5 Questions: The Big Boss aka Fists of Fury
In this installment of 5 Questions I share my burning questions about Bruce Lee’s first starring role in a feature film… Fists of Fury or is it The Big Boss?
1. Do you refer to this movie as The Big Boss or Fists of Fury?
Growing up this movie was always Fists of Fury to me. It said Fists of Fury on the box at the video store, it was listed as Fists of Fury in the TV guide when it would play on Kung Fu Theater, but as time went on and the world became a smaller place, thanks to the sharing of information, we now know that The Big Boss was the original title in Hong Kong but when The Big Boss was being set to be released in America, they were going to capitalize on the success of The French Connection by calling this film The Chinese Connection. Lee’s second film was going to be known as Fists of Fury in both Hong Kong and America. But a snafu would see The Big Boss become Fists of Fury in America. This then forced distributors to change the name of Lee’s 2nd film, Fists of Fury in Hong Kong to The Chinese Connection. In today’s world the movie is now referred to as The Big Boss, although with the whole drug storyline, The Chinese Connection would have worked beautifully in the USA back in the 70’s.
2. Why is the oldest person in the film dressed in the most contemporary fashion?
The rest of the protagonist side of the cast is dressed in more traditional Eastern attire, but the old man of the bunch Cheng Chao-an’s uncle, is dressed in a more Western style. And I don’t mean cowboy boots, chaps, spurs and a hat. Maybe because he was one of the few people who didn’t have some sort of fight scene in the film.
3. Who goes to their boss’ house when they have a grievance?
Employees with grievances being directed by their manager to go to the boss’ house to speak to him directly would be a recipe for disaster in today’s world. My head is full of lawsuits, police stand offs and media coverage just thinking about it. Not that it played out in a positive way in this movie either. In fact, after you saw The Boss, you never came back. Imagine if Hsiu Chien (James Tien) could have simply wrote a strongly worded e-mail to The Big Boss expressing his grievances? Then my favorite character in the movie wouldn’t have died so soon.
4. How does one get into the voicing over of Hong Kong movies business?
What a great gig. I would love to be paid to do some voice over work for a Chopsocky. I have to say I absolutely love the voice choice that was made for the character of The Boss. Pure genius. I can imagine my enjoyment of this film would have been diminished if they chose to include the original dialogue with English subtitles and not dubbing the dialogue over in English. It really is part of the charm of the Chopsocky genre.
5. How awesome is the soundtrack to this film?
If you are talking 1970’s action movie soundtracks, I think the first thing that comes to mind is Issac Hayes and Shaft. And there’s no denying the theme from Shaft is iconic. But I am a big fan of the music used in The Big Boss aka Fists of Fury. I love the energy of the score and like Shaft, you’ll definitely notice it is a product of the 70’s. Give it a listen…