The One Martial Arts Celebrity Bruce Lee Intended To Go Beyond


In the martial art film sector, there was one fighting styles celebrity particularly that Bruce Lee viewed as a competing he meant to exceed: Jimmy Wang Yu.

In the martial art motion picture sector, Bruce Lee saw one fighting styles star specifically as a competing he planned to exceed: Jimmy Wang Yu. While there’s no doubt that Lee is the largest name in fighting styles motion pictures, he’s absolutely not the very first star to star in a martial art movie. There were others celebrities in business prior to he came. Among them was Taiwanese star Jimmy Wang Yu, that had actually operated at Shaw Brothers considering that the mid-1960s.

Shaw Brothers, the largest activity animation studio in Hong Kong, made a celebrity out of Wang Yu by casting him in numerous of their greatest photos. After soaring to fame with his efficiency as the malevolent lead character of The One-Armed Swordsman, Wang Yu starred in numerous various other motion pictures, consisting of The Return of the One-Armed Swordsman, The Assassin, and also Golden Swallow along with Cheng Pei-pei.

One specific film that Wang Yu made that attracted the focus of Bruce Lee was the 1970 movie The Chinese Boxer, which is normally attributed as the initial real fighting styles flick. Unlike the sword-fighting movies that he as well as Shaw Brothers had actually dealt with formerly, The Chinese Boxer concentrated on well-choreographed hand-to-hand combating. For the Hong Kong ticket office, it was an instantaneous hit. Lee supposedly saw the flick at an unique testing, and also ended up being fascinating in overshadowing Wang Yu’s popularity.

In guide Bruce Lee: A Life, biographer Matthew Polly states an intriguing tale from Golden Harvest exec Raymond Chow in which Lee called out Jimmy Wang Yu’s largest film. While reviewing a prospective agreement, Lee requested for Chow’s ideas on films that the last had actually been associated with, particularly The Chinese Boxer. When Chow described it as one of the very best movies he had actually aided make, Lee mentioned, “I can do far better.” Considered That Wang Yu was the supervisor, author, as well as the celebrity of the film, it’s clear that this was as a stab at him, and also an indication that Lee looked for to exceed him. According to Polly, Wang Yu’s popularity in Hong Kong as well as standing as its leading activity celebrity had actually activated Lee’s “hypercompetitive nature” and also triggered him to strive at coming to be “larger as well as larger” than him.

Lee seeing him by doing this isn’t always remarkably, particularly when considering his competition with A-list Hollywood star Steve McQueen. In his initiatives to come to be effective in the motion picture service, Lee made clear of his passions in ending up being the best celebrity in Hollywood, and also has actually stated in the past that he would certainly supersede McQueen’s appeal. It shows up that he had a comparable objective when he transitioned from Hollywood to Hong Kong, where Jimmy Wang Yu was king.

Considering what followed for both of their professions, it’s not tough to see that Lee eventually did obtain what he desired. When he break onto the scene with Golden Harvest’s The Big Boss in 1971, he promptly ended up being an experience in Hong Kong, as well as points just improved for him from there. When It Comes To Wang Yu, it regrettably ended up being significantly tough for him to stay pertinent to the fighting styles style (regardless of the component he played in beginning it). Despite his online reputation and also his ground-breaking use martial art in The Chinese Boxer, he was kept back by the reality that he had not been in fact a skilled fighting styles specialist in the exact same capillary as Bruce Lee, Ti Lung, and also the various other increasing celebrities of the very early 1970s. Though he remained to play leading functions in sword-fighting outfit items and also martial art flicks, his days of being the primary celebrity really did not last.


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