Although we did not get to see Bruce Lee’s film career truly take off as he was just starting to breakthrough, we saw some incredible moments that we can continue look back and say, “Wow, that was amazing.” Bruce Lee was just much more than action star, he was a spirit, a sense of grace, and charisma on screen. A simple facial expression or a quick step with his high screaming kiai meant it was time for him to go to work on his foes. Take pleasure in re-living these classic moments!
1. Guards? What Guards?!
In this scene from Enter the Dragon, Lee is trying to send a message from Han’s Island. However, the alarm goes off and he has to deal with Han’s guards. The fight is spectacular, but what sets this scene off is how Lee wields his nunchakus. It was a true art to see his control with this subtle but deadly weapon. Great scene.
2. Bruce’s Rage
Pure emotion is what this scene embodies. O’Hara was the guy that forced Lee’s sister in Enter the Dragon to commit suicide. This was the perfect pay back. Lee’s intention was not to kill him at first. O’Hara took an extra step and wanted to stab him with broken glass. O’Hara paid for his treachery by getting a big stomp, which was one of Lee’s signature finishing moves. It was a pivotal scene because Lee oozed out emotion and feeling.
3. A Fight With Han
This is the classic fight to finish Enter the Dragon. There were some great themes in the film but most importantly it was seeing the enemy’s true nature. Before Lee went to Han’s island, his sifu told him that his enemy would hide behind an illusion. Han’s illusion was his mirror room. Once Lee realized that was the key, he could defeat Han.
4. Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris – Classic!
You had the beast from the East and the best of the West in Way of the Dragon. Traditional vs new. There was even a difference in body type. Norris was the burly martial artist and Lee was ripped and clean cut. You could also see the looseness in Lee and the more stern style of Norris.
5. Bruce vs. A Whole School of Thought
In Fists of Fury, Lee was fighting for his school. There was a Japanese school that was completely against Wing Chun. Lee had to set the record straight that his art was here to stay. It was an art form that needed to be taken seriously. He showed why his style was so great ad how the traditional and form based style of the Japanese could not match his Wing Chun. It was a great fighting scene with Lee taking out the whole school.
6. Ice Factory
This is the infamous brawl scene at the ice factory in The Big Boss. This scene was so classic that they re-made it in the semi-biographical film – Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story. I also had a good laugh at the man shaped hole.
7. Bruce vs. the Beanstalk
The fact that Lee is pushing 5’6-5’7″ and Jabbar is over 7 feet, definitely makes this a great and awkward fight at the same time. Jabbar was not only an incredible athlete but a solid martial artist due to Lee’s tutelage as you can see here. Lee finds that Jabbar is sensitive to light and takes full advantage of his sight. This is a great standout scene in Game of Death.
Here’s another great scene from Way of the Dragon where Lee demonstrates some fine staff and nunchaku techniques against some hoodlums in an alley. Get ’em, Lee!
9. Bruce Lee vs. Dan Inosanto
This is a cool scene from Game of Death because you get to see Dan Inosanto throwing down with the nunchakus right along with Lee. Apparently, Inosanto taught Lee the basics of using nunchakus. Inosanto later became a practitioner of Jeet Kune Do. In fact, he was one of three students certified by Lee to teach Jeet Kune Do.
10. Batman x Green Hornet
Two popular shows of the time crossing over was definitely a big thing. Everyone loved Batman and Robin. The Green Hornet was just coming into its own. Unfortunately, the show was short lived. However, there was a nice little fight scene at the end.
In his short but powerful career, Lee touched the souls of millions before, during, and after his time.
What were some of your favorite moments?