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March 10, 2024

Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee on the Sets of “The Way of the Dragon” (1972)

The on-screen presence of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris remains unparalleled to this day. Both of them have been endlessly mythologized as the toughest movie stars in history, but Norris’ rise to fame began only after his unforgettable collaboration with Lee on the 1972 action-comedy gem The Way of the Dragon.

Lee starred as Tang Lung, a young martial arts expert sent to help out a woman and her uncle after local criminals target them. Chuck Norris is fantastic in his debut screen role as Colt, a skilled martial artist recruited by the criminal organization to eliminate the enormous threat posed by Tang Lung.

It was the highest grossing film in Hong Kong’s history until it was surpassed by another Bruce Lee work a year later. Chuck Norris’ comments on the success of the film. “That movie cost $145,000 to produce,. It’s grossed over $60 million [over $700 million when adjusted for inflation] worldwide. It’s amazing, huh?”

After watching the film’s iconic fight between Lee and Norris, many believed that they had a real rivalry. In fact, the two had sparred on multiple occasions, and Norris was always in awe of Lee’s speed and power. In one interview, the Hong Kong star even claimed that beating figures such as Joe Lewis, Mike Stone and Chuck Norris was like fighting children.

During an interview, Norris only had good things to say about their collaboration. He said: “I enjoyed working with Bruce Lee in the film. It was a lot of fun, the fight scene is considered the classic martial arts fight scene of all time. So it’s nice to be involved in a fight scene that everyone [loves].”

The marvelous fight scene of The Way of the Dragon is truly something else, especially when you consider that the scene was filmed illegally because the team did not have the proper permits. Lee had to bribe some of the officials, which allowed the crew to film on location for about an hour before they were required to wrap things out.

Originally meant to be distributed in Asian markets, The Way of the Dragon became a cultural phenomenon. The reason for the movie’s popularity definitely boils down to the Colosseum fight scene, which was filmed in long takes, letting the audience bask in the poetry of that inimitable fight sequence.

1 comment:

  1. Classic film with exciting martial arts action. This subject has now become a legend when mentioned. The images shared are truly fascinating and full of nostalgia.




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