The Big Boss (Tang shan da xiong) (1972)
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as Cheng Chao-an
as Chow Mei
as Hsiao Mi
as Hsiao Chiun
as Miss Wuman
as Li Quin
as Hua Sze
as Hua Sze
as Ah Yen
Critic Reviews for The Big Boss (Tang shan da xiong)
The most grounded of Bruce Lee's films, right down to its somber, downbeat ending.
The first R-rated movie I ever saw. My dad took me to see it in June, and Bruce Lee died in the next month.
It's Bruce vs. a whole army of lowlife thugs after they mess with his cousins, and Mr. Lee pulls off some truly amazing butt-kickery here.
Audience Reviews for The Big Boss (Tang shan da xiong)
This is my second favourite Bruce Lee's movies as his first starring role in this martial arts-action film and he was a very charming actor whose presence filled the screen and owned it completely. That statement is proved here as we see him not as a killing machine, but as a common man who just wants to live peacefully, giving us many scenes of Cheng Chao-an (played by Lee) enjoying his new found family and struggling with his own vices. Lee's performance is very natural although one could say that he was basically playing himself. The rest of the cast ranges from average to OK, with James Tien, Quin Lee and Malalene being the best among them. The action is pretty good and I like the fight scenes of Bruce Lee against the evil Big Boss's factory workers at the ice factory - superb!
My personal favourite Bruce Lee movie. Violent and vicious and very entertaining with a memorable performance by the Kung-Fu legend himself who restrains from violent confrontation for the first half hour due to a promise made to his mother, but when intimidation gets too much Bruce unleashes a whirlwind of kicks, punches and bladed weapons on his foes.
Throughout this film you see a constrained Bruce Lee. Lo Wei is deliberately holding him back in order to introduce him to audiences and to save the best of his fighting for the second film. What we see here is a humane Bruce Lee who has feelings, a sense of humour, enjoys sex and is in control of his temper. He strikes up a good friendship with Shu Sheng who life is eventually claimed by the antagonists. When Bruce witnesses the mistreatment of his family in the workplace, he still holds back. Until...they break his necklace. At that moment, he explodes into action with centrifugal force, picking off each opponent with pin-point accurate kicks. It is a work of art that is akin to 'Samson and Delilah'.
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