Game of Death (found footage of incomplete first draft of film; 1972-1973)

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Still of Bruce Lee from the film.

Status: Found

Date found: 17 Jul 2023

Found by: Arrow Video

After the success of Way of the Dragon (1972), Bruce Lee started work on his fourth film with Golden Harvest titled Game of Death. This would've been the second film Bruce Lee directed and the last film he would work on before his death in 1973. After his death, director of Enter the Dragon Robert Clouse was tasked with finishing Game of Death. Clouse alongside film producer Raymond Chow rewrote the film and released the film in 1978.


Here's the list of all the cast members who have filmed appearances.

• Bruce Lee

• James Tien

• Chieh Yuan

• Dan Inosanto

• Ji Han-jae

• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Original Plot

It is unknown what the confirmed plot was, the plot most film historians agree on is: "Hai Tien is a retired undefeated fighter who goes on a tour of Asia with his sister and younger brother. After the plane has landed in Korea, Hai is told someone wants to speak to him on one of the payphones. When Hai answers the phone, a stern voice is heard informing Hai that his siblings have been kidnapped and he needs to enter a car waiting for him outside of the airport. After Hai enters the car he is taken to a fancy house, upon entering the house Hai and five other martial artists are given a mission briefing in which a man is talking to them about a temple with 5-6 floors (the exact number is unknown) with each having one highly skilled martial artist guarding a sought after treasure."[1]

"List of Fighters For Each Floor"

Here's a list of the fighters for each floor of the temple and their filming status.

•Ground Level: 10 Karate black belts (Leader played by either Bolo Yueng or Sonny Chiba) Status: Never Filmed

•Floor 1: Kickmaster (played by Hwang In-shik) Status: Never Filmed

•Floor 2: Gung Fu/Praying Mantis Fighter (actor was never chosen, although Lee wanted martial artist Taky Kimura to play the role) Status: Never Filmed

•Floor 3: Eskirma/Nunchaku Fighter (Played by Dan Inosanto) Status: Filmed

•Floor 4: Hapkido Fighter (Played by Ji Han-Jae) Status: Filmed

•Floor 5: "Mantis" (Played by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) Status: Filmed

•Floor 6: "Treasure Room" Status: Never Filmed

(Note: Please take this list with a grain of salt since not a lot is known about some of these floors.)

A few minutes of exterior footage was also shot featuring many of the fighters, including Hwang In-shik as the Kickmaster, demonstrating their abilities and fighting styles.

"Log Scene"

There is a scene in which Chieh Yuan's character and Dan Inosanto's character fight each other before Bruce Lee's character arrives. This is known as the "Log Scene" because Chieh Yuan's character is wielding a log during the fight. For a long time, the scene was considered lost with the only known prints of the scene being in Director Stephen Tong and Dan Inosanto's possession.

Chieh Yuan's character (left) attempting to strike Dan Inosanto's character (right) with a log.


It is believed Bruce Lee filmed a little over 100 minutes of raw footage before his death, but around 30 minutes of edited footage and some outtakes have been released to the public and a number of production photos have resurfaced throughout the years. It is unknown if any of the raw footage (besides the 30 minutes mentioned above) is usable footage or just outtakes.

In 2023, Arrow Video announced it was in possession of all two hours of footage shot for the film.[2] In July 2023, Arrow released a 4K UHD/Blu-ray box set covering Bruce Lee's films at Golden Harvest, which features a 223-minute documentary titled The Final Game of Death which "incorporates a new 2K restoration of all two hours of Lee’s original dailies from a recently-discovered interpositive".[3][4]


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