The FBI movies originally to cast Bruce Lee

The FBI movies originally to cast Bruce Lee

LJF
Joined: December 6th, 2014, 3:05 am

September 24th, 2015, 7:11 am #1

Bruce Lee planned to make another Hollywood production after ETD/G.O.D. It was to be a FBI story where Bruce was going to be a CIA type of guy fighting against crimes. GH claimed that the 3 movies that George Lazenby made were actually intended for Bruce with Lazenby as the second lead actor. The following are some related information regarding this/these unmade FBI movie/s, as told by Bob Wall, George Lazenby Helen Ma Hoi-Lun as well as revealed by some movie critic.

Bob Wall
========
During an interview by MPM in April 1999, Bob Wall said Bruce talked about his next project after ETD. Bob Wall met Bruce while he came to Beverly Hills to do a physical examination from 1st June till 8th June 1973. Bob used to fly Bruce all his protein and he saw Bruce on 1st June, and had lunch with him. Then he saw Bruce the day before he left. Bob remembered seeing Bruce three times in total that week.

Bruce told Bob that his fifth film was going to be with Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren’s late husband. Bruce told him that he would get to be a good guy in the next one after ETD. The script was to have Bruce play a CIA type of guy and international drug terrorist cum dealers, and Bob was going to be a CIA agent coming to help him out. Basically, Bob would be his sidekick. They were just about a month away from signing a contract. Bob Wall said Bruce told him it might be shot in Rome and the working title would tentatively be ‘Drug Terror.’

Helen Ma Hai-Lun & Angela Mao Ying
==============================
Helen Ma Hai-Lun is a well-known HKTVB actress. Born on 20th Aug 1950, she won the “Miss HK Teenage” in 1966 at the age of 16. Subsequently, she was signed to Shaw Brothers and began her film career. Below is the info extracted from her interview in TVB weekly magazine (issue 466) on 7th Jun 2006.

Helen Ma was filming “The Fate of Lee Khan” around Sep 1972 and Bruce was filming G.O.D. in GH studio next to her. Bruce visited King Hu, the director of “The Fate of Lee Khan” on several occasions. (note: King Hu was a good friend of Bruce. They were looking forward to make a costumed movie together in the future). While watching the filming, Bruce saw Pai Ying (a famous 70s HK actor) and Helen Ma. He told them their costumed looks would be a refreshing and creative attempt in a contemporary film. Thus, he intended to cast them in his future movie. He told Helen Ma that this movie was about FBI story that tells about how 3 undercover cops fighting crimes together. She would be among one of the main actresses, another choice was the rising star, Angela Mao (Polly Shang Kwan, probably would be another intended cast). Helen Ma and Angela Mao were very excited and used to hang around a cafeteria to discuss about their future roles and images in this movie. Unfortunately, Bruce passed away later. Helen Ma regretted that she did not have a chance to play the cop in this international movie otherwise her movie career would definitely be different from now.

As for Angela Mao, she was slightly fortunate than Helen Ma because she got to play Bruce’s sister in ETD. Born on 20 Sep 1950, Angela Mao real name was Mao Fook-Jing. She was born in HK, raised in Taiwan. Enrolled in a Taiwanese opera school at the age of 6, she learnt the opera arts for 8 years before becoming the first among the top 10 martial arts opera actor/actress. In 1970, she flew to HK and became GH contract actress. She played the lead lady in popular movies like “The Invincible Eight”(1971), “Hapkido”(1972) and “Lady Whirlwind”(1972). In order to look more realistic in action films, she diligently studied Hapkido and eventually earned her 3 degree black belt.

Bruce Lee was impressed with her fighting ability after watching her previous performances and in the “Hapkido.” Bruce then invited her to play in ETD, an international film which brought her to the attention of the worldwide audience. Bruce intended to use her again in the next Hollywood’s production, a FBI movie that was supposed to cast also Pai Ying, Helen Ma and probably Polly Shang Kwan. After Bruce’s passing, Angela Mao who was nicknamed “Lady Bruce Lee” made some more popular action films before retiring in the early 80s. She has occasionally appeared in few of the Bruce Lee’s documentary films in the 1990s and 2000s.

George Lazenby & Bruce’s 3 FBI related Movies
=================================================
According to George Lazenby, he was signed to a three film contracts with GH in 1973. He was first to co-star with Bruce Lee in Lee's upcoming film G.O.D. (1972-73), as Lee's Western adversary. Bruce told him this would be only a minor role and his major role would come in the next film that tells about a FBI story.

In fact, before Bruce’s death, the HK press had announced George Lazenby would make “The Golden Needles of Ecstasy” for GH. It was a FBI movie that was intended to cast Bruce and was originally scheduled to be Bruce's next film after G.O.D. It was also going to be the most expensive Hong Kong/U.S. co-production ever made. It would team Bruce with an all-star international cast including: one-time James Bond Australian actor George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service); Japanese action star Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter); and well-known Shaw Brothers actress, Betty Ting Pei (The Fourteen Amazons). The film was to pit Lee against "The Western Adversary" James Bond star George Lazenby. It's original tagline was "It's Lee! It's Lazenby! It's Bruce Versus Bond!"

However, Lee died just four days after Lazenby signed the contract. Lazenby who had took advance payment of $10,000 from GH, still owed the company 3 films contract. Thus, Raymond Chow called him back to fulfill the contract with GH. Chow also sent HK martial arts instructors to train him for several weeks before beginning filming. Lazenby would go on to star in the next three GH films that were originally set to feature himself and Lee. "The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss" (aka “Stoner,” 1974), “The Man From HK” (“Dragon Flies,” 1975) and “A Queen’s Ransom” (“International Assassin,” 1976). In "Shrine" Lazenby took on Bruce's role and Angela Mao took on the role Lazenby was first intended to play. While in the next two films, "The Man from Hong Kong" and "A Queen’s Ransom", Jimmy Wang Yu replaced Bruce and Lazenby returned to his original role.

Initially, Warner Bros was going to co-produce, distribute and give this film a large worldwide release, a $10 million each for production budget and worldwide marketing budget. Warner’s forecasts for “The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss” worldwide box office gross were around $400 million. Unfortunately, Bruce's sudden passing caused the American studios to buckle, and when Sonny Chiba packed up and walked away from the project, the plug was pulled. Without support from Warner Bros, Raymond Chow reduced the film's production budget from $10 million to $850,000 and severely cut the marketing budget to cover the film's new small theatrical release which greatly hurt the film's box office.

Ultimately, Lazenby replaced Bruce to film “Shrine” which also featured Angela Mao, Betty Ting Pei, Sammo Hung, Hwang In-Shik (probably to replace Sonny Chiba) and well-known Australian wrestler Roger Ward. In addition, Raymond Chow enlisted rival studio Shaw Brothers as another producer to help pay for the film's huge production cost based on HK film industry standards. Chow also kept producer Andre Morgan on board as he had helped with Bruce's films.

1) “The Shrine of The Ultimate Bliss” (aka “Stoner” -- 1974)
=========================================
The plot: Stoner, an Australian cop George Lazenby (original role of Bruce Lee, thus, original identity should be a HK cop), started investigating the spread of a mysterious addictive drug that acted like an aphrodisiac and a hallucenogen on anyone who took it. When his own sister fell under its influence of this “Happy pill,” Lazenby traveled to HK to hunt down the man behind the drug trade, the evil billionaire Mr. Chin. At the same time, a Taiwanese officer, Angela Mao (original role of George Lazenby, thus, original identity should be a Australian cop) has also been sent to stop Chin's drug empire. Together, she and Stoner battle the drug kingpin's dealers and henchmen......

“Shrine” without Bruce
=================
If it had not been the untimely death of Bruce Lee, the film could well have been one of the greatest movies of all-time. Bruce Lee, George Lazenby and Sonny Chiba would definitely make a strong impact and drew the attention of the worldwide audience. Unfortunately, after Bruce’s sudden death, all the big plans for “Shrine” were changed, i.e. Warner Bro’s back-out and Chiba’s withdrawal left GH to cut the film’s budget to shreds. What was leftover of the project went to director Wong Fung/Huang Feng (“When Taekwondo Strikes”). George Lazenby and Betty Ting Pei were the only original members who were locked in. Angela Mao Ying (Invincible Eight) filled in for Bruce. Either Japanese actor Joji Takagi (“Zatoichi in Desperation”) or Korean Hapkido master Hwang In-Shik (The Devil’s Treasure) most likely replaced Sonny Chiba. Many expected that if Bruce had lived to make “Shrine” after the success of ETD, it would have been filmed with a more mainstream approach and the film would definitely be another enormous success of Bruce.

In the end, a large international release without Bruce, “Shrine” obviously fell short of the box office of Bruce's previous films. Despite this, the film still grossed well over $100 million worldwide at the box office in the early 1970s. Although “Shrine”never turned out to be what it could have, it still was modestly successful and holds firm as one of the all-time classic 1970s martial arts flicks. Angela Mao, Hwang In-Shik and George Lazenby fought in entertaining action sequences as choreographed by Sammo Hung.

2) “The Man From Hong Kong” (aka “Dragon Flies” - 1975)
=================================================
The plot: At Ayers Rock, undercover detectives arrested HK drug courier Win Chan (Sammo Hung). At Royal HK Police Academy where a hang glider piloted by Australian Caroline Thorne (Rosalind Speirs) ran out of air currents and landed on the parade square. She was met by Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu; original role of Bruce Lee) who has coincidentally been chosen to travel to Sydney to interview Win Chan. Fang is met by Detectives Gross ( Hugh Keays-Byrne) and Taylor (Roger Ward) who have been unable to obtain any information from Win Chan. Fang used traditional but illegal police methods to elicit cooperation from Win Chan. Fang discovered the connection between Win Chan's drug imports and Sydney "colorful identity" (gangster) Jack Wilton (George Lazenby). Inspector Fang became a target of death by various firearms, edged weapons, explosives, fast cars, a crossbow and martial arts by both Australian and Chinese criminals. He also reacquainted himself with Caroline who trained him how to fly a hang glider at Stanwell Park that the Inspector used to gain access to Wilton's crime headquarters......

“Man” without Bruce
====================
This is a co-production between HK’s GH and an Australian company. With a stronger financial backup and wider theatrical release, the film was expected to generate better box-office record than “Shrine.” “Man” was filmed in both HK and Australia. If Bruce was alive to play along George Lazenby and Sammo Hung, it would definitely bring up the quality and standard of the film in overall.
Although Sammo Hung’s choreography was great for Lazenby’s first 2 movies, yet without Bruce’s participation, the entire movie seemed to lose its color. Jimmy Wang Yu played a more significantly part than George Lazenby in this movie. He took the role originally meant for Bruce but he was no way on par with Bruce in terms of fighting ability and charisma even though he was unique in his own right with the style that shot him to fame (“One-Arm Swordman”) in the late 60s. Overall, Bruce’s flavor was sadly missed in this movie. However, if minus away the expectation of Bruce’s standard, this is still a classic HK action film of the 70s that is quite entertaining.

“A Queen's Ransom” (aka “International Assassin” - 1976)
============================================
The plot: It is about a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. It was also known as “International Assassin.” A terrorist from Ireland (George Lazenby) led a group of deadly mercenaries to assassinate the Queen of England. Each of the men had their own special skill: Miyamoto (Cheung Pooi Saan), a Japanese explosives expert; Ram (Bolo Yeung), a Thai boxing champion, Chen Lung (Peter Chan), a Filipino sniper and Shark (Jimmy Wang Yu), a Viet Cong guerilla warfare expert. With the help of a beautiful bar girl (Tanny Tien Ni), HK police officials (headed by Ko Chun Hsiung and Charles Heung Wah Keung) must race against time and intercept the bad guys before they get to the Queen; little do they know, the bad guys have other sneaky plans up their sleeve......

“Ransom” without Bruce
===================
Though the storyline for this third and last GH movie of Lazenby looked quite creative, special and appealing, and with the casting of so many major HK and Taiwanese movie stars, yet without Bruce's participation and Sammo Hung’s action choreography, most of its action scenes were totally not up to the standard as compared to the previous two Lazenby’s GH movies. Jimmy Wang Yu, again was not able to match or replace Bruce Lee to shine in this movie. Actually, it was already evidenced from his earlier replacement of Bruce in “The Man Called Tiger”(1972) directed by Lo Wei and filmed in Japan. The box office record clearly showed the result. No stars was able to replace the one and only Bruce Lee. Without Bruce, the tension, excitement, innovation, charisma etc. all seemed to be lost. However, one might argue that it is fair to put Jimmy Wang Yu in Bruce’s big shoes since both of them were totally different individuals and of different levels. Thus, judging only from an ordinary audience’s point of view without high expectation of Bruce’s quality kind of work, this film is still a watchable and entertaining film that could help to kill the time.

Photos of the 3 films originally to cast BL: http://postimg.org/image/shhoradjb/

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Joined: July 16th, 2003, 11:43 am

September 24th, 2015, 10:07 am #2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cZJqcSKaak Director Robert Clouse, music score by Lalo Schifrin and starring Joe Don Baker, Jim Kelly, Roy Chiao, Elizabeth Ashley, and Burgess Meredith.

I've never seen it.







Listen to Music here:

http://www.musicbox-records.com/en/cd-s ... edles.html
Last edited by pathfinder73 on September 24th, 2015, 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: September 21st, 2015, 3:56 am

September 24th, 2015, 2:29 pm #3

Bruce Lee planned to make another Hollywood production after ETD/G.O.D. It was to be a FBI story where Bruce was going to be a CIA type of guy fighting against crimes. GH claimed that the 3 movies that George Lazenby made were actually intended for Bruce with Lazenby as the second lead actor. The following are some related information regarding this/these unmade FBI movie/s, as told by Bob Wall, George Lazenby Helen Ma Hoi-Lun as well as revealed by some movie critic.

Bob Wall
========
During an interview by MPM in April 1999, Bob Wall said Bruce talked about his next project after ETD. Bob Wall met Bruce while he came to Beverly Hills to do a physical examination from 1st June till 8th June 1973. Bob used to fly Bruce all his protein and he saw Bruce on 1st June, and had lunch with him. Then he saw Bruce the day before he left. Bob remembered seeing Bruce three times in total that week.

Bruce told Bob that his fifth film was going to be with Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren’s late husband. Bruce told him that he would get to be a good guy in the next one after ETD. The script was to have Bruce play a CIA type of guy and international drug terrorist cum dealers, and Bob was going to be a CIA agent coming to help him out. Basically, Bob would be his sidekick. They were just about a month away from signing a contract. Bob Wall said Bruce told him it might be shot in Rome and the working title would tentatively be ‘Drug Terror.’

Helen Ma Hai-Lun & Angela Mao Ying
==============================
Helen Ma Hai-Lun is a well-known HKTVB actress. Born on 20th Aug 1950, she won the “Miss HK Teenage” in 1966 at the age of 16. Subsequently, she was signed to Shaw Brothers and began her film career. Below is the info extracted from her interview in TVB weekly magazine (issue 466) on 7th Jun 2006.

Helen Ma was filming “The Fate of Lee Khan” around Sep 1972 and Bruce was filming G.O.D. in GH studio next to her. Bruce visited King Hu, the director of “The Fate of Lee Khan” on several occasions. (note: King Hu was a good friend of Bruce. They were looking forward to make a costumed movie together in the future). While watching the filming, Bruce saw Pai Ying (a famous 70s HK actor) and Helen Ma. He told them their costumed looks would be a refreshing and creative attempt in a contemporary film. Thus, he intended to cast them in his future movie. He told Helen Ma that this movie was about FBI story that tells about how 3 undercover cops fighting crimes together. She would be among one of the main actresses, another choice was the rising star, Angela Mao (Polly Shang Kwan, probably would be another intended cast). Helen Ma and Angela Mao were very excited and used to hang around a cafeteria to discuss about their future roles and images in this movie. Unfortunately, Bruce passed away later. Helen Ma regretted that she did not have a chance to play the cop in this international movie otherwise her movie career would definitely be different from now.

As for Angela Mao, she was slightly fortunate than Helen Ma because she got to play Bruce’s sister in ETD. Born on 20 Sep 1950, Angela Mao real name was Mao Fook-Jing. She was born in HK, raised in Taiwan. Enrolled in a Taiwanese opera school at the age of 6, she learnt the opera arts for 8 years before becoming the first among the top 10 martial arts opera actor/actress. In 1970, she flew to HK and became GH contract actress. She played the lead lady in popular movies like “The Invincible Eight”(1971), “Hapkido”(1972) and “Lady Whirlwind”(1972). In order to look more realistic in action films, she diligently studied Hapkido and eventually earned her 3 degree black belt.

Bruce Lee was impressed with her fighting ability after watching her previous performances and in the “Hapkido.” Bruce then invited her to play in ETD, an international film which brought her to the attention of the worldwide audience. Bruce intended to use her again in the next Hollywood’s production, a FBI movie that was supposed to cast also Pai Ying, Helen Ma and probably Polly Shang Kwan. After Bruce’s passing, Angela Mao who was nicknamed “Lady Bruce Lee” made some more popular action films before retiring in the early 80s. She has occasionally appeared in few of the Bruce Lee’s documentary films in the 1990s and 2000s.

George Lazenby & Bruce’s 3 FBI related Movies
=================================================
According to George Lazenby, he was signed to a three film contracts with GH in 1973. He was first to co-star with Bruce Lee in Lee's upcoming film G.O.D. (1972-73), as Lee's Western adversary. Bruce told him this would be only a minor role and his major role would come in the next film that tells about a FBI story.

In fact, before Bruce’s death, the HK press had announced George Lazenby would make “The Golden Needles of Ecstasy” for GH. It was a FBI movie that was intended to cast Bruce and was originally scheduled to be Bruce's next film after G.O.D. It was also going to be the most expensive Hong Kong/U.S. co-production ever made. It would team Bruce with an all-star international cast including: one-time James Bond Australian actor George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service); Japanese action star Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter); and well-known Shaw Brothers actress, Betty Ting Pei (The Fourteen Amazons). The film was to pit Lee against "The Western Adversary" James Bond star George Lazenby. It's original tagline was "It's Lee! It's Lazenby! It's Bruce Versus Bond!"

However, Lee died just four days after Lazenby signed the contract. Lazenby who had took advance payment of $10,000 from GH, still owed the company 3 films contract. Thus, Raymond Chow called him back to fulfill the contract with GH. Chow also sent HK martial arts instructors to train him for several weeks before beginning filming. Lazenby would go on to star in the next three GH films that were originally set to feature himself and Lee. "The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss" (aka “Stoner,” 1974), “The Man From HK” (“Dragon Flies,” 1975) and “A Queen’s Ransom” (“International Assassin,” 1976). In "Shrine" Lazenby took on Bruce's role and Angela Mao took on the role Lazenby was first intended to play. While in the next two films, "The Man from Hong Kong" and "A Queen’s Ransom", Jimmy Wang Yu replaced Bruce and Lazenby returned to his original role.

Initially, Warner Bros was going to co-produce, distribute and give this film a large worldwide release, a $10 million each for production budget and worldwide marketing budget. Warner’s forecasts for “The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss” worldwide box office gross were around $400 million. Unfortunately, Bruce's sudden passing caused the American studios to buckle, and when Sonny Chiba packed up and walked away from the project, the plug was pulled. Without support from Warner Bros, Raymond Chow reduced the film's production budget from $10 million to $850,000 and severely cut the marketing budget to cover the film's new small theatrical release which greatly hurt the film's box office.

Ultimately, Lazenby replaced Bruce to film “Shrine” which also featured Angela Mao, Betty Ting Pei, Sammo Hung, Hwang In-Shik (probably to replace Sonny Chiba) and well-known Australian wrestler Roger Ward. In addition, Raymond Chow enlisted rival studio Shaw Brothers as another producer to help pay for the film's huge production cost based on HK film industry standards. Chow also kept producer Andre Morgan on board as he had helped with Bruce's films.

1) “The Shrine of The Ultimate Bliss” (aka “Stoner” -- 1974)
=========================================
The plot: Stoner, an Australian cop George Lazenby (original role of Bruce Lee, thus, original identity should be a HK cop), started investigating the spread of a mysterious addictive drug that acted like an aphrodisiac and a hallucenogen on anyone who took it. When his own sister fell under its influence of this “Happy pill,” Lazenby traveled to HK to hunt down the man behind the drug trade, the evil billionaire Mr. Chin. At the same time, a Taiwanese officer, Angela Mao (original role of George Lazenby, thus, original identity should be a Australian cop) has also been sent to stop Chin's drug empire. Together, she and Stoner battle the drug kingpin's dealers and henchmen......

“Shrine” without Bruce
=================
If it had not been the untimely death of Bruce Lee, the film could well have been one of the greatest movies of all-time. Bruce Lee, George Lazenby and Sonny Chiba would definitely make a strong impact and drew the attention of the worldwide audience. Unfortunately, after Bruce’s sudden death, all the big plans for “Shrine” were changed, i.e. Warner Bro’s back-out and Chiba’s withdrawal left GH to cut the film’s budget to shreds. What was leftover of the project went to director Wong Fung/Huang Feng (“When Taekwondo Strikes”). George Lazenby and Betty Ting Pei were the only original members who were locked in. Angela Mao Ying (Invincible Eight) filled in for Bruce. Either Japanese actor Joji Takagi (“Zatoichi in Desperation”) or Korean Hapkido master Hwang In-Shik (The Devil’s Treasure) most likely replaced Sonny Chiba. Many expected that if Bruce had lived to make “Shrine” after the success of ETD, it would have been filmed with a more mainstream approach and the film would definitely be another enormous success of Bruce.

In the end, a large international release without Bruce, “Shrine” obviously fell short of the box office of Bruce's previous films. Despite this, the film still grossed well over $100 million worldwide at the box office in the early 1970s. Although “Shrine”never turned out to be what it could have, it still was modestly successful and holds firm as one of the all-time classic 1970s martial arts flicks. Angela Mao, Hwang In-Shik and George Lazenby fought in entertaining action sequences as choreographed by Sammo Hung.

2) “The Man From Hong Kong” (aka “Dragon Flies” - 1975)
=================================================
The plot: At Ayers Rock, undercover detectives arrested HK drug courier Win Chan (Sammo Hung). At Royal HK Police Academy where a hang glider piloted by Australian Caroline Thorne (Rosalind Speirs) ran out of air currents and landed on the parade square. She was met by Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu; original role of Bruce Lee) who has coincidentally been chosen to travel to Sydney to interview Win Chan. Fang is met by Detectives Gross ( Hugh Keays-Byrne) and Taylor (Roger Ward) who have been unable to obtain any information from Win Chan. Fang used traditional but illegal police methods to elicit cooperation from Win Chan. Fang discovered the connection between Win Chan's drug imports and Sydney "colorful identity" (gangster) Jack Wilton (George Lazenby). Inspector Fang became a target of death by various firearms, edged weapons, explosives, fast cars, a crossbow and martial arts by both Australian and Chinese criminals. He also reacquainted himself with Caroline who trained him how to fly a hang glider at Stanwell Park that the Inspector used to gain access to Wilton's crime headquarters......

“Man” without Bruce
====================
This is a co-production between HK’s GH and an Australian company. With a stronger financial backup and wider theatrical release, the film was expected to generate better box-office record than “Shrine.” “Man” was filmed in both HK and Australia. If Bruce was alive to play along George Lazenby and Sammo Hung, it would definitely bring up the quality and standard of the film in overall.
Although Sammo Hung’s choreography was great for Lazenby’s first 2 movies, yet without Bruce’s participation, the entire movie seemed to lose its color. Jimmy Wang Yu played a more significantly part than George Lazenby in this movie. He took the role originally meant for Bruce but he was no way on par with Bruce in terms of fighting ability and charisma even though he was unique in his own right with the style that shot him to fame (“One-Arm Swordman”) in the late 60s. Overall, Bruce’s flavor was sadly missed in this movie. However, if minus away the expectation of Bruce’s standard, this is still a classic HK action film of the 70s that is quite entertaining.

“A Queen's Ransom” (aka “International Assassin” - 1976)
============================================
The plot: It is about a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. It was also known as “International Assassin.” A terrorist from Ireland (George Lazenby) led a group of deadly mercenaries to assassinate the Queen of England. Each of the men had their own special skill: Miyamoto (Cheung Pooi Saan), a Japanese explosives expert; Ram (Bolo Yeung), a Thai boxing champion, Chen Lung (Peter Chan), a Filipino sniper and Shark (Jimmy Wang Yu), a Viet Cong guerilla warfare expert. With the help of a beautiful bar girl (Tanny Tien Ni), HK police officials (headed by Ko Chun Hsiung and Charles Heung Wah Keung) must race against time and intercept the bad guys before they get to the Queen; little do they know, the bad guys have other sneaky plans up their sleeve......

“Ransom” without Bruce
===================
Though the storyline for this third and last GH movie of Lazenby looked quite creative, special and appealing, and with the casting of so many major HK and Taiwanese movie stars, yet without Bruce's participation and Sammo Hung’s action choreography, most of its action scenes were totally not up to the standard as compared to the previous two Lazenby’s GH movies. Jimmy Wang Yu, again was not able to match or replace Bruce Lee to shine in this movie. Actually, it was already evidenced from his earlier replacement of Bruce in “The Man Called Tiger”(1972) directed by Lo Wei and filmed in Japan. The box office record clearly showed the result. No stars was able to replace the one and only Bruce Lee. Without Bruce, the tension, excitement, innovation, charisma etc. all seemed to be lost. However, one might argue that it is fair to put Jimmy Wang Yu in Bruce’s big shoes since both of them were totally different individuals and of different levels. Thus, judging only from an ordinary audience’s point of view without high expectation of Bruce’s quality kind of work, this film is still a watchable and entertaining film that could help to kill the time.

Photos of the 3 films originally to cast BL: http://postimg.org/image/shhoradjb/
First time to read about these. Great info and analysis. Thanks for sharing.
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Joined: September 21st, 2015, 3:56 am

September 24th, 2015, 2:30 pm #4

Bruce Lee planned to make another Hollywood production after ETD/G.O.D. It was to be a FBI story where Bruce was going to be a CIA type of guy fighting against crimes. GH claimed that the 3 movies that George Lazenby made were actually intended for Bruce with Lazenby as the second lead actor. The following are some related information regarding this/these unmade FBI movie/s, as told by Bob Wall, George Lazenby Helen Ma Hoi-Lun as well as revealed by some movie critic.

Bob Wall
========
During an interview by MPM in April 1999, Bob Wall said Bruce talked about his next project after ETD. Bob Wall met Bruce while he came to Beverly Hills to do a physical examination from 1st June till 8th June 1973. Bob used to fly Bruce all his protein and he saw Bruce on 1st June, and had lunch with him. Then he saw Bruce the day before he left. Bob remembered seeing Bruce three times in total that week.

Bruce told Bob that his fifth film was going to be with Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren’s late husband. Bruce told him that he would get to be a good guy in the next one after ETD. The script was to have Bruce play a CIA type of guy and international drug terrorist cum dealers, and Bob was going to be a CIA agent coming to help him out. Basically, Bob would be his sidekick. They were just about a month away from signing a contract. Bob Wall said Bruce told him it might be shot in Rome and the working title would tentatively be ‘Drug Terror.’

Helen Ma Hai-Lun & Angela Mao Ying
==============================
Helen Ma Hai-Lun is a well-known HKTVB actress. Born on 20th Aug 1950, she won the “Miss HK Teenage” in 1966 at the age of 16. Subsequently, she was signed to Shaw Brothers and began her film career. Below is the info extracted from her interview in TVB weekly magazine (issue 466) on 7th Jun 2006.

Helen Ma was filming “The Fate of Lee Khan” around Sep 1972 and Bruce was filming G.O.D. in GH studio next to her. Bruce visited King Hu, the director of “The Fate of Lee Khan” on several occasions. (note: King Hu was a good friend of Bruce. They were looking forward to make a costumed movie together in the future). While watching the filming, Bruce saw Pai Ying (a famous 70s HK actor) and Helen Ma. He told them their costumed looks would be a refreshing and creative attempt in a contemporary film. Thus, he intended to cast them in his future movie. He told Helen Ma that this movie was about FBI story that tells about how 3 undercover cops fighting crimes together. She would be among one of the main actresses, another choice was the rising star, Angela Mao (Polly Shang Kwan, probably would be another intended cast). Helen Ma and Angela Mao were very excited and used to hang around a cafeteria to discuss about their future roles and images in this movie. Unfortunately, Bruce passed away later. Helen Ma regretted that she did not have a chance to play the cop in this international movie otherwise her movie career would definitely be different from now.

As for Angela Mao, she was slightly fortunate than Helen Ma because she got to play Bruce’s sister in ETD. Born on 20 Sep 1950, Angela Mao real name was Mao Fook-Jing. She was born in HK, raised in Taiwan. Enrolled in a Taiwanese opera school at the age of 6, she learnt the opera arts for 8 years before becoming the first among the top 10 martial arts opera actor/actress. In 1970, she flew to HK and became GH contract actress. She played the lead lady in popular movies like “The Invincible Eight”(1971), “Hapkido”(1972) and “Lady Whirlwind”(1972). In order to look more realistic in action films, she diligently studied Hapkido and eventually earned her 3 degree black belt.

Bruce Lee was impressed with her fighting ability after watching her previous performances and in the “Hapkido.” Bruce then invited her to play in ETD, an international film which brought her to the attention of the worldwide audience. Bruce intended to use her again in the next Hollywood’s production, a FBI movie that was supposed to cast also Pai Ying, Helen Ma and probably Polly Shang Kwan. After Bruce’s passing, Angela Mao who was nicknamed “Lady Bruce Lee” made some more popular action films before retiring in the early 80s. She has occasionally appeared in few of the Bruce Lee’s documentary films in the 1990s and 2000s.

George Lazenby & Bruce’s 3 FBI related Movies
=================================================
According to George Lazenby, he was signed to a three film contracts with GH in 1973. He was first to co-star with Bruce Lee in Lee's upcoming film G.O.D. (1972-73), as Lee's Western adversary. Bruce told him this would be only a minor role and his major role would come in the next film that tells about a FBI story.

In fact, before Bruce’s death, the HK press had announced George Lazenby would make “The Golden Needles of Ecstasy” for GH. It was a FBI movie that was intended to cast Bruce and was originally scheduled to be Bruce's next film after G.O.D. It was also going to be the most expensive Hong Kong/U.S. co-production ever made. It would team Bruce with an all-star international cast including: one-time James Bond Australian actor George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service); Japanese action star Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter); and well-known Shaw Brothers actress, Betty Ting Pei (The Fourteen Amazons). The film was to pit Lee against "The Western Adversary" James Bond star George Lazenby. It's original tagline was "It's Lee! It's Lazenby! It's Bruce Versus Bond!"

However, Lee died just four days after Lazenby signed the contract. Lazenby who had took advance payment of $10,000 from GH, still owed the company 3 films contract. Thus, Raymond Chow called him back to fulfill the contract with GH. Chow also sent HK martial arts instructors to train him for several weeks before beginning filming. Lazenby would go on to star in the next three GH films that were originally set to feature himself and Lee. "The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss" (aka “Stoner,” 1974), “The Man From HK” (“Dragon Flies,” 1975) and “A Queen’s Ransom” (“International Assassin,” 1976). In "Shrine" Lazenby took on Bruce's role and Angela Mao took on the role Lazenby was first intended to play. While in the next two films, "The Man from Hong Kong" and "A Queen’s Ransom", Jimmy Wang Yu replaced Bruce and Lazenby returned to his original role.

Initially, Warner Bros was going to co-produce, distribute and give this film a large worldwide release, a $10 million each for production budget and worldwide marketing budget. Warner’s forecasts for “The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss” worldwide box office gross were around $400 million. Unfortunately, Bruce's sudden passing caused the American studios to buckle, and when Sonny Chiba packed up and walked away from the project, the plug was pulled. Without support from Warner Bros, Raymond Chow reduced the film's production budget from $10 million to $850,000 and severely cut the marketing budget to cover the film's new small theatrical release which greatly hurt the film's box office.

Ultimately, Lazenby replaced Bruce to film “Shrine” which also featured Angela Mao, Betty Ting Pei, Sammo Hung, Hwang In-Shik (probably to replace Sonny Chiba) and well-known Australian wrestler Roger Ward. In addition, Raymond Chow enlisted rival studio Shaw Brothers as another producer to help pay for the film's huge production cost based on HK film industry standards. Chow also kept producer Andre Morgan on board as he had helped with Bruce's films.

1) “The Shrine of The Ultimate Bliss” (aka “Stoner” -- 1974)
=========================================
The plot: Stoner, an Australian cop George Lazenby (original role of Bruce Lee, thus, original identity should be a HK cop), started investigating the spread of a mysterious addictive drug that acted like an aphrodisiac and a hallucenogen on anyone who took it. When his own sister fell under its influence of this “Happy pill,” Lazenby traveled to HK to hunt down the man behind the drug trade, the evil billionaire Mr. Chin. At the same time, a Taiwanese officer, Angela Mao (original role of George Lazenby, thus, original identity should be a Australian cop) has also been sent to stop Chin's drug empire. Together, she and Stoner battle the drug kingpin's dealers and henchmen......

“Shrine” without Bruce
=================
If it had not been the untimely death of Bruce Lee, the film could well have been one of the greatest movies of all-time. Bruce Lee, George Lazenby and Sonny Chiba would definitely make a strong impact and drew the attention of the worldwide audience. Unfortunately, after Bruce’s sudden death, all the big plans for “Shrine” were changed, i.e. Warner Bro’s back-out and Chiba’s withdrawal left GH to cut the film’s budget to shreds. What was leftover of the project went to director Wong Fung/Huang Feng (“When Taekwondo Strikes”). George Lazenby and Betty Ting Pei were the only original members who were locked in. Angela Mao Ying (Invincible Eight) filled in for Bruce. Either Japanese actor Joji Takagi (“Zatoichi in Desperation”) or Korean Hapkido master Hwang In-Shik (The Devil’s Treasure) most likely replaced Sonny Chiba. Many expected that if Bruce had lived to make “Shrine” after the success of ETD, it would have been filmed with a more mainstream approach and the film would definitely be another enormous success of Bruce.

In the end, a large international release without Bruce, “Shrine” obviously fell short of the box office of Bruce's previous films. Despite this, the film still grossed well over $100 million worldwide at the box office in the early 1970s. Although “Shrine”never turned out to be what it could have, it still was modestly successful and holds firm as one of the all-time classic 1970s martial arts flicks. Angela Mao, Hwang In-Shik and George Lazenby fought in entertaining action sequences as choreographed by Sammo Hung.

2) “The Man From Hong Kong” (aka “Dragon Flies” - 1975)
=================================================
The plot: At Ayers Rock, undercover detectives arrested HK drug courier Win Chan (Sammo Hung). At Royal HK Police Academy where a hang glider piloted by Australian Caroline Thorne (Rosalind Speirs) ran out of air currents and landed on the parade square. She was met by Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu; original role of Bruce Lee) who has coincidentally been chosen to travel to Sydney to interview Win Chan. Fang is met by Detectives Gross ( Hugh Keays-Byrne) and Taylor (Roger Ward) who have been unable to obtain any information from Win Chan. Fang used traditional but illegal police methods to elicit cooperation from Win Chan. Fang discovered the connection between Win Chan's drug imports and Sydney "colorful identity" (gangster) Jack Wilton (George Lazenby). Inspector Fang became a target of death by various firearms, edged weapons, explosives, fast cars, a crossbow and martial arts by both Australian and Chinese criminals. He also reacquainted himself with Caroline who trained him how to fly a hang glider at Stanwell Park that the Inspector used to gain access to Wilton's crime headquarters......

“Man” without Bruce
====================
This is a co-production between HK’s GH and an Australian company. With a stronger financial backup and wider theatrical release, the film was expected to generate better box-office record than “Shrine.” “Man” was filmed in both HK and Australia. If Bruce was alive to play along George Lazenby and Sammo Hung, it would definitely bring up the quality and standard of the film in overall.
Although Sammo Hung’s choreography was great for Lazenby’s first 2 movies, yet without Bruce’s participation, the entire movie seemed to lose its color. Jimmy Wang Yu played a more significantly part than George Lazenby in this movie. He took the role originally meant for Bruce but he was no way on par with Bruce in terms of fighting ability and charisma even though he was unique in his own right with the style that shot him to fame (“One-Arm Swordman”) in the late 60s. Overall, Bruce’s flavor was sadly missed in this movie. However, if minus away the expectation of Bruce’s standard, this is still a classic HK action film of the 70s that is quite entertaining.

“A Queen's Ransom” (aka “International Assassin” - 1976)
============================================
The plot: It is about a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. It was also known as “International Assassin.” A terrorist from Ireland (George Lazenby) led a group of deadly mercenaries to assassinate the Queen of England. Each of the men had their own special skill: Miyamoto (Cheung Pooi Saan), a Japanese explosives expert; Ram (Bolo Yeung), a Thai boxing champion, Chen Lung (Peter Chan), a Filipino sniper and Shark (Jimmy Wang Yu), a Viet Cong guerilla warfare expert. With the help of a beautiful bar girl (Tanny Tien Ni), HK police officials (headed by Ko Chun Hsiung and Charles Heung Wah Keung) must race against time and intercept the bad guys before they get to the Queen; little do they know, the bad guys have other sneaky plans up their sleeve......

“Ransom” without Bruce
===================
Though the storyline for this third and last GH movie of Lazenby looked quite creative, special and appealing, and with the casting of so many major HK and Taiwanese movie stars, yet without Bruce's participation and Sammo Hung’s action choreography, most of its action scenes were totally not up to the standard as compared to the previous two Lazenby’s GH movies. Jimmy Wang Yu, again was not able to match or replace Bruce Lee to shine in this movie. Actually, it was already evidenced from his earlier replacement of Bruce in “The Man Called Tiger”(1972) directed by Lo Wei and filmed in Japan. The box office record clearly showed the result. No stars was able to replace the one and only Bruce Lee. Without Bruce, the tension, excitement, innovation, charisma etc. all seemed to be lost. However, one might argue that it is fair to put Jimmy Wang Yu in Bruce’s big shoes since both of them were totally different individuals and of different levels. Thus, judging only from an ordinary audience’s point of view without high expectation of Bruce’s quality kind of work, this film is still a watchable and entertaining film that could help to kill the time.

Photos of the 3 films originally to cast BL: http://postimg.org/image/shhoradjb/
First time to read about these. Great info and analysis. Thanks for sharing.
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Joined: January 10th, 2009, 6:44 pm

September 24th, 2015, 3:26 pm #5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cZJqcSKaak Director Robert Clouse, music score by Lalo Schifrin and starring Joe Don Baker, Jim Kelly, Roy Chiao, Elizabeth Ashley, and Burgess Meredith.

I've never seen it.







Listen to Music here:

http://www.musicbox-records.com/en/cd-s ... edles.html
I have the three Martial Arts movies with George Lazenby uncut, I even have the movie Universal Soldier (1971) with George Lazenby, great guy!
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Joined: February 23rd, 2015, 3:10 am

September 24th, 2015, 4:01 pm #6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cZJqcSKaak Director Robert Clouse, music score by Lalo Schifrin and starring Joe Don Baker, Jim Kelly, Roy Chiao, Elizabeth Ashley, and Burgess Meredith.

I've never seen it.







Listen to Music here:

http://www.musicbox-records.com/en/cd-s ... edles.html
Thanks yet again for the great research, LJF!
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Joined: September 25th, 2015, 5:34 am

September 25th, 2015, 9:52 am #7

I have the three Martial Arts movies with George Lazenby uncut, I even have the movie Universal Soldier (1971) with George Lazenby, great guy!
Leon, do you have this movie? or anyone? The trailer seems interesting. Thanks Nick.
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Joined: August 28th, 2009, 2:28 pm

September 25th, 2015, 11:22 am #8

Chaplin Chang was involved in this film, Clouse seems to have been quite taken with him. He even appears in the film as an ambulance attendant at the end.

http://hongkongandmacaufilmstuff.blogsp ... %20Needles

I believe that locations website is done by the same guy in HK that LJF mentioned in another post.
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Forevermoreless
Forevermoreless

November 7th, 2015, 7:15 am #9

Bruce Lee planned to make another Hollywood production after ETD/G.O.D. It was to be a FBI story where Bruce was going to be a CIA type of guy fighting against crimes. GH claimed that the 3 movies that George Lazenby made were actually intended for Bruce with Lazenby as the second lead actor. The following are some related information regarding this/these unmade FBI movie/s, as told by Bob Wall, George Lazenby Helen Ma Hoi-Lun as well as revealed by some movie critic.

Bob Wall
========
During an interview by MPM in April 1999, Bob Wall said Bruce talked about his next project after ETD. Bob Wall met Bruce while he came to Beverly Hills to do a physical examination from 1st June till 8th June 1973. Bob used to fly Bruce all his protein and he saw Bruce on 1st June, and had lunch with him. Then he saw Bruce the day before he left. Bob remembered seeing Bruce three times in total that week.

Bruce told Bob that his fifth film was going to be with Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren’s late husband. Bruce told him that he would get to be a good guy in the next one after ETD. The script was to have Bruce play a CIA type of guy and international drug terrorist cum dealers, and Bob was going to be a CIA agent coming to help him out. Basically, Bob would be his sidekick. They were just about a month away from signing a contract. Bob Wall said Bruce told him it might be shot in Rome and the working title would tentatively be ‘Drug Terror.’

Helen Ma Hai-Lun & Angela Mao Ying
==============================
Helen Ma Hai-Lun is a well-known HKTVB actress. Born on 20th Aug 1950, she won the “Miss HK Teenage” in 1966 at the age of 16. Subsequently, she was signed to Shaw Brothers and began her film career. Below is the info extracted from her interview in TVB weekly magazine (issue 466) on 7th Jun 2006.

Helen Ma was filming “The Fate of Lee Khan” around Sep 1972 and Bruce was filming G.O.D. in GH studio next to her. Bruce visited King Hu, the director of “The Fate of Lee Khan” on several occasions. (note: King Hu was a good friend of Bruce. They were looking forward to make a costumed movie together in the future). While watching the filming, Bruce saw Pai Ying (a famous 70s HK actor) and Helen Ma. He told them their costumed looks would be a refreshing and creative attempt in a contemporary film. Thus, he intended to cast them in his future movie. He told Helen Ma that this movie was about FBI story that tells about how 3 undercover cops fighting crimes together. She would be among one of the main actresses, another choice was the rising star, Angela Mao (Polly Shang Kwan, probably would be another intended cast). Helen Ma and Angela Mao were very excited and used to hang around a cafeteria to discuss about their future roles and images in this movie. Unfortunately, Bruce passed away later. Helen Ma regretted that she did not have a chance to play the cop in this international movie otherwise her movie career would definitely be different from now.

As for Angela Mao, she was slightly fortunate than Helen Ma because she got to play Bruce’s sister in ETD. Born on 20 Sep 1950, Angela Mao real name was Mao Fook-Jing. She was born in HK, raised in Taiwan. Enrolled in a Taiwanese opera school at the age of 6, she learnt the opera arts for 8 years before becoming the first among the top 10 martial arts opera actor/actress. In 1970, she flew to HK and became GH contract actress. She played the lead lady in popular movies like “The Invincible Eight”(1971), “Hapkido”(1972) and “Lady Whirlwind”(1972). In order to look more realistic in action films, she diligently studied Hapkido and eventually earned her 3 degree black belt.

Bruce Lee was impressed with her fighting ability after watching her previous performances and in the “Hapkido.” Bruce then invited her to play in ETD, an international film which brought her to the attention of the worldwide audience. Bruce intended to use her again in the next Hollywood’s production, a FBI movie that was supposed to cast also Pai Ying, Helen Ma and probably Polly Shang Kwan. After Bruce’s passing, Angela Mao who was nicknamed “Lady Bruce Lee” made some more popular action films before retiring in the early 80s. She has occasionally appeared in few of the Bruce Lee’s documentary films in the 1990s and 2000s.

George Lazenby & Bruce’s 3 FBI related Movies
=================================================
According to George Lazenby, he was signed to a three film contracts with GH in 1973. He was first to co-star with Bruce Lee in Lee's upcoming film G.O.D. (1972-73), as Lee's Western adversary. Bruce told him this would be only a minor role and his major role would come in the next film that tells about a FBI story.

In fact, before Bruce’s death, the HK press had announced George Lazenby would make “The Golden Needles of Ecstasy” for GH. It was a FBI movie that was intended to cast Bruce and was originally scheduled to be Bruce's next film after G.O.D. It was also going to be the most expensive Hong Kong/U.S. co-production ever made. It would team Bruce with an all-star international cast including: one-time James Bond Australian actor George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service); Japanese action star Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter); and well-known Shaw Brothers actress, Betty Ting Pei (The Fourteen Amazons). The film was to pit Lee against "The Western Adversary" James Bond star George Lazenby. It's original tagline was "It's Lee! It's Lazenby! It's Bruce Versus Bond!"

However, Lee died just four days after Lazenby signed the contract. Lazenby who had took advance payment of $10,000 from GH, still owed the company 3 films contract. Thus, Raymond Chow called him back to fulfill the contract with GH. Chow also sent HK martial arts instructors to train him for several weeks before beginning filming. Lazenby would go on to star in the next three GH films that were originally set to feature himself and Lee. "The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss" (aka “Stoner,” 1974), “The Man From HK” (“Dragon Flies,” 1975) and “A Queen’s Ransom” (“International Assassin,” 1976). In "Shrine" Lazenby took on Bruce's role and Angela Mao took on the role Lazenby was first intended to play. While in the next two films, "The Man from Hong Kong" and "A Queen’s Ransom", Jimmy Wang Yu replaced Bruce and Lazenby returned to his original role.

Initially, Warner Bros was going to co-produce, distribute and give this film a large worldwide release, a $10 million each for production budget and worldwide marketing budget. Warner’s forecasts for “The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss” worldwide box office gross were around $400 million. Unfortunately, Bruce's sudden passing caused the American studios to buckle, and when Sonny Chiba packed up and walked away from the project, the plug was pulled. Without support from Warner Bros, Raymond Chow reduced the film's production budget from $10 million to $850,000 and severely cut the marketing budget to cover the film's new small theatrical release which greatly hurt the film's box office.

Ultimately, Lazenby replaced Bruce to film “Shrine” which also featured Angela Mao, Betty Ting Pei, Sammo Hung, Hwang In-Shik (probably to replace Sonny Chiba) and well-known Australian wrestler Roger Ward. In addition, Raymond Chow enlisted rival studio Shaw Brothers as another producer to help pay for the film's huge production cost based on HK film industry standards. Chow also kept producer Andre Morgan on board as he had helped with Bruce's films.

1) “The Shrine of The Ultimate Bliss” (aka “Stoner” -- 1974)
=========================================
The plot: Stoner, an Australian cop George Lazenby (original role of Bruce Lee, thus, original identity should be a HK cop), started investigating the spread of a mysterious addictive drug that acted like an aphrodisiac and a hallucenogen on anyone who took it. When his own sister fell under its influence of this “Happy pill,” Lazenby traveled to HK to hunt down the man behind the drug trade, the evil billionaire Mr. Chin. At the same time, a Taiwanese officer, Angela Mao (original role of George Lazenby, thus, original identity should be a Australian cop) has also been sent to stop Chin's drug empire. Together, she and Stoner battle the drug kingpin's dealers and henchmen......

“Shrine” without Bruce
=================
If it had not been the untimely death of Bruce Lee, the film could well have been one of the greatest movies of all-time. Bruce Lee, George Lazenby and Sonny Chiba would definitely make a strong impact and drew the attention of the worldwide audience. Unfortunately, after Bruce’s sudden death, all the big plans for “Shrine” were changed, i.e. Warner Bro’s back-out and Chiba’s withdrawal left GH to cut the film’s budget to shreds. What was leftover of the project went to director Wong Fung/Huang Feng (“When Taekwondo Strikes”). George Lazenby and Betty Ting Pei were the only original members who were locked in. Angela Mao Ying (Invincible Eight) filled in for Bruce. Either Japanese actor Joji Takagi (“Zatoichi in Desperation”) or Korean Hapkido master Hwang In-Shik (The Devil’s Treasure) most likely replaced Sonny Chiba. Many expected that if Bruce had lived to make “Shrine” after the success of ETD, it would have been filmed with a more mainstream approach and the film would definitely be another enormous success of Bruce.

In the end, a large international release without Bruce, “Shrine” obviously fell short of the box office of Bruce's previous films. Despite this, the film still grossed well over $100 million worldwide at the box office in the early 1970s. Although “Shrine”never turned out to be what it could have, it still was modestly successful and holds firm as one of the all-time classic 1970s martial arts flicks. Angela Mao, Hwang In-Shik and George Lazenby fought in entertaining action sequences as choreographed by Sammo Hung.

2) “The Man From Hong Kong” (aka “Dragon Flies” - 1975)
=================================================
The plot: At Ayers Rock, undercover detectives arrested HK drug courier Win Chan (Sammo Hung). At Royal HK Police Academy where a hang glider piloted by Australian Caroline Thorne (Rosalind Speirs) ran out of air currents and landed on the parade square. She was met by Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu; original role of Bruce Lee) who has coincidentally been chosen to travel to Sydney to interview Win Chan. Fang is met by Detectives Gross ( Hugh Keays-Byrne) and Taylor (Roger Ward) who have been unable to obtain any information from Win Chan. Fang used traditional but illegal police methods to elicit cooperation from Win Chan. Fang discovered the connection between Win Chan's drug imports and Sydney "colorful identity" (gangster) Jack Wilton (George Lazenby). Inspector Fang became a target of death by various firearms, edged weapons, explosives, fast cars, a crossbow and martial arts by both Australian and Chinese criminals. He also reacquainted himself with Caroline who trained him how to fly a hang glider at Stanwell Park that the Inspector used to gain access to Wilton's crime headquarters......

“Man” without Bruce
====================
This is a co-production between HK’s GH and an Australian company. With a stronger financial backup and wider theatrical release, the film was expected to generate better box-office record than “Shrine.” “Man” was filmed in both HK and Australia. If Bruce was alive to play along George Lazenby and Sammo Hung, it would definitely bring up the quality and standard of the film in overall.
Although Sammo Hung’s choreography was great for Lazenby’s first 2 movies, yet without Bruce’s participation, the entire movie seemed to lose its color. Jimmy Wang Yu played a more significantly part than George Lazenby in this movie. He took the role originally meant for Bruce but he was no way on par with Bruce in terms of fighting ability and charisma even though he was unique in his own right with the style that shot him to fame (“One-Arm Swordman”) in the late 60s. Overall, Bruce’s flavor was sadly missed in this movie. However, if minus away the expectation of Bruce’s standard, this is still a classic HK action film of the 70s that is quite entertaining.

“A Queen's Ransom” (aka “International Assassin” - 1976)
============================================
The plot: It is about a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. It was also known as “International Assassin.” A terrorist from Ireland (George Lazenby) led a group of deadly mercenaries to assassinate the Queen of England. Each of the men had their own special skill: Miyamoto (Cheung Pooi Saan), a Japanese explosives expert; Ram (Bolo Yeung), a Thai boxing champion, Chen Lung (Peter Chan), a Filipino sniper and Shark (Jimmy Wang Yu), a Viet Cong guerilla warfare expert. With the help of a beautiful bar girl (Tanny Tien Ni), HK police officials (headed by Ko Chun Hsiung and Charles Heung Wah Keung) must race against time and intercept the bad guys before they get to the Queen; little do they know, the bad guys have other sneaky plans up their sleeve......

“Ransom” without Bruce
===================
Though the storyline for this third and last GH movie of Lazenby looked quite creative, special and appealing, and with the casting of so many major HK and Taiwanese movie stars, yet without Bruce's participation and Sammo Hung’s action choreography, most of its action scenes were totally not up to the standard as compared to the previous two Lazenby’s GH movies. Jimmy Wang Yu, again was not able to match or replace Bruce Lee to shine in this movie. Actually, it was already evidenced from his earlier replacement of Bruce in “The Man Called Tiger”(1972) directed by Lo Wei and filmed in Japan. The box office record clearly showed the result. No stars was able to replace the one and only Bruce Lee. Without Bruce, the tension, excitement, innovation, charisma etc. all seemed to be lost. However, one might argue that it is fair to put Jimmy Wang Yu in Bruce’s big shoes since both of them were totally different individuals and of different levels. Thus, judging only from an ordinary audience’s point of view without high expectation of Bruce’s quality kind of work, this film is still a watchable and entertaining film that could help to kill the time.

Photos of the 3 films originally to cast BL: http://postimg.org/image/shhoradjb/
I read this in a print article a few years ago, but can't recall where. And I can't find it online. It was an interview where the guy said that when Bruce was already a super star, he had been approached by the James Bond producers, Eon, to appear in their next Bond film, The Man With the Golden Gun, which was released in 1974. Like the previous Bonds, it would continue to capitalize on the current trend of the day. For example, the previous Bond was Live and Let Die, which was running with the 'Blaxploitation films.' So it's very conceivable that since Eon was going to included the 'new' kung fu stuff in their next movie, they would like to acquire Bruce Lee, who was the guy opening the doors of kung fu cinema.
I have seen in other posts that Bruce was being courted (probably around 1972 and definitely by early 1973) by major studios, including Fox. James Coburn traveled to Hong Kong with a Fox executive to pitch project to Bruce. Warners offered him a lifetime contract. Italian producer Carlo Ponti offered $2 million 'to make any movie' i.e., open to Bruce's inputs. Also, the Bond producers were canny guys, they would know a hot property when they saw it, and no hotter one was Bruce Lee. We can see in the Golden Gun there's a character named Lt. Hip, a Bond sidekick, which could have been Bruce's character. So the circumstantial evidence is very strong. But who else has read that article(s) on this?
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Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

November 7th, 2015, 9:51 pm #10

I doubt Bruce's ego would have allowed him to play second, third or fourth fiddle to Roger Moore.
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