The Big Boss 唐山大兄 (1971)​

Country: Hong Kong
Production company: Golden harvest
Language: Mandarin

Director: Lo Wei
Producer: Raymond Chow
Action Director(s): Han Ying-Chieh, Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee, Maria Yi, James Tien, Han Ying-Chieh,
Lee Kwan, Lau Wing, Chan Chue, Nora Miao


  • Fists of Fury (USA)
  •  Die Todesfaust des Cheng Li (Germany)
  • Karate a Muerte en Bangkok (Spain)
  • Il furore della Cina colpisce ancora (ITaly)
  •  Big Boss (FRANCE)
  • ドラゴン危機一発 (JAPAN)


THE BIG BOSS opened on October 23rd, 1971 to massive success and made HK$3.2 million at the box-office, shattering the previous record held by The Sound of Music by more than HK$800,000. Before returning to Hong Kong, Bruce Lee was determined to continue working in Hollywood following his role as Kato in THE GREEN HORNET television series. Unable to get his proposed projects off the ground, Bruce decided to return to Hong Kong after more than 10 years of living in the United States.

THE GREEN HORNET television series had gained Bruce some popularity in Asia and he was invited to appear on the popular entertainment show ENJOY YOURSELF TONIGHT, hosted by Robert Chua. His personality and board breaking skills on the show were spotted by Raymond Chow, the head of the newly formed Golden Harvest film company. Bruce had already approached Hong Kong film giants, the Shaw Brothers but had been unable to agree an offer beyond a standard contract with the company. Raymond finally managed to secure a two film contract with Bruce and production began on THE BIG BOSS.

Bruce flew out to Bangkok, Thailand, and filming commenced in the small rural town of Pak Chong but production didn’t exactly go smoothly from the start. The films original director, Wu Chia Hsiang, was dismissed after only a few days and replaced by Lo Wei. Filming conditions were also primitive and a rumoured fiery relationship between Bruce and director Lo Wei were beginning to surface.

The films final fight scene against ‘the big boss’ proved a strain to Bruce when he previously slipped on a safety mattress following a high jump and sprained his ankle.

Taking over a month to finally complete THE BIG BOSS, Bruce returned to the US to film further episodes of LONGSTREET, before coming back to Hong Kong to anxiously await the release of his first feature for Golden Harvest, and begin production of FIST OF FURY.


Cheng Chiu-On (Bruce Lee) arrives from China to Thailand to make a fresh start in life. He makes a promise to his uncle that he won’t get into any trouble and will work hard with his cousins at the local ice factory.

However, one day when a block of ice is accidentally broken, something that looks like a block of white powder comes out. Later that night, the two cousins who made the discovery were asked to stay to see the manager. It soon becomes apparent that the factory is a front for a drug smuggling ring led by the Big Boss, Hsiao Mi (Han Ying-Chieh).

Suspicions are raised when people suddenly start to disappear without a trace. Cheng’s cousin Hsu Chien (James Tien) decides to pay the boss a visit to confront him about the recent disappearances. When Hsu Chien fails to return home, his sister Chiao Mei (Maria Yi) looks to Cheng to find out what’s happened to him.

At the ice factory, Cheng is promoted to foreman in the hopes that he will stop prying into what’s been going on at the factory. The boss of the factory plies Cheng with alcohol and sets him up with a prostitute but he realises that things are not as the seem and one night decides to break into the factory. To his horror it’s not only drugs that Cheng discovers buried in the ice but also the corpses of his missing cousins.

Cheng’s tragic discovery leads him to seek out justice and revenge on the man responsible for the death of so many, the big boss himself, Hsiao Mi.


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Bruce Lee
Maria Yi
James Tien
Han Ying-Chieh
Lee Kwan
Lau Wing
Chan Chue
Nora Miao
Kam Shan
Billy Chan
Lam Ching-Ying
Malarin Boonnak
Tu Chia-Cheng
Peter Chan Lung
Peter Yang Kwan
Li Hua Sze
Rhoma Irama
Choi Seux Sing
Ches Sawhor
Phas jeendaeng
Wung Talat
Yoon Saena


Director: Lo Wei
Producer: Raymond Chow
Action Directors: Han Ying-Chieh, Bruce Lee
Script: Lo Wei
Cinematographer: Chan Ching-Kui
Production Managers: Lau Leung-Wa, Lei Chen
Art Director: Chen Hsin
Editor: Sung Ming
Makeup: Chen Kuo-Hsiung
Assistant Director: Chik Yiu-Cheong, Chan Chue
Composer: Wang Fu-Ling