The Big Boss Trivia
This film has at least four different musical tracks made for it. The original language release of this film is mandarin. The mandarin track jumps whenever there has been a scene censored out. There is a cantonese track which has been rescored with temp music and cuts from Pink Floyd. There is an English language track which has been rescored by Peter Thomas.
This film was originally more gruesome than the final available versions. After initial release, certain scenes have been edited out mostly for censorship reasons. Other scenes have been edited out for pacing and print quality. These scenes were edited out at a time before people archived footage, so it is believed that the extra footage that has been cut out may be lost forever. The following is a list of scenes that have been edited out.
The fight between Chang Chao On/ Hsiu Chien and the casino bouncers was originally longer. The fight in current prints ends with Cheng Chao On showing Hsiu Chien his necklace and talking about the promise he made to his mother. The original prints ran it longer and show some of the bouncers coming back and trying to run them over with a cart of burning coals.
The following scene with Hsiu Chien, bragging about the fight to his cousins and demonstrating one move on Ah Kun who is not impressed has been edited out. This scene is shown partially on early trailers for the film.
The scene where Chiao Mei sees Cheng Chao On and their uncle off with two glasses of tea has been edited out. In current prints when the scene plays, it is cut to look like Chiao Mei is smiling at the sunrise.
The scene of the two cousins deaths via circular saws was about a minute longer in the original release. Originally you saw the saw cut all the way through the bodies. Then you saw henchmen dumping body parts into the ice machine and one of them kicking a head into the ice machine. Current prints only show the circular saws beginning to cut through the body.
A five second scene showing the cousins running towards the ice factory has been cut from all of the latest releases of the film due possibly to print damage. The Master Collection VHS and DVD has the scene.
The fight between Hsiu Chieng and Hsiao Chiun was about a second longer. IT showed a scene Hsiu's head bleeding profusely from a knife attack. This scene was shown on a rare trailer for the film.
More body parts are found in the ice blocks when Cheng Chao On is investigating.
The fight between Cheng Chao On and the thugs has omitted a scene where Cheng Chao On slams a saw into a thugs head cutting his face into two. Most available prints show Cheng Chao On slamming the saw at the scene and you hear a slicing effect but the next shot shows a few guys standing there holding their weapons getting ready to attack Cheng Chao On. It is a little fuzzy whether that scene was available in the film at all. People have said that the scene just didn't look real. There are stills that show the scene, most of them in black and white but there is one of them in full living color.
The scene where Cheng Chao On discovers his cousins murdered was a little longer.
The scene with Cheng Chao On at the river getting ready for his final fight was longer. There were more shots of the cousins laughing superimposed on the river as well as more graphic shots of Cheng's murdered cousins. Also cut is the part where Cheng Chao On raises his fist and says three times "I will get revenge!" before he runs off. In current releases it shows Cheng looking up and the next shot is of him holding his fist up in the air and then running.
Before Cheng Chao On went to the boss's mansion, he went to a brothel which he often went to and took a prostitute and had sex with her. Then he also took a bag of crackers for his last meal because he figured that he was not going to survive.
The final scene between Cheng Chao On and The Big Boss when he punctures the Boss with his fingers is more explicit in some prints. The latest release prints actually show Cheng Chao On stabbing the Boss with his fingers. The camera starts at the Boss's legs showing blood falling down on his pants, pans up and shows the knife that the Boss threw at Cheng stabbed into his stomach, and then it shows Chengs hands stabbed inside the Boss's chest. Then finally it shows Cheng and the Boss Glaring at each other. Other prints (US) showed Cheng Chao On and the Boss glaring at each other and then circling around. No available releases show both parts. It is rumored that the original release has shown both parts of the scene.
There are other scenes that have been rumored and other that have been shown in the trailer but no one can quite place where they fit in to the film.
One scene shows Cheng Chao On running towards Nora Miao's character. He came to a stop in the original trailer for the movie and the next shot showed the camera zooming in on a smiling Nora Miao. A lot of people say that this scene happened right after Cheng Chao On sees his uncle off at the docks, but in this clip, it shows Cheng Chao On wearing a long sleve shirt and black pants. When Cheng said bye to his uncle, he was wearing a short sleeve shirt and brown pants. It is likely that the scene took place right after Cheng Chao On ran from the river to seek revenge for the death of his cousins. At least that's where it would fit in best as far as I can tell. It can't be just extra footage from the trailer because at the time, Hong Kong releases featured every scene from the trailer.
The big brawl at the ice factory that got Cheng Chao On promoted to foreman is rumored to be slightly longer. Some scenes actually have jump cuts in them.
When Cheng Chao On wears a short sleeve shirt, and brown or blue pants with a black sash, his fights are just for fun. When Cheng Chao On wears a long sleeve shirt and some black pants with a white sash, his fights are to the death.
This was the highest grossing film of all time in Hong Kong 1971.
Soem books mentioned that Cheng Chao On was forced to make a promise to his mother that he will ot get into any fights after his father was killed in a fight.
The international title of this film is "The Big Boss" but the U.S. wanted to cash in on the success of The French Connection and call this film "The Chinese Connection." For some reason, possibly a mistake on the part of the distributors, they called this film "Fists of Fury." To avoid confusion with the later film of that title, they changed the name of that movie to "The Chinese Connection."
The original mandarin and english print did not feature Bruce Lee's trademark battle yell. Some say that Bruce Lee didn't start using his battle yells until after this film. The cantonese redub uses Bruce Lee's battle yells.
Bruce never used nunchucks in this film.
The original mandarin title of this film is "Tang Shan Da Xiong" which translates to China Mountain Big Brother, or Tang Mountain Big Brother.
Bruce Lee's voice is not heard in this film on any version.
Bruce Lee opposed two of Lo Wei's Ideas. One of them was the scene where Cheng Chao On punches a guy through a wall leaving an out line of his body like a cartoon. The other was the climactic joust kick seen in so many martial art films in Hong Kong. Lo Wei had his way.
There is a true story of a man named Cheng Chiu On who fought tyrants in Thailand. He was born in the late 1800s and lived well into the 20th Century. There is a statue of him erected in Bangkok.
Moses Jones runs a blog called Our Feature Presentation which publishes entertainment news / opinions and tips for working in the entertainment industry.