A Movie A Day #242: Bruce Lee, the Legend (1984, directed by Leonard Ho)

From Golden Harvest comes this tribute to their biggest star, Bruce Lee.

Starting with Lee’s birth and early film career and ending with Lee’s mysterious death and posthumous fame, Bruce Lee, The Legend is a breezy documentary about the world’s greatest martial arts star.  Since it was made by Golden Harvest and designed to serve as a tribute to both Bruce’s life and his continuing fame, do not expect to hear a negative word about Bruce in Bruce Lee, The Legend.  Then again, I don’t think I have ever come across anything negative about Bruce Lee.  While Bruce Lee probably was not as saintly as he’s portrayed in this documentary, every thing that I’ve read about Lee indicates that there was little difference between who Lee was in real life and who Lee was in the movies.

For fans of Bruce Lee, the most interesting part of this documentary will be the clips of Bruce as a young actor, often playing juvenile delinquents in films that were never widely released in the United States or Europe.  Judging from the clips shown, Lee’s movie star charisma was present even when he was a teenager.  The documentary also provides details about Bruce’s father, a stage actor who was well-known for his work in what the documentary describes as being Hong Kong’s “version of vaudeville.”  Of course, this documentary also contains clips from Lee’s better-known films, like Enter the Dragon, Way of the Dragon, and The Big Boss.  Even in brief and out-of-context clips, Lee is always exciting to watch.

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