stick
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... Hakim / Mantis (original 1972 footage) (archive footage)
Chuck Norris ... Fighter (archive footage)
Dan Inosanto Dan Inosanto ... Pasqual / Third Floor Guardian (original 1972 footage) (as Danny Inosanto)
Billy McGill Billy McGill ... John
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung ... Lo Chen (as Hung Kim Po)
Roy Chiao ... Henry Lo
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... David (as Tony Leung)
Jim James Jim James ... Surgeon
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Storyline

In this movie, Bruce Lee is a very famous martial-arts master who stars in many films. After an unsuccessful murder attempt against him, everyone thinks his is dead, but he's just hiding, preparing his revenge... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bruce Lee challenges the underworld to a Game of Death.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

8 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bruce Lee's Game of Death See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original premiere) | (current existing footage) | (2000 incomplete) | (2000 incomplete) | (original cut) (1972)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared in the original version, but refused to appear in the new version. In the new footage, his role is played by a double. See more »

Goofs

In the nunchaku scene when Billy and Pasqual are dueling, Billy's second nunchaku bends, revealing it to be foam rubber. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Director: Cut! Okay, that's a print. That was great, Billy! Okay everybody...
[stage light collapses, crew gasps]
See more »

Alternate Versions

An unofficial DVD release circling the Internet entitled "Game of Death: Integral" features a 127 min cut of the film featuring:
  • A large majority of Bruce Lee's original footage not used in the official release. This is most notable in the final three fights as there is now dialog between Billy Lo and Pasqual as well as with Hakim. The final three fights added up to only 10 minutes in the 1978 release, but the combined length of the fights in this cut is 25 minutes.
  • The greenhouse fight in the Hong Kong version is also in this cut along with an extended scene before the fight in which Billy Lo is training on his outdoor balcony as he hears banging noises from the other room. This is actually footage from Meng Long Guojiang with new sound effects added. Also, when Billy comes back to his apartment after the fight, he finds a note reading "Have you two made out your wills?" along with a phone call from Dr. Land in which all he says is "You bastard!" with a follow up villainous laugh.
  • The opening theme is replaced with an updated version of the Game of Death theme originally created for the Japanese film Bruce Lee in G.O.D.
  • The infamous "cardboard cutout head" shot shown in all other versions has been replaced with a close up shot of Bruce Lee from Jing Wu Men.
  • The even more infamous shot of the real corpse of Bruce Lee from his actual funeral has been replaced with a horizontally flipped shot of the outside of the funeral parlor with all of the fans standing outside.
  • All of the fake Bruce Lee yells have been replaced with real yells from stock audio.
  • The film's ending is an extension of the Hong Kong ending in which Billy Lo is arrested. However, the scene inter-cuts with Billy Lo (from the original Bruce Lee footage) walking back down the stairways of the Red Pepper Restaurant complex ending with him yelling out to the police in Cantonese "Help me!" One officer looks up and replies "Hurry down!" The scene ends with Billy Lo being taken away by the police, then fading to a tracking shot revealing the yellow and black tracksuit laying over top of a chair in an editing room and a narrator reading from Lee's Tao of Jeet Kune Do discussing "The Void".
  • The film also ends with a large number of bloopers and outtakes from Bruce Lee's original Game of Death footage.
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Big Boss (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Game of Death
(Hong Kong version only)
Music by Joseph Koo
Lyrics by James Wong
Sung By Roman Tam
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A tale of two movies
6 May 2003 | by jc1305usSee all my reviews

"Game of Death", a frankenstein concoction of bits and peices of Bruce Lee's final performance in a movie originally shot in 1972-73 and a later filmshot in 1978 after Lee's death is really two movies in one.

The first, a crime/revenge caper helmed by Robert Clouse is not as bad as you may have heard. The scenes are intercut badly and Lee's many doubles do look bad, but as a movie on it's own merit it isnt that bad.

The film concerns a young movie star, Billy Lo (played by several uncredited doubles) and a crime syndicate headed by evil Dr. Land (Dean Jagger who is good) His henchman (Hugh O'Brian, Mel Novak, and Bob Wall) won't let our hero rest until he signs an exclusive contract with them, which will put Billy under their control. Colleen Camp and Gig Young Co-star. Camp is benign as Billy's voluptuous girlfriend and Young looks like he wants to be anywhere else. The score is excellent courtesy of John Barry's music which sets a mood for the picture. The second part of the movie is the final fight scenes in a pagoda which include Bruce Lee himself in some magnificent fight scenes with several worthy advesaries including Kareem Abdul Jabbar(!) and Danny Inosanto. The last 15-20 minutes are the only to feature the real Bruce Lee, but watch the locker room fight, it is very good on it's own merit. In summary, a cheesy 70's Kung Fu movie that wraps around some spectacular footage of Bruce Lee in his "final performance", but which also has some charm of it's own.


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