Richard Harrison had a long career during the 1960’s and 1970’s in a variety of swashbuckling, westerns and thrillers shot primarily around Europe. Before becoming involved in the ninja cut & paste movie from IFD films and arts, Richard’s film career took him to Hong Kong were he starred as the suave playboy in Bruce Le’s challenge of the tiger. The clones of Bruce Lee website got the chance to discuss his time working on the movie.
How did you get involved with the movie Challenge of the Tiger ?
Dick Randall (the films producer) was a friend of mine. When he offered me the film, and after I read the script I advised him not to make the film. He asked me to please do it anyway.
How involved was Dick Randall with the production?
He was the producer, and put the film together. He made money when, in the beginning of the Kung Fu craze, he bought up several Hong Kong films of that genre.
What are your memories of working on the film?
The film was a mess from the beginning. Bruce tried to save it, but couldn’t. I was impressed with Bruce. Bruce did the scenes with the young bull himself. In Hong Kong he became the director, and did the best he could, under difficult conditions.
There was also a time whilst in Madrid the director had nothing to shoot, so just for fun I directed the tennis scene.
I also remember working with Nadiuska. In Spain, where she lived, she was often called the Spanish Sophia Loren. I believe she was originally from Israel. She was nice to work with.
Where there any problems or conflicts during production?
There were quite a few problems. Bruce tried to do what he could, but the story was very bad. The most important was the script. Unfortunately Dick Randall, the producer, had no idea how to produce a film. He was a friend, and I advised him not to make the film, but he went ahead anyway. He hired a very nice person to direct. Again, a bad decision. He couldn’t handle the mess.
Where you approached to make any more films with Bruce Le?
No. I have no idea what Bruce did after the film. I hope he did well.
Would you say that you had a happy experience working on Challenge of the Tiger?
I enjoyed the time spent doing the film, but it is always a better feeling to be in a film that is made well and is liked by the public. I hope it had some success.
TEXT: © Lee Holmes/The Clones of Bruce Lee 2012.