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"Lost" footage from Game of Death

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    "Lost" footage from Game of Death

    My goodness. Youtube had some Bruce Lee footage I've never seen before! It's of the original Game of Death, before Lee died and the studios spewed shit all over Lee's work. The original Game of Death was a philosophical articulation of the various things Lee had decided up to that point in his life about asian martial arts. To quote wikipedia on Game of Death,

    The original plot involved Hai Tien (Bruce Lee's character), as well as four other martial artists (two of which were played by James Tien and Chieh Yuan), fighting their way through a five-level pagoda, encountering a different challenge on each floor. The setting of the pagoda was at Beopjusa temple in Songnisan National Park in South Korea. The pagoda, called Palsang-jon, is the only remaining wooden pagoda in South Korea. At the base of the pagoda they fight 10 people all black belts in martial arts, while inside the pagoda, they encounter a different opponent on each floor, each more challenging than the last. Although his allies try to help out, they are handily defeated, and Lee must face each of the martial artists in one-on-one combat. He defeats Filipino martial arts master Dan Inosanto, hapkido master Ji Han Jae, and finally Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who fights with a free and fluid style mirroring Lee's Jeet Kune Do. Because Kareem's character has great size and strength in addition to a fighting style as potent as Lee's, he can only be defeated once Lee recognizes his one weakness-an unusual sensitivity to light. Lee smashes the surrounding windows, weakening him with exposure to daylight, and finally manages to kill him.

    Although the pagoda was supposed to have five floors, complete scenes were only shot for three of the floors-the "Palace of the Tiger," where Lee faced Inosanto, the "Palace of the Dragon," where he fought Ji Han Jae, and the final floor, where he fought Abdul-Jabbar. Hapkido master Ing-Sik Whang was slated to play the guardian of the first floor, a master of a kick-oriented style, while Bruce's longtime student Taky Kimura was asked to play the guardian of the second floor, a stylist of praying mantis kung fu. However, no footage has been discovered of these floors. The goal of the film's plot was to showcase Lee's beliefs regarding the principles of martial arts. As each martial artist is defeated (including Lee's allies), the flaws in their fighting style are revealed. Some, like Dan Inosanto's character, rely too much on fixed patterns of offensive and defensive techniques, while others lack economy of motion. Lee defeats his opponents by having a fighting style that involves fluid movement, unpredictability, and an eclectic blend of techniques.
    I was very thrilled to find that some of the footage which had been discarded the studio, some of the footage in which Lee actually talks a little exposition, is actually on YouTube.

    Start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEUDRKRX1Eg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEUDR...e=user&search=


    Just click on More From This User and watch the subsequent clips in order.

    I really feel like this is a piece of the history of contemporary popular martial arts. I also can't believe that the studios passed this up in favor of the utter shite which was the commercial release of Game of Death.
    Last edited by Wounded Ronin; 8/13/2007 10:04pm, .
    Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

    #2
    This is on a DVD that came out a while ago I think it's called "Bruce Lee a Warriors Journey". I watched this back in 03 on AMC. Its always good to watch.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Method2Madness
      This is on a DVD that came out a while ago I think it's called "Bruce Lee a Warriors Journey". I watched this back in 03 on AMC. Its always good to watch.
      Ah beat me to it. I remember watching it as well and thinking "hrmmm 45 minute snippet about Bruce Lee's deepest philosophical beliefs about the martial arts" or "2 hr clusterfuck with look alike, cuts of previous movies, and an embarrassingly obvious cardboard cutout face..."
      Last edited by EternalRage; 8/13/2007 11:11pm, . Reason: nvm im stupid

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        #4
        I still believe that if Bruce Lee was able to live and finish the project, that it would have been the greatest MA flick of all time.

        EternalRage, I agree with you. That 45 minute "lost footage" is very entertaining to watch. I could watch it over and over again. I tried to watch the "Game of Death" released after his death. I threw up twice. Once watching the movie itself. Second time was catching a glimpse of that ugly ho in the movie naked.

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          #5
          Originally posted by EternalRage
          Ah beat me to it. I remember watching it as well and thinking "hrmmm 45 minute snippet about Bruce Lee's deepest philosophical beliefs about the martial arts" or "2 hr clusterfuck with look alike, cuts of previous movies, and an embarrassingly obvious cardboard cutout face..."
          When I first saw that I seriously thought someone had put in one of those $1 Bargain Bin DVDs into Game of Death's case. I still cant believe how bad it is...

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            #6
            I find it so ironic that Kareem Abdul Jabbar would have survived and defeated Lee if only he knew a simple Gracie Jiu-jitsu arm-frame headlock escape and subsequent armbar.
            More human than human is our motto.

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              #7
              Originally posted by fanatical
              I find it so ironic that Kareem Abdul Jabbar would have survived and defeated Lee if only he knew a simple Gracie Jiu-jitsu arm-frame headlock escape and subsequent armbar.

              I was going to correct you, but upon realizing that the point of the character is that he's supposed to be beyond any technical weakness, you do have the real irony.

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                #8
                Let the nuthugging contest begin.
                Last edited by Sokaku; 8/14/2007 9:46am, .

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                  #9
                  My understanding from interviews at the time, was that Lee was too busy fielding offers for big projects, and decided to drop the project. He actually made it in between Enter the Dragon. He was offered a $ million for his next project . He was looking to be an International star. Plus, the dialog is stiff. He wanted to be the next James Bond, and he would have had a bigger budget, etc. The one thing I will say about Game of Death was that the one that was made first had a good soundtrack, and the fight in the locker room was well done by the stunt man, who sort of disappeared after a couple of flicks. Probably because he didn't make any money.
                  "Coffee is for Closers" GlenGarry Glenross

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                    #10
                    Never seen the movie. Does he rescue a chick named Sylvia at the fifth floor?

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                      #11
                      The Hong Kong Legends dvd Spec Ed release of Game of Death (availible in uk and aus only i think) has all of the original footage peiced together in order. It lasts for close to an hour and shits on the "actual" GoD.

                      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Death-B...7110135&sr=8-1

                      p.s how do tidy up link?
                      Last edited by Cuchulain; 8/14/2007 10:50am, .

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                        #12
                        Lee said the baboo was superior, because its ALIVE :D

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                          #13
                          My Praying Mantis bud thought it was lame that Kareem could only be beat because he had bad eyes. I've thought about it, and I kind of agree. There should have been a more technical flaw in his skills to exploit. Maybe because he was an eclectic too, Bruce should've beat him at a certain range he was better at? Like that guy had better range and strikes, but getting past that and outgrappling him was the key.

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                            #14
                            Yeah, if Lee exploited superior grappling skills he could have choked Karreem out or something.

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                              #15
                              Everyone knows the superior kung fu ground skills are centered around the headlock on the ground.

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