Enter the Dragon was a failure ...

Joined: July 5th, 2018, 10:03 pm

August 19th, 2018, 3:11 pm #1

No one could imagine that the movie that made BL the world's most famous actor was a total failure in Hong Kong. I think the people of Hong Kong have good taste
because I consider ETD the worst BL movie, WOTD won a million more than ETD in Hong Kong .BL and Lo Wei were better directors than Clouse, FOF and WOTD are the best of BL.
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

August 19th, 2018, 4:10 pm #2

There are a couple things EtD had that make it worthy

1) Score by Lalo Schrifrin - it's epic and gets the vibe flowing whenever you hear it. It's on par with movie scores by John Barry, who did many of the James Bond scores.

2) It shows BL's initiation speed as no other movie did. You can't top the segment with BL vs O'Hara and the MA world would be poorer without it. It was almost 20 years before people figured out what he did (using slow motion videos and computers).

3) It used his actual voice - the other movies were dubbed.

4) It showed him using the long pole and the double sticks

5) It had the opening "fight" with Sammo Hung, showcasing parts of his musculature that were not seen, especially his hip and leg muscles.

On the downside, it was a bit kitschy or corny now-days, but I think it is very re-watchable.  I think it failed with HK audiences because they preferred long, drawn out fight sequences. I would suggest that they did not have very good taste as proven by their relish of the BL-imitators and the Chop-Slocky phase.

I'm just glad there are ways to find it and watch it when you like.

YMMV
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Joined: December 5th, 2007, 1:05 am

August 19th, 2018, 10:19 pm #3

False , it earned decent money in H.K , not as much as say FoF....but still.

#2 US box office

shown in Iran 1973-79 , shown in Japan x-mas '73 (first BL in Japan)



"Let the tournament begin......Bolo !"
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Joined: December 5th, 2007, 1:05 am

August 19th, 2018, 10:21 pm #4

I guess they were so used to Lee playing a relative coming from another place etc than Enter was quite different , a kung fu/spy hybrid
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Joined: November 12th, 2015, 12:52 am

August 19th, 2018, 10:42 pm #5

ETD did help promote martial arts, both in itself and as a movie genre, to a wider public worldwide. But as for the movie itself? At best, it's not a Bruce Lee movie by any stretch of the imagination. At worst, it's an absolute dud that hasn't aged well at all, especially when compared to everything else Lee did. 
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

August 19th, 2018, 10:47 pm #6

Enter The Dragon is still considered to be the Gone With The Wind of martial arts movies. It was honored by the American Film Institute as being one of the greatest films of all-time and it has grossed over 200 million dollars worldwide. Considering that the budget for the film was around 500 thousand dollars, it remains one of most profitable movies ever made. The only reason why it wasn't a huge hit in Hong Kong was due to Bruce playing an authority figure who was a hired gun for the British government.
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

August 25th, 2018, 2:44 pm #7

According to Matthew Polly, the budget for ETD was 850,000, so I stand corrected.
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Joined: August 19th, 2018, 12:49 am

August 25th, 2018, 7:12 pm #8

There is a line in Way of the Dragon that perfectly depicts how Hong Kong had felt about Bruce Lee, prior to Enter the Dragon.

That line where Tang Loong has just proven that all is not lost for them.

That in a way Fist of Fury's "Chen is here!"

That line where one of the waiters gleefully exclaims "Our Dragon has entered!"

But then there is Enter the Dragon, the movie...

ETD is oddly ironic, in a way, when compared to Bruce's prior Kung Fu movies, Boss, Fist, Way, and even Game - especially Fist.

In that ETD represents a kind of an element of the sell out on Bruce's part, when viewed from the viewpoint of the typical, Hong Kong, Bruce Lee fan's perspective, back then.

Their local boy had made good - for all of them - only to end up lured away from them...by the West.

Because they were unaware that had been his plan all along.

They felt used. And rightly so.

Worse - by one of their own.

Just look at how they mourned him when he died - he'd meant something very, very special to them.

The fist of his Chinese fury - of their collective Chinese fury projected to the world through their beloved Lee Siu Loong - had shown the world for them, that "we are NOT...sick men."

Only to end up at the travesty, that was, at least for them, not really "Enter" but actually "Exit" their dragon...

The movie itself depicting the West as the West has too often done throughout much of history: appearing within the midst of a people, as if out of nowhere, just when things were going good for them, to take, pillage, plunder, and or lure away their hero from them, to do the West's bidding.

Result?

The long pent up frustration that had made of the star of Fist of Fury the massively huge Hong Kong star, the very frustration, that found itself having to turn on him and his so called "Enter" the Dragon.

In their eyes, their hero "Chen Chen" had turned out being that sell out "Mr. Woo."

Who can have blamed them, their sense of betrayal?

But the passing of "time" if not reflection, often "heals all wounds."

Bruce is doing well once more in Hong Kong - this time around, throughout all of China.

The Chinese once more proudly saying "our Dragon has entered!"
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

August 26th, 2018, 8:04 am #9

Another example of Bruce Lee's genius was insisting that the BLOOD AND STEEL title be scrapped and changed to ENTER THE DRAGON. Bruce knew that this could be his last shot at international stardom, so the new title exemplified his feeling that audiences outside of Hong Kong would embrace him as the new king of action movies.  
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Joined: April 1st, 2008, 1:54 pm

August 29th, 2018, 10:22 pm #10

Enter the Dragon was made for a western audience and it's performance in Hong Kong wasn't the priority. The movie knocked the living shit out of the entire universe.

I've been a Lee fan since 1982 and, for me, Enter the Dragon is his finest piece of work. The Sammo fight is ground-breaking. The carvern fight is arguably his best ever fight scene. He utilises more weapons than in any other film. The mirror scene is iconic. The choreography is near flawless, his philosophy shines through in abundance and the same cannot be said for the rest of his movies.

The Big Boss, despite being brilliant, takes too long to get going and has moments of cartoon violence.
Fist of Fury is a work of genius, but I just think the action in ETD is more well-rounded and his game had improved
The Way of the Dragon is saved by the Norris finale, which is the best one-on-one fight scene of all time. There are too many moments when the token bad guys leave their chins out to dry and the action appears stages.
Game of Death has his second-best one-on-one against Inosanto and I love the choreography in the Chi Hon Tse fight. With that said, Kareem isn't great on screen and, again, leaves his chin out to dry.

If you're selling me the whole Bruce Lee was too westernised crap, then I'm not interested. His mission in life was to be a Hollywood star and make the world more aware of his culture and martial arts. He did it! The fact that the movie didn't perform well in Hong Kong doesn't mean shit.
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