Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee fan identifies bridge in secretly shot scene

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am


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Until now, it has been a quiet, scenic spot tucked away in a country park where young couples are taken by photographic studios to pose for romantic shots before their weddings.

But sleepy Fuk Hing Bridge in Sai Kung Country Park may soon find itself attracting fighters as well as lovers after it was identified as the scene of some of martial arts film star Bruce Lee's most controversial action.

Nearly 40 years after the scenes were shot, Bruce Lee enthusiast Philip Kenny has discovered that the sleepy riverbank at Fuk Hing Bridge in Pak Tam Chung is where the kung fu legend was allegedly 'tricked' into shooting scenes used for the movie Unicorn Fist.

Lee - at the peak of his fame following the release of Way of the Dragon - agreed to work as a choreographer for the film's fight scenes in 1972 as a way of returning a favour to his childhood friend and fellow actor Unicorn Chan.

But a camera was left secretly running during rehearsals and the scenes showing a topless Lee high-kicking on the river bank were used in the movie, which was cheekily billed as starring Bruce Lee - even though he only appeared for a few seconds.

A seriously miffed Lee was in the process of legal action over Unicorn Fist - which used a Lee lookalike for much of the film - when he died in 1973. Inevitably, some conspiracy theorists have linked his mysterious death to the dispute over the footage.

House husband Kenny, 39 - who previously tracked down the location of fight scenes at the beginning of Lee's last movie, Enter the Dragon - said: 'This happened at the height of Bruce Lee's fame so anything with his name attached to it was guaranteed to make a lot of money.

'There are arguments about whether Bruce Lee knew he was being secretly filmed or not but he was in the process of suing when he died, so the whole thing was never resolved.'

In the 1970s, martial arts movies were shot at a huge variety of locations across Hong Kong and few actors or production crew members today can remember where some scenes were shot, creating a challenge for Bruce Lee fans paying pilgrimages to the locations of his finest moments.

Three years ago, Kenny had to hack through undergrowth to find the location of the Enter the Dragon fight scene between Sammo Hung and Bruce Lee in Sheung Shui and says the site is virtually inaccessible.

Fuk Hing Bridge is a much easier spot for Lee fans to visit, however. 'I was looking through Google Earth, which is a great resource for me, and I spotted the bridge and thought 'Oh my God - that's it',' he said. 'It's obviously changed a bit but if you see the clips of the rehearsal footage and look at the shape of the mountains in the background, that's clearly it.'

Kenny, who lists the Bruce Lee filming locations on his blog 'Hong Kong and Macau Stuff', says the bridge may now be included in itineraries for visiting fans, promising a boost in business for the simple dai pai dong beside the bridge.

'I think more should be done to promote the Bruce Lee legacy in Hong Kong,' said Kenny, who grew up in England and moved to Hong Kong five years ago. 'Watching Enter the Dragon as a young boy really got me interested in Hong Kong in the first place.

'Maybe I am a rare example but I am sure there are other people like me who come to Hong Kong specifically because they have seen Bruce Lee films and they want to know more about him.'

Father-of-three Kenny, who lives in Tai Po, argued: 'Bruce Lee lifted national pride and the perception of Chinese people in the eyes of foreigners. You can't underestimate the influence he had.''

With Fuk Hing Bridge now on the Bruce Lee map, Kenny is now preparing for his next mission - to track down the location of scenes filmed for scenes and publicity stills for the movie Game of Death in the hills above Sai Kung.