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Enter The Dragon

Enter The Dragon

Enter the Dragon (originally titled Blood and Steel) is a 1973 American martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse; starring martial artists Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly, as well as actor John Saxon. It is the last completed film Bruce Lee appeared in before his death. He died six days before the film was set to be released.

In 2004, Enter the Dragon was deemed "culturally significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

It was the first Chinese martial arts film to have been produced by a major Hollywood studio and was produced in association with Golden Harvest and Lee's Concord Production Company. The film is largely set in Hong Kong.

Among the stuntmen for the film were members of the Seven Little Fortunes, including Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. This was arguably instrumental in Chan and Hung's further association with Golden Harvest studios, which later launched their careers. The portly Hung is shown fighting Lee in the opening sequence of the movie.

The finished version of the film was significantly different from the original screenplay drafts as Bruce Lee revised much of the script himself, including having written and directed the film's opening Shaolin Monastery fight sequence. Lee wanted to use the film as a vehicle for expressing what he saw as the beauty of his Chinese culture, rather than it being just another action film.

Lee is a Shaolin martial artist from Hong Kong who possesses great philosophical insight into martial arts as well as physical prowess. He earns himself an invitation to a martial arts competition on an island organized by the mysterious Han. Lee learns from his Sifu (master) that Han was also once a Shaolin student, but has abused their code of conduct by using his skills to gain wealth and power and was therefore expelled from the order.

At the same time, a man called Braithwaite from an international intelligence organization approaches Lee and asks for his help. The organization suspects that Han is involved in illegal drugs and prostitution dealings and has been investigating him secretly for some time. The island where Han's competition is held every three years was purchased by him after World War II when its nationality is still uncertain. Currently, part of the island is beyond international jurisdiction and it is where Han is suspected to carry out his illegal activities. He also runs a martial arts school on his island to recruit talents to serve him. Han rules over his island testing a secret drug formula on his servant girls.

Braithwaite's organization needs someone to infiltrate the island and gather evidence of the illegal operations before they can send in law enforcement forces. They had initially stationed a female operative called Mei Ling on Han's island who doubles as a prostitute, but has never received any contact from her since. Since Han disallows firearms on his island, Lee's prowess in martial arts makes him an ideal candidate for the mission. Lee meets his father before his departure and learns that Han's henchman O'Hara was responsible for the death of his elder sister several years ago. O'Hara and his men attempted to rape her and she committed suicide after being cornered.

Lee boards Han's private junk ship as they set sail for the island. Aboard the ship are several other competitors. One of them, Roper, is a White American playboy-gambler on the run from the mob, to whom he is heavily in debt. Another, Williams, is a Black American activist on the run from the law after defending himself from two racist White policemen in Los Angeles. They meet with a warm reception upon arrival and are invited to a lavish banquet. That night, when Han offers prostitutes for company to the competitors, Lee seizes the opportunity to contact Mei Ling.

The next morning, Roper and Williams participate in the competition and defeat their respective opponents, earning some money from bets during the process. That night, Lee, with equipment supplied by Mei Ling, begins his search on the island for anything suspicious. He finds a secret entrance to an underground base but runs into Han's guards on the way. He takes them down before being identified and makes his way back to his room. He is seen by Williams, who is taking a stroll outside. Williams, in turn, is seen by a guard who reports him to Han.

The next day, Han warns the competitors about wandering out of their rooms at night. He announces that his guards had failed in their duties last night and will be punished. The guards are forced to fight with his chief bodyguard, Bolo, and they meet their horrible ends at the hands of the sadistic Bolo. Moments later, Lee is called to his first match and his opponent turns out to be O'Hara. Lee defeats O'Hara with a few simple blows. O'Hara is angered and retaliates using a couple of broken glass bottles. Eventually, Lee is forced to kill O'Hara. Han is disgraced by O'Hara's dishonorable actions and ends the competition for the day. Before that, he calls Williams to meet him in his study. Han accuses Williams of attacking his guards the previous night but Williams denies it and insults Han. Han calls for his men to kill Williams. Williams manages to take down all of them but is eventually killed by Han.

Later, Han takes Roper on a tour of his underground base and invites him to be his representative for his operations in the United States. Roper is skeptical and asks Han why he reveals so much of his illegal activities to him without having any guarantee of his cooperation. Han then shows Roper the mutilated corpse of Williams, indicating clearly that Roper would face the same fate as Williams if he refuses to cooperate. Roper pretends that he will cooperate. That night, Lee successfully infiltrates the underground base and gathers sufficient evidence to warrant Han's arrest. He uses the radio transmitter to contact Braithwaite and call for backup, but unknowingly sets off the alarm. He fights with several of Han's guards during his escape but is eventually lured into a trap and captured.

The next morning, Han asks Roper to fight Lee on the competition grounds as a test of his loyalty. Roper refuses and tells Han that there are certain things he would not do. Han reassigns him to fight Bolo instead. Roper emerges victorious despite the odds. Han is infuriated by Roper's victory and he orders his men to kill both Lee and Roper. Despite being helplessly outnumbered, Lee and Roper manage to hold off the enemy for some time. Meanwhile, Mei Ling breaks into Han's underground prison and frees the captives. The captives swarm out of the prison and join in the battle on Lee and Roper's side, thus evening the odds.

During the chaos, Han attempts to sneak away but Lee spots him and follows him. Han arms himself with a claw-like implement and engages Lee in a spectacular fight. Lee proves to be superior to Han in terms of martial arts and Han flees into a hall of mirrors. Lee has difficulty locating Han due to all the confusing reflections. Recalling his Sifu's teachings, Lee smashes the mirrors to "destroy the enemy's illusions and draw out the enemy's real form". He eventually faces Han in combat and knocks Han right onto the sharp point of a spear, impaling Han and killing him. Lee returns outside and finds that Roper and the captives have managed to defeat and round up Han's surviving guards. Lee and Roper exchange thumbs-up just as military choppers arrive in response to Lee's radio distress call.

Guinea, 2007, Bruce Lee, Enter The Dragon

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