3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The original and best tribute to Bruce Lee!, 19 Nov 2001
Theatrically released in Hong Kong sometime in October of 1973, hence a mere three months after the untimely passing of the great superstar, this is still the most remarkable tribute ever produced in memory of Bruce Lee. It's a raw kind of documentary, actually the very first one dedicated to Lee, in the sense that it captures the local film community and Hong Kong in general experiencing deep grief and bewilderment for the loss of their greatest film star up until that time, namely in the initial footage of Bruce's funeral proceedings. Some critics have argued that Raymond Chow, who produced this feature and all of Lee's famous martial arts themed movies, showed his exploitative vein by boldly 'chasing' the deceased actor's widow, Linda Lee, in the days following his death, and even invading the intimacy of the couple's home in Hong Kong, showing their private possessions being removed, and so on. That sounds way too intrusive for someone who claimed to be Bruce Lee's true friend, aside from being his business partner, and wanted to honour Lee's memory with this film.
Nonetheless, what stands out in this film is the rarity of material and memorabilia related to Bruce Lee, for it shows seldom seen clips of a few of his childhood movies, and dozens and dozens of unseen photographs of several periods of his life. That alone, together with sections of his incredibly popular 'kung-fu' movies being presented, is what the hardcore fans are seeking, and "The Man and the Legend" certainly delivers in that department. Indeed, for the first time in the UK all of the famously controversial 'nunchaku' fight scenes are shown completely intact, and they add a whole new dimension of excitment and astonishment to those beautifully and masterfully staged combat sequences, and all is presented in its original widescreen ratio, a must that'll surely please the purists (the fights are, as a matter of fact, visually displayed with its full impact in that aspect ratio). It is here, in fact, that the true genius, charisma and pure artistry that Bruce Lee commanded in his field of expertise are finally disclosed to us.
Moreover, we are presented with a sampling of Bruce's own voice-over discussion of his film directing techniques in Cantonese - albeit that section isn't subtitled in English, which would have helped to afford a greater insight into his methods as a director -, and behind the scenes footage of "Enter the Dragon" is also featured.
In sum, this is a documentary/tribute to the late great Bruce Lee to be absolutely treasured by the fans, and an unmissable introduction to the legendary actor's world for those who aren't fully aware of his, to this day, still unmatched feats and prowesses.