Game of Death (1978)

Game of Death (1978)

“Let it go — what must be done is being done.”

A martial arts movie star (Bruce Lee) is targeted for assassination when he refuses to join a corrupt syndicate led by Dean Jagger. He fakes his own death and goes undercover to seek revenge.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Bruce Lee Films
  • Dean Jagger Films
  • Gig Young Films
  • Martial Arts
  • Revenge

Response to Peary’s Review:
This ridiculously bad kung fu flick — both “messy and too long” — was Bruce Lee’s final movie, compiled six years after his death. It contains some original fight footage (which, as Peary points out, is “the highlight of the film”), but was mostly made with other actors wearing dark sunglasses and pretending to be Bruce Lee. Indeed, the film’s primary enjoyment (and humor) comes from trying to figure out all the strategies used to incorporate Lee’s doubles — in one particularly hilarious instance, an image of Lee’s face is pasted onto a mirror while his double sits as still as possible. Things finally become interesting towards the end of the film, when Lee himself reappears to triumph in a series of enjoyable fights.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a cameo as a villain

Must See?
No, unless you’re a hardcore Bruce Lee fan.


3 thoughts on “Game of Death (1978)

  1. First viewing – 15 years after the original posting! (It just never fell under my radar, I guess.) Only for Lee fans (the ones who aren’t offended by what the producers did to bring it into being).

    A film cobbled together (to some degree) from previous footage in order to cash in on the Lee legacy – which gave the film the rep of being “disrespectful”.

    It’s notable for the assembly of its supporting cast – Gig Young, Hugh O’Brian, Colleen Camp, as well as Jagger – but it’s not particularly distinguished outside of what made Lee famous.

  2. I need to finally get around to watching and reviewing his more legit films – i.e., “Fists of Fury” (1971) and “Enter the Dragon” (1973).

  3. The Big Boss (1971 AKA Fists of Fury)
    Fist of Fury (1972 AKA The Chinese Connection)
    The Way of the Dragon (1973 AKA return of the Dragon)
    Enter the Dragon (1973)

    For some reason US distributors had to rename them.

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