1978 • Hong Kong • Directed by Robert Clouse
Five years after the release of Enter the Dragon and the death of its star Bruce Lee, director Robert Clouse was recruited by Golden Harvest to complete Lee’s last, unfinished masterwork, only a third of which was filmed before he died: Game of Death. The result is an exciting rollercoaster ride that blends Lee’s martial arts mastery with Clouse’s eye for nail-biting suspense.
Billy Lo (Lee) is a kung fu superstar in the Hong Kong film industry whose happy life with his girlfriend Ann (Colleen Camp) is being intruded upon by a threatening group of American gangsters led by Dr. Land (Dean Jagger) and henchman Steiner (Hugh O’Brian), intent on bringing Billy under their control. When Billy refuses, their lethal response sets about a chain of events where a disguised Billy turns the tables on the syndicate, fighting his way through the city for his and Ann’s freedom.
With fantastic fight choreography by Sammo Hung, the leading inheritor to Lee’s throne at that time, and a much-beloved music score by John Barry, Game of Death was an international smash hit that helped to keep Lee’s star burning bright long after he was gone, thanks in no small part to the thunderous final act where Lee, clad in his iconic yellow jumpsuit, takes on the towering Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.