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Enter the Dragon Flexes on Anniversary 4K From Warner Bros.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

As 2023 continues, the 100th anniversary celebration continues at Warner Bros. Pictures. Their home media department has been busy churning out selections from the studio’s famed catalog for brand-new 4K UHD editions. Their latest title to hit store shelves cuts that 100 in half with a mighty chop and sharp blade. Say hello to 1973’s Enter the Dragon!

The much-celebrated Bruce Lee classic Enter the Dragon hits store shelves on 4K for its own 50th anniversary on August 8th. The 1973 actioner will also be available for digital purchase on the Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu platforms on the same day. 


Lee looks over at his opponent in Enter the Dragon
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment50

By many accounts, Enter the Dragon is considered one of the most influential action films of cinema history. Before Robert Clouse’s film, Bruce Lee was already a household name and cultural legend thanks to his infectious foreign films and crossover success on TV’s The Green Hornet. Enter the Dragon would launch him in the stratosphere and increased interest in the Asian martial arts film genre to Western audiences. Sadly, Enter the Dragon would be the famed superstar’s final film before an untimely death at age 33. 

The plot follows Lee being recruited by British intelligence to investigate the illegal activities of the crime lord Han, played by Shih Kien. To infiltrate Han’s remote island lair, Lee poses as a participant in a deadly martial arts tournament, alongside fellow competitors played by John Saxon and Jim Kelly. As the tournament unfolds, Lee’s personal vendetta against the crime lord intensifies and climaxes in a thrilling showdown.

As expected, the picture quality and color depth at the high-contrast 4K level are superb. The film transfer enhanced the enriching colors and coarse grain of its 1970s universe and film stock. While there is no mistaking the  Foley work placement of canned martial arts sound effects, where the sound of this new release really gets boosted is with Lalo Schifrin’s beloved score. That tickles your home speakers quite nicely. If only there was an isolated score track. More on that next.


4K disc art for Warner Bros. film Enter the Dragon
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc of Enter the Dragon includes both the theatrical version of the film and the Special Edition of the film which features three additional minutes of footage. Enter the Dragon also includes an introduction by Bruce Lee’s wife Linda Lee Caldwell and the previously-recorded commentary track narrated by the film’s producer Paul Heller and screenwriter Michael Allin.

Unfortunately, that’s all for special features and added value on this 4K disc of Enter the Dragon and its vanilla menus (a consistently disappointing trend from WB). That’s a shame because the film has received stellar treatment in the past in the form multi-disc Special Editions on DVD and a 40th Anniversfilm5050ary Blu-ray from Warner Bros in 2013. Documentaries like  “Blood and Steel: The Making of Enter the Dragon,” “Bruce Lee: Curse of the Dragon,” “No Way as Way,” “Wing Chun: The Art that Introduced Kung Fu to Bruce Lee,” and “Return to Han’s Island: The Locales of Enter the Dragon” are nowhere to be found on this 4K edition. You won’t find extended interviews, EPK materials, or even the cool 40th anniversary swag on a premiere card, an iron-on path, script cover card, a book excerpt from “Enter the Dragon: A Photographer’s Journey” in the liner notes, or the awesome Bruce Lee lenticular image card.

Enter the Dragon also received the lavish Criterion treatment in with its inclusion in their “Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits” boxed Blu-ray set. That set at least had “Blood and Steel,” the interviews, and the Criterion perk of a new video essay by Matthew Polly. Warner Bros. couldn’t match even that abbreviated level with this release. This is decidedly and disappointingly no-frills. The legend and the movie deserve better.

Written by Don Shanahan

DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic writing here on Film Obsessive as the Editor-in-Chief and Content Supervisor for the film department. He also writes for his own website, Every Movie Has a Lesson. Don is one of the hosts of the Cinephile Hissy Fit Podcast on the Ruminations Radio Network and sponsored by Film Obsessive. As a school teacher by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Indie Critics and a voting member of the nationally-recognized Critics Choice Association, Online Film Critics Society, North American Film Critics Association, International Film Society Critics Association, Internet Film Critics Society, Online Film and TV Association, and the Celebrity Movie Awards.

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