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GAME’S FINDINGS & MYSTERIES (TRIBUTE TO GAME’S 45TH ANNIVERSARY) PT. 2/2

March 3 2017 at 9:36 AM
LJF  (Login LJF)


Response to GAME’S FINDINGS & MYSTERIES (TRIBUTE TO GAME’S 45TH ANNIVERSARY) PT. 1/2

 

16) What exactly was George Lazenby’s character in GAME?
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George Lazenby had said in most of his interviews that Bruce wanted him to appear briefly at the end of GAME. He would play some sort of a mentor or guru that would help Bruce out in the pagoda. Bruce was more physically powerful while he was more intellectually inclined. Based on what he described about his character in GAME as Bruce told him, Lazenby was likely (an ex-UN’s soldier that had been) caught up in the (1950’s Korean) war and (was left behind by his troop in S.Korea for years maybe due to missing or injury. He escaped from the front line and) had fallen back into their philosophy for years in the South Korea’s monastery (maybe saved by monks, recuperated and lived a peaceful there). Being a wise man and knew the place and its surroundings very well, he helped Bruce escape the danger from the pagoda at the end. So, Lazenby was surely not a C.I.A. agent as portrayed in the Jap’s novel. Bruce told Lazenby after his brief appearance in GAME he would appear with him in a new movie again.

Laemby in Universal Soldier (1971) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/39/UniversalSoldier1971.jpg/220px-UniversalSoldier1971.jpg


17) Would Bruce move back to the U.S. after GAME’s completion?
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The new movie after GAME that would star both Bruce and Lazenby was said to be a James Bond’s kind of movie which Bruce had invited Angela Mao and Sonny Chiba to play as well. Bruce would team up with Lazenby to fight crimes. It would be financially be backed up by WB and would be Bruce’s 2nd international movie after ETD (Note: The movie was later made by GH after Bruce’s death. WB withdrew its investment and it was re-titled, ‘Stoner’ aka ‘The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss’). Bruce had told his closed friends and stuntmen that he planned to make another 2 movies before moving back to the U.S. GAME being his top priority of the two and probably this James Bond’s like movie would be the last one if the SHAW’s costume movie fails to take place. Hence, if the production of this movie was going to be done from Jan-Mar 1974, co-production in Apr, then Bruce would likely move back to the U.S. latest by May 1974. However, the relationship between Bruce and the HK media had fallen apart by July’73 already. Hence, it was hard to imagine that Bruce would still stay on in HK after he completed GAME. He might have left HK after seeing the huge success of ETD and moved back to the U.S. in late 1973 once completed GAME.


18) When would Bruce go over to S. Korea to shoot GAME’s location scene in 1973?
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Before Bruce’s death, he penned in his diary the tentative date of resuming GAME’s shooting to be 20th Sept 1973. He got Pang Him, a Korean Chinese GH staff to get preparation for GAME’s shooting in S.Korea and had ordered the cameraman Tadashi Nishimoto to go shooting in S.Korea in mid Aug 1973. Bruce should have joined Tadashi and the GAME’s location crew after he completed his ETD promotion in the U.S. by end of Aug or early Sep. Weeks before Bruce’s passing, he was fine tuning his GAME story and recasting the stars for the film. He even planned to get GH’s Korean movie director, Walter Chung Chang-Hwa to co-direct this movie with him. If Bruce was not able to make it to S.Korea on time for the outdoor shooting due to his tight ETD promotion in the U.S., then probably the co-director Walter Chung together with the assistant director, Ricky Chik would temporarily take over and continue the scheduled outdoor shooting in S.Korea first and then waited for Bruce to come over to join them. Just like WOTD which took about 2 weeks to film in Rome, GAME was likely to have about the same time-frame for shooting in S.Korea (including Korea’s airport, city’s landscape, boss’s house/ court, asylum, pagoda and the mountain landscape etc).


19) Would the snow scene be the opening scene of GAME?
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This snow scene which Bruce mentioned in Aug’72 interview is a philosophical scene. Would it be filmed in the opening of GAME as he told the Star Daily’s reporter, Pang Cheng-Lian? Well, Bruce wanted to show the audience the importance of adaptability with the environment just like the willow tree bends with the wind and survives in the snow. If cameraman, Tadashi was going to film in Aug’ or Sep’ 73, then it would be late summer time and he wouldn’t be able to shoot any snow scene. Even if the snow scene was later shot in either Dec or Jan, one may wonder how would it match the pagoda’s raid story that wasn’t going to take place in the winter? Since it’s philosophical, then maybe it would just be another flash scene on the thought of martial arts should Bruce planned to incorporate this scene into GAME. Walter Chung, the S.Korean director might tell Bruce when and how to get that snow scene in his country if necessary.

Snow scene: https://s2.postimg.org/ahhd5pgh5/56315301snow.jpg


20) The landscape of HK’s NT outdoor scenes and Korea’s temple outdoor scenes
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It is not difficult to imagine why Bruce had chosen the outdoor scenes to be filmed in NT/ Sai Kung. The mountain landscape looks quite similar to the Korea’s Beojusa Temple’s outdoor landscape. According to Inosanto and stuntmen Bee Chan and Yuen Wah, they shot the outdoor scenes on several occasions with Bruce (based on their descriptions and the photos available, should be around 5-6 occasions). Some of them were photos/ stills while some were rehearsal/practice/promotion/actual footage. Just like WOTD’s ROME ending outdoor scene which was actually shot at NT, likewise, some GAME’s S.Korea’s outdoor scenes would be shot at NT and later incorporated into the actual film. Bruce had gotten some photos of Korea’s temples and its surroundings taken before he drafted the GAME storyline and did the pagoda sketches. Inosanto said his outdoor fighting with Wu Ngan was to establish his character as the pagoda guardian. Similarly, Ji Han Jae and Hwang In Shik also established their relationship/ characters by throwing the stuntmen in Karate uniforms around. These were likely the short film of the pagoda and guardians screened to Bruce and his allies at the Korean boss’s house as shown in ‘A Warrior’s Journey’.

GAME’s mountain landscape: https://s10.postimg.org/zf94soa0p/landscape.jpg


21) Did Inosanto arrive on 25th Sep or mid Sep 1972?
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Based on the pagoda sketch (Pict. A), Bruce wrote ‘JAL 25th Sep 2.30pm Arrival’ which meant Inosanto had told him that he would be taking Japan Airline to HK and expected to arrive at 2.30pm on 25th Sep. This was the scheduled air-flight. So, did he fly to HK on the above date? In 2006, Inosanto told a Japanese BL historian, Jiro that he actually reached HK earlier, in mid Sep. As he reached HK, he saw Jabbar leaving about the same time. According to Jabbar, he went to HK for a week and the GAME shooting started on 7th Sep 1972 (promo and stills), probably on the same day he arrived. His last scene was shot on 12th Sep (total 6 days shooting). Thus, he was leaving latest by 15th Sep and this was likely the date Inosanto arrived.

Not convinced? Both the HK newspapers, i.e. The Overseas Chinese Daily dated 17th Sep and Commercial Press dated 18th Sep, stated Jabbar came hastily to HK and had already left HK after shooting GAME for 6 days. Jabbar was rushing back to the U.S. to prepare for the new season NBA tournament. He met Inosanto while departing for HK. If this is the case, then, Inosanto had come to HK at least 10 days earlier than pre-planned otherwise he wouldn’t have met Jabbar. Inosanto stayed in HK for 3 weeks which means, latest by 8th Oct 1972, he should have left HK (There were no photos of him with Bruce and the stuntmen in mid-late Oct’72). This matches with the date that Taky was supposed to fly to HK to make GAME on around 8th Oct as stated in Bruce’s letter to Taky dated 20th Sep. ‘One comes (for shooting), one goes (upon shooting)’ and that was Bruce’s idea. Taky was expected to stay for 2 weeks (between 8th to 21st) to film GAME. This would follow by Ji Han Jae’s GAME shooting scheduled 22nd to 28th Oct. Except for Taky, the other 3 guardians duly completed filming GAME on the abovementioned scheduled dates.

Inosanto’s rehearsals in HK: https://s9.postimg.org/9emscb23j/inosantorehearsal.jpg

Bruce’s letter to Taky: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/15/11/d2/1511d2e75936a2ee5abce8af1a261096.jpg


22) Was Bruce being filmed in the outdoor footage for GAME? Peter Cheung recalls…
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During the recent research done and the person contacted, Peter Cheung (who was the main editor of Bruce Lee’s films) recalls about the GAME’s outdoor footage Bruce shot. So far, there were only stills that showed Bruce in these outdoor scenes. Only the clips of the 3 guardians - Inosanto, Hwang and Ji together with the stuntmen at the NT were shown in the docu ‘Bruce Lee, The Legend’ (1984). So, was there any Bruce footage in these outdoor scenes? Peter Cheung said, yes he edited the docu and saw some of Bruce footage in these scenes. But the focus was mainly on the pagoda guardians and the stuntmen as Bruce was choreographing all the actions with Unicorn’s assistance. Nevertheless, he was captured on the footage just like he was captured on the ETD’s trophy room’s screentest.

On the other hand, Inosanto said on the same day of his arrival, he shot the rehearsal footage with Wu Ngan at Bruce’s house. Few days later, he and Wu Ngan, in their respective uniforms, shot the outdoor footage at NT under the supervision of Bruce. Peter Cheung said they were actually rehearsing for the indoor fight scenes in which Inosanto used his Escrima sticks to beat his opponents (Chieh Yuen and James Tien enacted by Wu Ngan in NT). When Wu Ngan did not meet Bruce’s expectation, Bruce would show him the moves and the footage thus, captured bits of Bruce’s demo in action. How about the stills of a topless Bruce in black pant v.s. Inosanto both in nunchaku stances? Inosanto told a Japanese fan few years ago that was only promo photo shot but no footage. Peter Cheung recalls and said he remembers that was also a rehearsal of the actual pagoda nunchaku fight scene between the two which took place several days later (Note: 25th Sep ’72) in the studio. Peter Cheung says if he remembers correctly, he saw some of the footage of that nunchaku scene but it was shot as if by a home video camera, a bit shaky and not well shot. Someone was taking the footage not just the stills shot by Chan Yuk. ((Note: It was highly suspected to be Wu Ngan or Unicorn Chan. Unicorn was seen in 2 photos with the topless Bruce in black pant and sunglass. He was assisting Bruce. Also, it was almost sure that footage was shot because the huge movie reflector panel (used to diffuse the light while filming) was seen in the photos’ background of the bare-chested Bruce in black pant and Unicorn Chan in t-shirt.))

How about Bruce in beige suit v.s. Karatekas in outdoor scenes? Is there any footage or was it just for ETD’s promo still? In Bruce’s notes, there were at least 2 occasions that James Tien’s character sneered at Bruce’s hip clothing. One of the hip clothing which James Tien referred to was the yellow jumpsuit Bruce wore before the raid. As for the other hip clothing should be the hip beige suit Bruce wore for a magazine’s photo shooting and then for the outdoor rehearsal/promo scenes with the stuntmen. This might be one of the hip clothing Bruce was going to wear in GAME. Remember Bruce used to wear many of his personal fanciful clothing in his past movies (e.g. Marlowe, ETD) and TV series (e.g. Longstreet). So, it wouldn’t be strange that he wore this awesome beige suit in GAME. In the photos where Bruce was seen topless and in his beige pant only, he was actually choreographing Hwang and the stuntmen. If footage of these scenes where Hwang and Ji took on the stuntmen were shot and clips were seen in the docu, then, in the same occasion where Bruce in beige suit fighting the stuntmen was definitely shot which believed to has happened on the same day. Bee Chan and Yuen Wah remembered they shot the photos and footage with Bruce as well. Again, this was backed up and confirmed by Peter Cheung, the editor for “Bruce Lee, The Legend” documentary who saw most of the outdoor footage. He remembers these filmed scenes should also be partly rehearsal and partly promo shots. Bruce might be rehearsing a fight scene with the stuntmen in Korean’s boss house or airport.

The main reason that explains why Wu Ngan probably had mistaken the above shooting as a promo shot for ETD was actually because Bruce appeared on the day of the ‘Winston Cigar ads promo shot that took place in ‘Hall of Dragon’ at GH’s studio. Bruce wore that beige suit in the studio and then he appeared in the same suit again with the stuntmen at NT. That day definitely was in late Oct just few days before he left for the U.S. on 1st Nov to negotiate ETD’s deal. He definitely told Wu Ngan and the stuntmen about the news on ETD but this might have caused confusion to them since all happened within the few days. Memory would have also faded away after so many years had passed and that increased the possibility of confusion.

Peter Cheung remembers Ji Han Jae throwing the 2 stuntmen was also a rehearsed indoor scene for throwing Chieh and Tien. Furthermore, there was an extension scene of Hwang doing his amazing TKD kicks besides just throwing the stuntmen around. This was likely to establish him as an expert in kicking style as written in Bruce’s notes. Bruce was in that scene choreographing Hwang’s kick and demo some JKD kicks to Hwang too. In addition, Peter Cheung remembers Bruce once got him to edit some Korean fighters’ demo footage shot by a GH director (he can’t recalls his name, probably Huang Feng who shot Hapkido and once travelled to Korea with Sammo Hung, Angela Mao, Carter Wong in 1972) and footage of Carter Wong and Tony Liu showing some Kung Fu and Karate moves as well as some guys doing Preying Mantis and Wing Chun stuff. Bruce told him it was for his GAME’s reference.

GAME’s outdoor scenes: https://s12.postimg.org/i6ftd01ot/outdoor_dragonhall.jpg


23) Who shot the outdoor footage?
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This is interesting as according to Inosanto, the stuntmen and the assistant cameraman Leung Hey-Ming, it was mainly filmed by Bruce and some parts by Inosanto, Ricky Chik, Unicorn Chan and even the stuntmen (using Bruce’s Sony home videocam), and only a portion by Leung and his teacher, Tadashi Nishimoto. Tadashi actually had his own small filming company in HK to take care of and he was engaged by Bruce (through Raymond Chow’s connection) for his service in WOTD and GAME. Tadashi was a busy man as he needed to run his own company and took on projects (commercial, movie, shorts etc.) to keep his company going. Thus, unless necessary, Bruce wouldn’t call him up or get too many GH staff involved for informal shooting. Besides one or two outdoor scenes, Tadashi shot most of the pagoda scenes in GH studio. As for Henry Wong, he didn’t mention about the outdoor scenes and thus, was believed to have only shot some behind scenes of GAME in the studio that were required for making a future docu for Bruce as he said in his 2003 interview. To spend within the budget, Bruce would have the Korea’s pagoda and the overseas outdoor scenes shot for about 2-3 weeks just like WOTD and then returned to HK to continue shooting in the studio as well as in NT. The scenes would later be edited together to make it into a complete movie for screening.

Behind scenes of GAME: https://s13.postimg.org/50e68pf93/behindscenes.jpg


24) How many pages of GAME notes were left behind by Bruce and who got them?
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John Little said he only found 12 pages of GAME notes written by Bruce in Linda’s house and used them to shoot the Warrior’s Journey based on his understanding of Bruce’s ideas. DT said he saw around 60 pages of GAME’s notes owned by Inosanto and another pile of about 60 pages in Robert Lee’s possession. That would make up to around 120 pages. John Little got the initial notes, i.e. 1972 which Bruce was filming GAME while the notes in Inosanto and Robert Lee’s hands were believed to be the ones which Bruce penned until his death. Others who probably possessed GAME’s notes were:

- Lee Kun who claimed he got paid and given the ‘script’ (probably few pages of notes on his character) by Bruce before shooting;
- Ricky Chik, the assistant GAME director and Unicorn Chan, the assistant Choreographer. Both would always get a set of similar shooting notes each from the director, Bruce either before or on the actual day of shooting just like in WOTD;
- Tadashi Nishimoto, the cameraman who likely got some GAME notes from Bruce and might be the one who told the Jap novel writer about some Bruce’s original GAME plot;
- Betty Ting said she was discussing GAME with Bruce during the last days of his life, probably had some notes on GAME or written down some notes on GAME in her diary or notebook if you believe her words;
- Magdalena Chan, the production manager of ETD who followed Bruce around and taking notes of Bruce’s GAME ideas but she told Bey Logan she couldn’t remember a single thing about GAME and where she placed all those notes (OMG!).
- Walter Chung Chang-Hwa, the S.Korean director who was supposed to co-direct with Bruce might have got some GAME notes from Bruce.
- How about Raymond Chow? Bruce began to lose trust in him in 73 (after he suspected that Chow kept the WOTD’s actual profit figure from him), so, he probably won’t leave any notes with him though he must have told him some rough ideas about GAME. Anyway, Chow, a busy businessman would be more interested in counting money than reading/keeping those notes.

GAME’s notes: https://s24.postimg.org/fwsxw7anp/script.jpg


25) Nora Miao’s v.s. Betty Ting for GAME’s female lead role
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Bruce made many changes to GAME’s notes throughout 1972 until his death on 20th July 1973. For easy reference, let’s classify them into just 2 versions, i.e. 1972 version while he was filming GAME and the 1973 version just before he passed away. In the ‘72 version, Bruce intended to cast Nora Miao as his younger sister and rumored Mang Hoi (the child actor in ETD and Fist of Unicorn) as his younger brother. In the ’73 version, it was claimed that the siblings might have changed to wife and son and that was to cast Betty Ting and an unknown child actor. The Jap’s ’74 GAME novel resembles this storyline.

Despite many claims made by Betty that she would be cast as Bruce’s wife in GAME but many pointed otherwise. Though Nora said in her interview that she didn’t want to be cast in Bruce’s film all the time and had traveled to Taiwan to make a romantic movie, ‘The Story of Daisy’ with Taiwanese big star, Ko Chun-Hung. But movie database records show that Nora shot that film before WOTD and after WOTD, she shot ‘The Devil’s Treasure’ directed by S.Korean director, Walter Chung’s in late 1972, filming in both HK and Korea. There were photos of Bruce and Nora holding Bruce’s GAME’s nunchaku taken in his office circa 28th Sep 1972. Apparently, Bruce’s sister choice was Nora in 1972. In 1973, there was no record showing Nora has made any films except she was being interviewed in the docu, ‘BL, The Man & The Legend.’ Nora probably had changed her mind and was making her slot available to make Bruce’s new movie after turning down his offers in ’72 for both GAME and ETD. Also, Nora definitely was greatly affected by Bruce’s death that she stopped filming for almost a year before resumed filming ‘Naughty! Naughty!’ in 1974. There were also photos of her and Bruce in GH’s feast taken in early Apr’73. GH staff were celebrating WOTD’s box office success. Nora seemed to enjoy the moments with Bruce who also looked carefree and in happy mood. In her recent years’ interview, Nora said actually she was waiting for Bruce to get her to shoot a new movie but never expected to hear Bruce’s death over the phone one night. On the other hand, records show that Betty had shot 6 movies in 1973 in both Taiwan and HK and one may wonder if she would be free to shoot her ‘important role’ in GAME?

In fact, Bruce had broken away the relationship with her in early ’73 while filming ETD because she was getting too serious with him and intruding his family privacy by paying visits to Linda and his children at his house while Bruce was busy filming in the studio. She was reported later to have committed suicide in order to get Bruce back. After being saved, she promised Bruce that they would remain good friends on the conditions that she won’t cause any more trouble to Bruce’s marriage and his children. According to Bruce’s brother, Peter Lee who spoke to HK senior journalist, Chan Fai that Bruce told him weeks prior his death that because of Betty’s suicide incident, he was softened and made up with her again. During his last trip to the U.S. for his physical check up, Bruce mentioned the similar incident to M.Uyehara (source: The Incomparable Fighter, p.138) when asked by Uyehara whether Betty was his mistress and that she committed suicide which made the HK headlines was true. Bruce replied, “An actress did attempt suicide once on account of him but he couldn’t understand why. That dumb girl (refer to Betty) took several pills and said that she’s in love with me and gonna kill herself if she can’t have me. Shit, I can’t do much in that kind of situation. There’re too many crazy people.” (Note: Bruce was more westernized and open-minded, and treated relationship with woman more casually. Betty’s character was indeed a bit like Man Lan, the beautiful Cantonese actress who played ‘Darling Girl’ and danced Cha Cha with Bruce. Man Lan was a straightforward girl who liked Bruce and hung out with him very often in the late 50s. They both were good buddies. However, unlike Man Lan who took things easy, Betty had a strong possessive instinct which would later lead to the misfortunate incidents in her relationship with Bruce.)

Based on Betty’s claim, Bruce was going to play along her in GAME. She repeated her claims to many people over the years consistently. However, based on the above incidents and her emotional unstable character at that time, it was likely that Bruce might have trying to coax her and calmed her emotions down by telling her that she would get a part in his movie. I’ve not seen all GAME’s notes but it seems like so far there was only mentioning of Nora’s name in Bruce’s GAME’s notes but not a single name of Betty? Just like most people say, if she was going to play in his movie, she would surely does so in Bruce’s first few movies. Checking up with Peter Cheung, Leung Hey-Ming and even stuntmen, Tony Liu and Yuen Wah. all said Bruce would favor Nora over Betty in the GAME’s female lead. Why? Because Betty’s popularity and reputation in HK weren’t good as she always played the bad woman, sex bombshell or mistress’ role on the silver screen while Nora’s image was healthy and audience loved her clean character. Would a Chinese hero in the heart of the HK audience tarnish his hard-built reputation by associating himself with a ‘bad woman’ in his movie and got her to play his wife? The answer is very obvious. Bruce was very careful on this matter. Moreover, among the people asked, Leung was quick to point out that Bruce might have gotten her a supporting role in GAME or the following “James Bond’ like movie starring both Lazenby and Bruce just to please her. But unlike his teacher, Tadashi who thought otherwise, he himself believes she wouldn’t get the lead role as she didn’t have the quality of a good actress to carry her throughout the entire movie. So, it’s only her one-sided affair on GAME just like her one-sided love on Bruce?

Unfortunately, Bruce died in his real life’s ‘Game of death,’ in the bed of the ‘lady dragon Slaughter’ (as the HK media once commented) who yearned to play his wife in GAME.

Bruce and Nora with GAME’s nunchaku: http://www.bruceleeweb.com/galeriabrucelee/brucelee/pic72.jpg


26) Were Peter Chin, Unicorn Chan and Bob Baker in ’73 GAME’s version casting?
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I initially thought that the abovementioned 3 names that appeared in Bruce’s notes were to be cast in GAME but after researching, I found that the details of the storyline matches Bruce’s voice recording script, “Budo”. Therefore, I’m almost quite sure they are meant for another different story, i.e. ‘Southern Fist, Northern Leg’ (aka ‘Budo’), which Nick has guessed correctly long time ago. Bob Baker had never mentioned that he was contacted by Bruce for GAME. Peter Chin has also no idea that he was connected to GAME. But he was sure that Bruce wanted him to be in a movie, which is likely to be either ‘Southern Fist Northern Leg’ or ‘Green Bamboo Warrior’. As for Unicorn Chan, I got a reliable source (by the surname of Lau from HK, Unicorn’s good friend) who was told by Unicorn himself while he was alive that he would play a non-substantial role in GAME, most likely to be Bruce’s buddy that once toured with him and accompanied him in the S.E.Asia’s tournament (likely a sick-kick in a flash scene). Unicorn said while filming in Philippines in early July’73, he was called up and summoned by Bruce to prepare to fly to Korea in Sep'73 to continue helping him out in GAME (Note: Unicorn was the assistant choreographer in GAME just like WOTD). Bruce would have met him over there later.


27) Did Bruce ever travel to S.Korea to check out the location?
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Pang Him said Raymond Chow ordered him to source info on various Korean’s fighters for Bruce in ‘72 and then, in ’73, Bruce requested him to make arrangements for GAME shooting in Korea. So, did Pang Him help Bruce to run most of the GAME’s errands in S.Korea? Or did Bruce travel to S.Korea personally? DT said Bruce did go to the pagoda grounds in S.Korea to scout the actual location for GAME. Raymond Chow said in his 2013 interview about GAME, "We went to Korea to find out this guy who could use his bare hand to kill a cow (note: sounds like looking for someone like Mas Oyama) but he was not what we wanted. Bruce then used his influence to...." It seems like "We" was referring to Bruce and Chow himself as in the paragraph, only Bruce and no second person was being mentioned. According to Leung Hey-Ming, he believes that Bruce had travelled to Korea with Chow in ’72 but was not certain the exact date they went. Yet, there were no photos to back this up.

However, Bruce was much more secretive at the time he made GAME from Sep'72 onwards. Before that, he was more open to the public and the media (His relationship with the media became tensed and deteriorated later due to his family’s privacy being intruded by the press). This also explains why there were no photos of him and Chow flying to the U.S. in Nov'72 to negotiate the ETD’s deal with WB. Also, there were no photos of him flying with Linda to the U.S. in Jun'73 for his physical checkup. They travelled secretly without alerting the HK press who only got the news days later after their departure. Yet, the fact was, Bruce did travel abroad to the U.S. on these 2 occasions. Hence, there’s a possibility Bruce had travelled to Korea with Chow but he might have disguised himself up with big sunglass, beard, big hat etc. so as to avoid being exposed to the media. The possible time would be either late Aug’ 72 or early Sep’72 after helping out Unicorn Chan in FOU and started to prepare for GAME. Another likely date would be in Nov’72 when he returned with Chow from the U.S. on a 2 weeks tour (Nov 1st – Nov 14th), they might possibly did a transit or stop over in Korea.

GAME’s shooting timeline (including outdoor shooting): https://postimg.cc/image/3novy9ewv/


28) Other unreleased footage shot in late ’72 and after ETD in ‘73?
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Bey Logan admitted that he only found the reel of 93 min GAME footage (unedited ones including outtakes) which was later made into Warrior’s Journey and believed that there were some more GAME footage (probably outdoor, rehearsal, practice, other scenes etc.) that he had not located which were probably lying somewhere in GH’s valut back then. Stephen Au Kam-Tong found another GAME’s reel several years back (an edited version with complete 3-5 floor scenes including the missing log footage). Peter Cheung, GH’s chief film editor said there should be around 6 or 7 reels GAME & related footage shot by Bruce as far as he knows. He has seen most of the footage (pagoda, test, rehearsal, outdoor, screentests etc.) but edited only seconds of the clips into the documentary, “Bruce Lee, The Legend.” Leung Hey-Ming, GAME’s assistant cameraman confirmed that they shot more than what have been released though the main fights in the pagoda are the highlights of the film. Leung said there are some outdoor rehearsal fights in NT between Bruce and the stuntmen. This was captured on photos and footage. Inosanto and stuntmen Bee Chan, Yuen Wah, Wu Ngan all said Bruce was in front and behind the cameras in those occasions.

Robert Clouse told ‘The Straits Times’ (16th July 1973) that Bruce shot about 3,048 metres of film (equivalent to 111 minutes if include the out-takes). Kim Tai-Jung (aka Tang Lung who filled in for Bruce in ’78 Game of Death) claimed that he was shown the majority of the movie (including non-action scenes) prior to working on ’78 GAME. Lazenby claimed that Bruce treated him to a private screening of GAME with the edited scenes in the last three pagoda fights. Bruce filmed some of the pre-Pagoda footage/ photos in NT (the shots of him wearing beige suit the ones being topless with Inosanto). Since Bruce’s films such as ‘The Big Boss’ got cut down to 100 min and ‘ETD’ was only 99 min after several scenes were deleted, the running time for GAME would be around the same time frame. This mean Bruce would tighten the footage to the extent that the three floors that were shot would have comprised of around 30 minutes. Usually, the director would shoot more to get the desired takes, so, the average rough cut of a 90 min movie is about 180 min. But not forgetting the issue of the running time. Bruce probably would edit the final film to a running time of around 90 – 110 min with some deleted scenes just like his previous movies.

Bruce at the GH’s vault: https://s9.postimg.org/rh5ukdi0f/61065831.jpg


29) Was Bruce filming in early Dec’72 or doing other thing else? Leung Hey-Ming recalls…
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Bruce went to the U.S. likely for 2 weeks from 1st Nov’72 to 15th Nov’72. HK Overseas Chinese Daily (11th Nov’72) reported that Bruce left for the U.S. with Raymond Chow 10 days ago to negotiate deal with WB’s on ETD and would return to HK in few days time (likely on 14th Nov). Bruce didn’t appear in the HK public from Nov 21st to Dec 19th. He last appeared in HK-TVB’s 5th anniversary celebration on Nov 20th, and then re-appeared in the Top 10 HK movie stars award only on Dec 20th. What was he doing during that one whole month in HK??? Unicorn Chan said in the Dec. issue of the HK Martial Hero magazine that Bruce was filming GAME in GH studio (closed door) for many days in early Dec which was why Bruce missed his Sifu Ip Man’s death news and funeral. Bruce told M.Uyehara he got to know only 3 days after his Sifu’s death, i.e. Dec 4th, Bruce was somehow doing some important filming-related matter that were privy to the public and if so, somehow matched with what Unicorn said.

Unicorn was Bruce’s assistant choreographer in GAME just like in WOTD. Hence, he must be there to assist him otherwise he wouldn't be so sure about it. If that’s the case, what scenes were being filmed? During the recent research done and the person contacted, Leung Hey-Ming who witnessed things that were going on that time. Leung remembers after Bruce came back from the U.S., he was busy vetting and correcting the ETD’s initial script and at the same time taking care of WOTD premier matters. In addition, he was doing some test shooting in the GH studio which was indeed closed door. He said they shot test footage (not official shooting) with Unicorn and some stuntmen in the studio between late Nov and early Dec. But he was not sure whether it was for GAME or ETD. However, there are no photos to back this up. Yet, GH photographer Chan Yuk won’t be following Bruce all the time and if Bruce had given instructions that no photo shooting was allowed to prevent leaking the filming details to the public, then, no one would dare to disobey the little dragon’s order. Remember, too many things including the storyline were being exposed to the press during the filming of the 3 levels pagoda. Bruce thus, had all rights to keep this film more confidential so as to avoid losing its value before its completion and therefore, it might make sense to shoot it as privy as possible.


Things to probe:
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Was Bruce doing GAME’s related or other things else?
First of all, Bruce should be preparing for WOTD premier that fell on late Dec’72. He was also trying to get the HK Censorship board to approve some WOTD’s ‘violent’ scenes that failed to pass the initial censorship, e.g. 3 or 5 lethal kicks to Chuck Norris’ head (though it was later said to be approved before the late Dec’s premier but it didn’t go through eventually). Secondly, when ETD’s contract was signed and approved on 23rd Nov 1972, Bruce might have started to prepare for ETD. However, according to stuntman, Cheung Wing-Han, they were only preparing for ETD in late Dec’72 (not early Dec’72) when WB had sent the location scout crew team (including Robert Clouse, Fred Weintraub, Michael Allin etc.) over to HK then (likely between after Christmas and before New Year).

There are 2 possibilities: 1) Bruce was excited over his going to make international film - ETD and thus, put GAME totally on hold and did some ETD fighting sequences with the stuntmen, did screen-tests to get the ideal ETD actors/ actresses etc (But according to GH’s record, screen-tests were done mainly in Jan’73 and shooting started on either late Jan’73 or 1st Feb’73); 2) Bruce knew the U.S. ETD crew team would only be coming in late Dec, so, before their arrival, he might want some of the unfinished GAME scenes to be shot before it was wrapped up and put on hold. Did Bruce shoot Unicorn’s scenes since he was present with Bruce? Leung Hey-Ming couldn’t remember exactly the date and details after so many years but he knew for sure GAME was shot intermittently and after Bruce returned to HK from the U.S., he knew Bruce did some shooting in GH’s studio but neither Tadashi or him was involved. Was it GAME or other thing else? If so, where’s this missing footage? Research continues on this mystery.


30) What happens at GAME’s ending?
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Like in Bruce’s previous films - BOSS, WOTD and ETD, the GAME’s ending would also be the arrest of the villains by the police as written in Bruce’s notes. There was also mentioning of a gunman waiting outside the pagoda, probably waiting (together with the Korean triad boss, likely to cast Gam Dai, the restaurant supervisor in WOTD) to ambush the injured and exhausted Bruce after he stepped out of the pagoda. There’s a possibility that Bruce might have arranged Lazenby (wise man/‘white monk’) to appear at this moment and saved his life from the gunman with his wisdom. The police then arrived, arrested all the villains and released Bruce’s siblings/ wife & son who were taken hostages by the Boss. Bruce thanked Lazenby and probably asked the police officers, “Can I wash up a little and change?” (words appeared in Bruce’s sketch). He then excused himself to get some natural mountain spring water from the stone bowl fountain nearby to quench his thirst and then clean up himself with the help of his siblings/wife & son. His family then asked Bruce what was the treasure he found on top of the pagoda. Bruce replied “Me…” “You? What do you mean?” his family asked curiously. Lazenby who was standing next to them smiled serenely and asked Bruce what did he sees in the water. Bruce looked and saw the reflection of him and his loved ones. Bruce’s eyes brightened up and exclaimed, “Of course… and both of you!” Camera changed to another take immediately with a zoom in at an airplane in the sky which was flying Bruce and his loved ones back to HK. Ending music follows. (Note: Just expanded some ideas originated from Nick)

The carved stone bowl outsides pagoda: https://s2.postimg.org/3um0rxill/Thecarvedstonebowl.jpg


 
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Responses

  • Thanks LJF great stuff!! Nt - Leon on Mar 3, 2017, 11:41 AM
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  • Great research! Amazing! - Haitien on Mar 4, 2017, 3:58 PM
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  • Enjoy reading the findings. Thanks! Nt - Suraj on Mar 5, 2017, 2:20 PM
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  • Wow now that's research! ! ! - Nick Clarke on Mar 6, 2017, 1:12 AM
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