Enter the Dragon (1973)


Enter the Dragon (Chinese: ????) aka. The Deadly Three, originally titled Blood and Steel is a 1973 American martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse; starring martial artists Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly, as well as actor John Saxon. This is Bruce Lee's final film appearance before his death on July 20, 1973. Six days after Bruce Lee's death, the film was first released in Hong Kong. In 2004, Enter the Dragon was deemed "culturally significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Lee is a Shaolin martial artist from Hong Kong who possesses great philosophical insight into martial arts as well as physical prowess. He receives an invitation to a martial arts competition on an island organised by the mysterious Han. Lee learns from his Sifu (master) that Han was also once a Shaolin student, but had been expelled from their order for abusing their code of conduct. A man named Braithwaite from British Intelligence approaches Lee and asks for his help in an undercover mission. Han is suspected to be involved in drug trafficking and prostitution. However, since part of Han's island is only partly in their jurisdiction, they are unable to conduct any formal investigations - Han will not allow firearms on the island that might give an excuse for a raid. Han runs a martial arts school to protect his drug operations, as well as holding his tournament every three years to recruit international talent to expand his criminal business. Before leaving, Lee learns from his father that Han's henchman O'Hara had been involved in the death of his older sister, Su Lin, years ago, when she committed suicide to save herself from dishonour when cornered by O'Hara and a collection of Han's henchmen. Lee arrives on Han's island and receives a warm reception. Joining him are other competitors including Roper, a down-on-his-luck American playboy-gambler on the run from the mob, and Williams, a black American activist on the run from the law after defending himself against two racist white policemen in Los Angeles. Roper and Williams defeat their respective opponents in the competition held the following morning, after arranging for some crooked side-betting on Roper's fight. That night, the competitors are all 'given' women of their choice by Han's assistant, Tania. Williams chooses several women, while Roper cunningly chooses Tania (as a mutual attraction is apparent between them). Lee asks for a girl whom Braithwaite has placed on the island to gather intelligence, but as she has been kept strictly observed, is unable to gain much information from her. That night, Lee begins searching the island for evidence and finds a secret entrance to an underground base, where drugs are being manufactured and tested on unwitting prisoners. He runs into Han's guards but manages to take them down before they can identify him. He is seen by Williams, who is outside for some fresh air and practice. The next day, Han warns the competitors about wandering out of their rooms at night. He punishes his guards for failure in their duties and the guards meet their horrible ends at the hands of the sadistic Bolo, Han's chief bodyguard. Moments later, Lee is called to his first match and his opponent turns out to be O'Hara, who is clearly outclassed and eventually attacks Lee with broken bottles. Lee defeats O'Hara and kills his adversary as an act of revenge for his involvement in his sister's suicide. Announcing that O'Hara's dishonourable attack has caused him to lose face very badly, Han calls it a day. Later, however, Han summons Williams and accuses him of attacking the guards the previous night (the 'spy' Lee was with did not mention anything to Han). Although Williams indignantly denies this, and announces his intention to leave the island, Han brutally beats and kills him. Han takes Roper on a tour of his underground base and invites him to be his representative for his Heroin smuggling operations in the United States. When questioned, Han shows Roper the mutilated corpse of Williams, hinting that Roper will face the same fate if he refuses to cooperate. The same night, Lee breaks into the underground base, avoiding a booby trap set for him, and gathers sufficient evidence to warrant Han's arrest, but sets off an alarm while using the radio transmitter to contact Braithwaite. After a spectacular fight with dozens of Han's guards he is eventually lured into a trap and captured. The next morning, Han asks Roper to fight Lee as a test of his loyalty. Roper refuses and Han sends him to fight Bolo instead. When Roper emerges victorious, the infuriated Han orders his men to kill both Lee and Roper. Despite being hopelessly outnumbered, Lee and Roper manage to hold off the enemy until the captives in Han's underground prison break free and join their side to even the odds. Amidst the chaos, Han attempts to sneak away, only to have Lee follow him. Lee tells Han, "You have offended my family and you have offended the Shaolin Temple." After a spectacular fight in a room full of mirrors, Han is defeated by Lee and impaled on his own spear. When Lee returns to Roper, he finds that most of Han's men have been defeated and rounded up but in a bittersweet moment, Roper also finds Tania's lifeless body lying amongst the wreckage. Lee and Roper exchange a weary thumbs-up just as military helicopters arrive in response to the distress call.