The DG Question – Is ENTER THE DRAGON the greatest kung fu film of all-time?


Is ENTER THE DRAGON the greatest kung fu film of all-time?  Or is there another title that deserves the crown? FIVE DEADLY VENOMS or THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN perhaps? Let us know what you think.




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  • Reply
    September 15, 2011

    I may be in the minority, but I actually think ENTER THE DRAGON – while entertaining – is a rather poor example of a kung-fu film. The plot and cast are legendary, but Robert Clouse had little idea of how to shoot a kung-fu scene. There are plenty of great, memorable moments – but there are no fights that are truly memorable. I’d say FIST OF FURY trumps it totally, despite the obvious anti-Japanese sentiment, even within Bruce’s filmography

    But, neither of them would crack my own top ten list. I don’t feel prepared to make an *actual* list, but certainly I would include DRUNKEN MASTER II (aka LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER), THE PRODIGAL SON, THE MAGNIFICENT BUTCHER, THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN, KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, FIST OF THE WHITE LOTUS, and FIST OF LEGEND.

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    Dr. Freex
    September 15, 2011

    ENTER THE DRAGON, every time I see it, winds up being even more entertaining than I remember – but I think it’s rep is due in large part to the charisma of its stars. I agree with Sweetback, you’re gonna have to go back to the genre’s source to find what is truly the best. In addition to his list of alternates – all of which are worthy, required viewing – I’d add HEROES OF THE EAST, aka SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA, starring Gordon Liu as a martial arts master who must take on Japanese masters. It contains little Jap-bashing, and makes for a good exploration of the differences between the two country’s martial art styles.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2011

    I’d say that ENTER THE DRAGON transcends the kung fu genre. The reason it’s wonderful is that it’s a great deal more than just a kung fu film, and it appeals to a broader audience. For a better example of a purely kung fu film, I’d go with DRUNKEN MASTER, 36 CHAMBERS OF SHAOLIN, SNAKE AND CRANE ARTS OF SHAOLIN, IRON MONKEY, or maybe FIVE DEADLY VENOMS.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2011

    I actually think Schlock Treatment makes a really good point. It’s definitely a great entry point, since it’s easy to follow, is in english and doesn’t have a lot of the stranger elements that you’ll find in old-school kung-fu. But it’s so different from the classic kung-fu films that the transition to – say – a Shaw Bros. masterpiece might be a bit tricky. I still think everyone should see ENTER THE DRAGON, but it’s not exactly going to prepare you for, say, MR. VAMPIRE.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011

    Enter The Dragon is often the fave Kung-Fu movie for those people who have only seen one Kung-Fu movie. Those of who have seen absolutely shed-loads of kung-fu movies tend to prefer films like The Prodigal Son (Yuen, Biao, Sammo Hung), Drunken Master 2 (Jackie Chan) Once Upon a Time in China (Jet Li) and Dirty Ho (Gordon Liu, Shaw Bros).

    These movies are so much more involving, intruiging and offer the viewer tons more depth and insight into Chinese culture. I grew up with Enter The Dragon and I love it to bits but it isn’t (in my oppinion) even the best Bruce Lee film.

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