Bruce Lee in a still from The Big Boss . The 1971 film broke Hong Kong box office records and changed martial arts movie history. Photo: Criterion Collection
Bruce Lee in a still from The Big Boss . The 1971 film broke Hong Kong box office records and changed martial arts movie history. Photo: Criterion Collection

Explainer |
From One-Armed Swordsman to The Big Boss with Bruce Lee and Drunken Master with Jackie Chan, the films that built Hong Kong martial arts cinema

  • King Hu’s Come Drink With Me brought artistry to martial arts cinema, Chang Cheh’s One-Armed Swordsman a year later added modern camera angles and gore
  • Angela Mao paved a path for Bruce Lee to become a legend, Jackie Chan added comedy to the genre, and Jet Li and Tsui Hark updated it for the ‘90s generation

Bruce Lee in a still from The Big Boss . The 1971 film broke Hong Kong box office records and changed martial arts movie history. Photo: Criterion Collection
Bruce Lee in a still from The Big Boss . The 1971 film broke Hong Kong box office records and changed martial arts movie history. Photo: Criterion Collection
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