Monday, June 26, 2023

The Dragon Remembered

This year, 2023, marks a milestone in the history of kung fu cinema. It's now been fifty years since the release of Bruce Lee's 1973 seminal martial arts classic, ENTER THE DRAGON. The film was not only a financial success at the time, but was equally influential to subsequent action films and television programs. 

Bruce was in the middle of producing his magnum opus, GAME OF DEATH, when Warner Brothers offered him his first starring roll in an American film. So he paused his work on that film and made BLOOD AND STEEL (which he demanded by retitled ENTER THE DRAGON). 

Sadly, his untimely death right before the release of this film also meant he never got to fully expereince this new global adulation, or have the chance to complete GAME OF DEATH in Hong Kong. Just as Lee broke thru to worldwide stardom, his burgeoning career, and his life, abruptly ended. Aged just thirty-two. 

I was commissioned to produce some artwork for the cover of a retrospective look back at Bruce's Hollywood starring debut. Although the full-color image was utilized, two alternate monochromatic versions were also produced. (see below)

Bruce Lee cast a long shadow. We explore what has happened in those shadows, and see what the legendary Sammo Hung was up to the following year. Next time.

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