Popular Bruce Lee Movies

Photo of Bruce Lee from the film Fists of Fury.
Photo of Bruce Lee from the film Fists of Fury. Wikimedia Commons

UFC President Dana White once called Bruce Lee "the father of mixed martial arts". When we put together a list of the most influential martial artists ever, let's just say that Lee ranked quite highly. The fact is there is really no martial artist who is better known by the public at large than Lee. From experienced martial artists to everyday people, almost no one has not heard of him. And many remember his contributions to the world with reverence.

Which leads us to the martial arts movie industry. The bottom line is that the industry owes a lot to Bruce Lee movies. He was really the first to capture the American public's imagination with his fluid martial arts moves on the screen, and as a result, a new genre in the film was born. So Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and more should really step back and tip their hat to a man that died way too early.

With that, here is a list of Bruce Lee movies for your reading pleasure.

Chinese Connection (Fist of Fury)

Set in Shanghai in the 1930's- the Japanese are in control of the area at the time- Chen (Lee) seeks revenge on a Japanese gang that killed his kung fu instructor. If you know anything about Bruce Lee movies, then you know that means the bad guys get beat up really bad.

Enter the Dragon

This was the last movie Lee finished before his death. In it, he played a British agent that infiltrates an Asian crime organization via the crime lord's (Han) annual martial arts tournament. Needless to say, Lee does well in both the tournament and with breaking into Han's heavily guarded residence. Lots of fighting in this one, which culminates with a battle between Lee and Han. Then again, did you expect anything less?

Fists of Fury (The Big Boss)

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Cheng (Lee) moves to Thailand in search of work. When his cousins that work at an ice factory start disappearing, he starts beating people up to find out why. Eventually, Cheng takes on "the big boss" behind a drug trafficking ring and the problems he's been dealing with.

Game of Death

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Lee died before he could finish this film, so director Robert Clouse helped complete things with a stand in. Lee took on Dan Inosanto, Ji Han Jae, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the movie, which was really being put together in order to bring Lee's beliefs regarding the martial arts to the forefront. Each fighting scene was an attempt to show the flaws of certain martial arts styles and fighting philosophies. Lee's Jeet Kune Do style, of course, was really a principle more than a fighting style per se in that the basic premise behind it was to use what worked and discard what did not.

Return of the Dragon (Way of the Dragon)

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Lee, a country boy, travels to Italy where his cousins own a restaurant. Unfortunately for them, local criminals are giving them trouble, which of course means that Lee decides to give it back to them tenfold. The best part of this film can be found in the showdown at the end between Chuck Norris and Lee in the Roman Colosseum. Anytime you get the chance to watch two legends of martial arts square off in a film, it's hard to pass up. Return of the Dragon was both written and directed by Lee.