Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth
Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth (Chinese: 李小龍傳奇, also known as Bruce Lee: The True Story) is a 1976 Hong Kong semi biographical martial arts film written and directed by Ng See-yuen, starring Ho Chung-tao as Bruce Lee.
The film chronicles his life beginning with Lee leaving China to go to University in Seattle. Most of the benchmarks of Lee's later life (cast in Green Hornet television series, marriage to Linda Lee, stardom in Hong Kong, death) are covered, with a somewhat less tenuous relationship to the truth as in previous Lee biopics.
Interestingly, Linda Lee was played by Lynda Hirst, an English women who was an army wife stationed in Hong Kong at the time of the filming. The director, having searched, unsuccessfully, for some time for a suitable 'Linda Lee' among available actresses, came across Lynda Hirst whilst out shopping in a local market and remarked on her resemblance to the late star's wife. On learning she was a 'Westerner' he immediately cast her in the (small) role. Lynda's real life sons can also be seen, very briefly, in the movie as Lee's children.
Cast and characters
Ho Chung-tao – Bruce Lee
Unicorn Chan – Himself
Chiu Chi-ling – Mr. Chan
Fung Ging-man – Lee Sifu
Alan Chui Chung-san – One of Bruce Lee’s students
Sham Chin-bo – Bruce Lee’s friend in San Francisco
Mars – Charlie
Fung Hak-on – Challenger to Bruce Lee on Enter the Dragon Set
Lee Hoi-san – Challenger to Bruce Lee on Enter the Dragon Set
Yuen Biao – Challenges Bruce Lee on the set of Enter the Dragon
Carl Scott – One of Bruce Lee’s young students
Wong Mei – Extra
Fong Yuen – Fortune teller
Lau Kwok-shing – Bad guy extra Enter the Dragon
Leung Siu-cheng – Master beaten on street
David Chow – Murayaki
Lynda Hirst – Linda Lee
Ip Chun – Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun Sifu
Roberta Ciappi – Daughter of Italian Mobster
Donnie Williams – Karate Thug
Siu Yuk-lung – Extra
Richard Cheung Kuen – Student
Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth is one of the more accurate Bruce Lee biopics, in that it offers a reasonable facsimile of Lee's life without resorting to scandal or speculation (except in the final scene). That being said, it is still plagued by a number of inaccuracies.
Lee's mask for his The Green Hornet TV role of Kato did not include a pigtail; it was the servitude of the character's civilian guise as a houseboy that Bruce found distasteful.
Lee is seen being challenged by extras on movie sets. These incidents are technically true, although the film blows them out of proportion.
The fight scene in Rome is pure fiction, as most of the other action sequences.
Lee was not rejected for the lead role on the TV show Kung Fu until after he returned to Hong Kong in the early 1970s (most biographies and biopics fudge the facts as this film did to make the story more interesting).
The film shows Bruce Lee being attacked and killed by triads which is a myth.
The film shows Bruce Lee walking in a forest as a recluse.
While filming The Big Boss, Lee is challenged by a local Thai boxer. This fight happened in reality and is a fight that Bruce has won, but in the movie the fight is blown way out of proportion.
His death is said at to be at 35, when Lee died at age 32.