Celebrate the man, the myth, the movies, Wednesdays in August on SBS 2.
SBS Movies

16 Jul 2015 - 11:36 AM  UPDATED 27 Aug 2015 - 9:33 AM

It's over 40 years since we lost this icon of martial arts cinema. We're thrilled to bring you the best films of his too-short career, coupled with butt-kicking movies of those who came in his wake. 


Wednesday, August 5, 8:30pm

Way of the Dragon


(Hong Kong, drama, 1972)

Director: Bruce Lee
Starring: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao
What's it about?
It's East meets West when Bruce Lee comes face to face with Chuck Norris in one of the most legendary fights scenes at the Colosseum (under the watchful eye of a cute stray kitten). Bruce Lee plays a Tang Lung, young Hong Kong man who travels to Rome to help some family friends at their restaurant business. A local gang is trying to talk them into selling the restaurant, but when faced with a refusal, the gang hire muscle to convince them in a more forceful way. They obviously don't realise who they're dealing with here!


The Last Dragon

(USA, action/comedy/drama, 1985)

Director: Michael Schultz
Starring: Taimak, Vanity, Christopher Murney
What's it about?
In this '80s homage to Bruce Lee, martial arts expert Leroy Green (who even wears the iconic yellow jumpsuit) seeks to achieve the "final level" in his craft - the level beyond the dragon, beyond excellence. But for that, he needs to find his inner glow (literally). On his quest, Leroy falls in love with a beautiful singer and DJ, Laura Charles. Together they confront a power-hungry record producer bent on revenge against the young singer, as well as a bloodthirsty egomaniac Shogun determined to fight Leroy. Sparks will fly in this splashy cult classic, set against Motown music and filled to the brim of references to the master himself. Retro perfection.


Wednesday, August 12, 8:30pm

Fist of Fury


(Hong Kong, action/drama/romance, 1972)

Director: Wei Lo
Starring: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien
What's it about?
Set in the early 20th century, Bruce Lee's second major movie after Big Boss follows him as Chen Zhen, a young man who travels to Shanghai to attend his teacher's funeral. But the ceremony is rudely interrupted by students from a rival school, a Japanese dojo (which also happens to conduct illegal drug business). Angered by this provocation and determined to avenge his master, Chen Chen storms the Japanese Association to kick some arse, with the help of his loyal nunchakus and hypnotic wavy arms. But will it be enough to defeat the dojo master's deadly Russian friend Petrov (played by one of Lee's real-life students)? (We've got an inkling it might.)


Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen


(Hong Kong/China, action/drama/history, 2010)

Director: Wai-Keung Lau
Starring: Donnie Yen, Alex Ahlstrom, Qi Shu
What's it about?
Set in 1920s Shanghai, Legend of the Fist is the latest chapter in the life of ex-soldier Chen Zhen, the character once played by Jet Li, then by Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury, and which is reprised here by another huge Hong Kong martial arts star, Donnie Yen. Zhen is posing as a rich playboy to infiltrate the local mafia, who have formed an alliance with the invading Japanese. By night, Zhen masquerades as a caped crusader, determined to reclaim the city, one fly kick at a time. A story full of power struggles, spies and subterfuge, lightened up by a good dose of slapstick humour. 

Watch trailer


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Wednesday, August 19, 8:30pm

The Big Boss


(Hong Kong, action/crime/drama, 1971)

Directors: Wei Lo, Chia-Hsiang Wu
Starring: Bruce Lee, Maria Yi, James Tien
What's it about?
Also known as Fists of Fury (not to be confused with the above Fist of Fury), The Big Boss was Bruce Lee's breakthrough film, which set him on his way to megastardom. After promising his mother not to fight, Cheng Chao-on, a Chinese country boy is sent to to Thailand to live with relatives and work in an ice factory, which happens to be run by a prominent figure in the overseas Chinese society, who secretly use the factory as a front for his heroin-smuggling operation. When some of Cheng's cousins uncover his activities and get killed, Cheng sets out to investigate and exact revenge. That promise to his mum is about to be broken – multiple times and in lots of places.


Legend of the Drunken Master


(Hong Kong, action/comedy, 1994)

Director: Chia-Liang Liu
Starring: Jackie Chan, Ho-Sung Pak, Lung Ti
What's it about?
Considered one of the best Jackie Chan movies of all time, The Legend of the Drunken Master is set in the early 1900s in China. Wong Fei Hong (Chan) is a young master of the martial art of "drunken boxing," in which fighters use alcohol to blind themselves to pain and release the angry brawler within. The "Drunken Master" can turn just one drink into devastation and humiliation for his enemies. His technique is fast, furious... and powerfully funny. 


Wednesday, August 26, 8:30pm

Game of Death


(Hong Kong/USA, action/crime/drama, 1978)

Directors: Robert Clouse, Bruce Lee
Starring: Bruce Lee, Gig Young, Colleen Camp
What's it about?
Yellow jumpsuit time! In his last movie, Bruce Lee plays Billy Lo, a successful movie star, who is shot for refusing to join an international management syndicate, but he fakes his own death as an opportunity to pursue the gang in secret. Although the death of Lee in 1973 inevitably affected the production of the film, the last twenty minutes in which he appears (doubles had to be used for the rest of the film) contain iconic scenes, including memorable fights with his Jeet Kune Do students Danny Inosanto and giant basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. A must-see for all self-respecting Bruce Lee fans.


Ong-Bak 2


(Thailand, action, 2008)

Directors: Tony Jaa, Panna Rittikrai
Starring: Tony Jaa, Sarunyu Wongkrachang, Sorapong Chatree
What's it about?
When Ong-Bak came out in 2003, actor Tony Jaa was hailed as the new martial arts superstar, walking in the steps of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The Thai action star was more recently seen in the international box-office hit Fast & Furious 7 in his first English-speaking role. In this prequel (which despite the title has no relation to the first story) set in the 15th century and directed by Jaa himself, we meet 10-year-old Tien who, after his parents are brutally murdered, is forced to live on the streets. He is eventually captured by a group of thieves who teach him how to steal and fight. As he later becomes head thief, an opportunity to get his revenge on the man who killed his parents arises. This spectacular martial arts fest will have your jaw drop at Jaa's incredible, gravity-defying moves.