Tag Archives: Bruce Lee

Best Movie Stunts of the Year List 1970-1979

 

Here is the list for the Best Movie Stunts for the Decade 1970-1979 as listed in the book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

1970 – They Call Me Trinitythey_call_me_trinity_poster_02

The Spaghetti Western and Spaghetti Western Comedies were starting to come into their own and a string of “Trinity” films starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer would arise.  They became worldwide stars and did all their own fighting in their films.  These are great fun!

1971 – The Big Bossbig-boss-lobby

Bruce Lee would become a bonafide sensation after his first film and there really was no one quite like him. He had the skills and a way about him that everyone after him tried to copy.  Martial Arts got it’s very own movie genre after this.

1972 – The Poseidon Adventureposeidon-adventure wallpaper

Another new genre, would be this sub-category inside the action genre, that became the disaster film.  This one has a very good fall into a ballroom skylight done by a non-stuntman at the time, Ernie Orsatti.  He would go on to become a stuntman after this, he found he had a knack for it.

1973 – Live and Let DieLive Boat

James Bond would appear this decade a record 4 times!  This is the first on the list with a speedboat jump over land by Jerry Comeaux of 110 feet, which made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

1974 – The Man With The Golden Gunman_with_the_golden_gun_stunt

This one had a great car jump stunt that is a breath-taking, “I can’t believe I saw that” …mathematical stunt devised by Raymond McHenry at Cornell University and performed by Bumps Willard.

1975 – The Man Who Would Be Kingman who would be king

Joe Powell would perform a jump from a rope bridge between two ravines 100 feet into a pile of boxes that would lead legendary Director John Huston to say, ” That’s the damnest stunt I’ve ever seen.”

1976 – Gatorgator car

This would be the start of a great collaboration between Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds.  Hal Needham would body double Burt in this film and there’s a nifty car flip at the end of the movie with Hal in the truck bed.

1977 – The Spy Who Loved MeSPY-WHO-LOVED-SKI-1

This is a bond film with one of the most extensive pre-credit sequences than all the previous films and right before they go to the opening song and credits, they have a fantastic ski-stunt by Rick Sylvester right off a mountain and then slowly fall until finally has a parachute open. Really great opening.

1978 – HooperHooper3

Hal Needham directed Burt Reynolds this time in a movie inspired by and about stuntmen! Can’t name just one stunt to highlight in this film as it’s just chocked full of them, but if I had to, A. J. Bakunas has a world record breaking jump from a helicopter into an airbag (232 feet!).

1979 – MoonrakerMoonsky7

BJ Worth and Jake Lombard fight over a parachute in this Bond entry and it’s fun to watch.  I would definitely include all the camera men who had to jump and film the sequence which included 88 jumps over all.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Covert Operations Mission Objective: Infiltrate Bad Guy’s Hideout

 

When sneaking past security to infiltrate a bad guy’s fortified compound, my mode of covert subterfuge would have to be the often underused yet effective…walk through the front door disguised as the telephone repairman ruse. Bruce lee in Fist of Fury

It consists of the following:

  • Thick black-rimmed glasses
  • Goofy smile
  • An air of indifference to whatever evil plot is seen or overheard while in the presence of said bad guys, while pretending to fix a fully functional telephone receiver
  • Helpful prop would be a tool belt while holding at the bear minimum, a few handy telephones, in best case scenarios, a nifty screwdriver
  • No telephone ID’s needed, as the best infiltrators can just talk their way through security

A good example would be Bruce Lee in The Chinese Connection (Fist of Fury) 1972.  You can see the scenes in this clip, starting at 2:09.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFghe514COY

Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China

An effective use of the disguise can also be seen by Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China, 1986, twice when he infiltrates the brothel and later with telephone in hand at the lair of the bad guy, Lo Pan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBJSfGM5dGY

The Big Boss (AKA: Fists Of Fury)

 

Bruce Lee was the first worldwide asian superstar and this was the film that put him in the spotlight.  The highest grossing film in China up to this time, it was also a sensation in the US and all over the world.  Martial Arts became a phenomenon.  Lee didn’t know it, but when he went to China to make this movie, he was already a star because The Green Hornet was released in China as The Kato Show.Bruce Lee Big Boss Fists of Fury

This is somewhat of a surprise as it was another TV show that forced Lee to make Fists of Fury in China.  In 1971 Lee went to Warner Bros. with an idea for a TV Show he called The Warrior about an asian martial arts expert in the wild wild west.  Warner Bros. went forward with the show but without Lee and they hired a caucasian to play the asian in the show and named it Kung Fu.big-boss-03

He was so upset that they went with a caucasian for the role that he went to make a real martial arts film to show Warner Bros what he was capable of.  The rest is cinema history and in the end, Bruce Lee became a worldwide sensation.  Lee also paved the way for the asian stars to come later, like Jackie Chan and many others.

In this film, the martial arts was really revolutionary for the day, although, Lee doesn’t have a fight scene until 45 minutes into the film.  You can definitely see a difference between him and all the other fighters…Bruce Lee sizzles.  He really is electric.  I especially liked the fight scene in front of the icehouse (which is hilarious by the way – unintentionally – when he punches a bad guy in the chest and he flies back through the icehouse wall leaving an exact shape of his body in the wall of wood slats) and the fight scene at the end.  Although, the Big Boss at the end, just doesn’t seem to have even a fraction of the power and strength that Bruce Lee does, but manages to catch Lee off guard several times and slice him up a bit.

Big Boss StuntsFists of Fury (The Big Boss) was directed by Wei Lo for Golden Harvest.

Things to look up (click on item to go to IMDB page or Website):

Bruce Lee
Fists of Fury
Wei Lo
Golden Harvest

History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia:  Orange Sky Golden Harvest is a film production, distribution, and exhibition company based in Hong Kong. It played a major role in becoming the first Chinese film company to successfully enter the western market for an extended period of time, especially with the films of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. At the same time, it dominated HK box office sales from the 1970s to 1980s. 

Notable names in the company include its founders, the veteran film producers Raymond Chow (鄒文懐) and Leonard Ho (何冠昌). Chow and Ho were executives with Hong Kong’s top studio Shaw Brothers, but left in 1970 to form their own studio. They succeeded by taking a different approach from the highly centralized Shaws model. Golden Harvest contracted with independent producers and gave talent more generous pay and greater creative freedom. Some filmmakers and actors from Shaws defected. But what really put the company on the map was a 1971 deal with soon-to-be martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, after he had turned down the low-paying, standard contract offered him by the Shaws.