Having owned a VHS copy of this film for many years now, I wanted to upgrade to DVD but despite searching for 'Silent Flute' under DVD, came up with nothing. Then one day the search engine led me to 'Circle of Iron' which I knew was a working title that Bruce Lee originally came up with. Why have they changed the name? Perhaps there is some legality to do with copyright, but it does make it confusing!
Ok, now on the plus side. What can I say? Great film - one of my favourites if not my favourite. I bought the standard version rather than the 2 disc version and I'm more than happy with it. It might not have all the extras that the 2 disc version has to offer, but there is a good, if short, interview with David Carradine at the end. Even he expressed his puzzlement as to why 'Circle of Iron' was chosen as one of the working titles for the film. 'The Silent Flute' is much more appropriate. What is particularly good about the DVD version is that they've transferred it straight from the original negative (as stated on the back of the DVD case). The picture is crisp and sharp and you don't get that annoying little 'jump' at the beginning and in the middle of the film that you get on the VHS version. I can only think that the copy that was originally sent to the UK was either faulty or got jammed in the machine, as this problem is not present on the DVD version. All I can say is thank heavens they've finally released it on DVD. David Carradine puts a great performance in the four roles he takes and Jeff Cooper is good as the bumbling seeker of truth. There are some light-hearted moments in the film that help to balance out the more philosophical side of it and despite some of the criticisms that other reviewers have aimed at it, I think in essence it makes a good point. If only more people embraced the main concept in this film, maybe we wouldn't be killing each other in the name of our particular faiths and would feel more 'at cause' in our lives rather than taking the passive 'my fate lies in the lap of the Gods' approach. That having been said, you can either watch the film purely for entertainment value or think about the message. Either way, it remains a great film. A story that doesn't rely on the whizz-bang CGI effects of today's so called 'blockbusters'. Aye, now there's a point!