07/10/2022
best of bruce lee movies

An Extensive List of the Best Bruce Lee Movies by Appearances

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When it comes to the best Kung Fu movies of all time or specifically the list of Bruce Lee movies, we connect ourselves with the images from either Enter the Dragon, The Big Boss, or fighting against Chuck Norris inside the dilapidated Roman architecture in The Way of the Dragon. Or even Game of Death most of the time. There are very few underrated appearances that remind us his presence started much earlier when he was 1 year old through Golden Gate Girl.

Most of his movies are blockbusters except for a few minor appearances. Bruce Lee is such an everlasting personality who made the Kung Fu world more famous on an international level. I doubt there was anyone who took Kung fu to such a height. Before him, it was quite a less exposed area in the film industry.

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Some of his remarkable appearances are still quite inspirational. The clips from his movies have inspired today’s martial artists. Sadly, he died too early. If he were alive, we would definitely get more such spectacular movies. In this article, I’ll give you a list of all Bruce Lee movies alongside minor appearances in TV shows.

Though there are lots of movies and TV shows, we know him because of a few best ones. He started acting at a childhood age but got into prominence with the breakthrough of The Big Boss. He wasn’t popular as a martial artist in his young career rather he used to do some drama films.

With the success of The Big Boss and Fist of Fury, he jumped into action films. His personality inspired the next Gen so much that he is credited as the most influential martial artist in the world.

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Bruce Lee is an embodiment of Kung fu; a symbolized icon of martial arts. The person who helped many later actors to reach fame just by copying him is still and will be considered an inspirational icon to everyone. Among the list of all movies by Bruce Lee, let’s delve into the best ones. 

Best Bruce Lee movies and TV SHOWS by appearances

  1. The Big Boss (1971)
the big boss 1971

Whenever I watch the film, I still get inspired by the scene when Bruce breaks his vow of fighting and competing with the violent gang. My childhood memories are very much involved with films like this. This is one of the very first films from Bruce Lee as a lead which gave him rise in Hong Kong as well as America.

If you are a Kung Fu fan, you can never miss such a film. According to the plot, a young guy named Chein works at an ice factory. Whenever he sees oppression in front of him, he can’t resist himself. Yet, he doesn’t fight against them because of his vow never to fight again. When the talisman tears apart from his neck, he jumps back to fight and kills the nefarious gang in the city. The Big Boss is one of the best Kung Fu movies ever produced.

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  1. Fist of Fury (1972)
fist of fury bruce lee

This was Lee’s only film where he appears in various characters in disguise. The film has a simple plot where a young Kung Fu student takes revenge upon the murderer of his teacher. In this iconic action film, Lee plays Chen Zhen who comes home for the funeral of his master who has been murdered.

Related – Must-Watch Movies for Bruce Lee Obsessed Fans on Netflix

To find out who did it, Chen disguises himself as various characters and starts to kill people one by one who is suspected of murder. Some iconic scenes are the emblem of the martial art film industry. It has become an inspirational object to millions of his fans. Apart from the success of his previous two films, Fist of Fury also became a huge hit. 

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  1. The Way of the Dragon (1972)
the way of the dragon bruce lee and chuck norris movie

There’s no doubt Bruce Lee films acquire a good space in our list. If he had lived more, there would have been more such films on our list. However, the plot explores a martial artist who is being hired by a Chinese restaurant owner in Rome because of getting rid of thugs. As the film proceeds, it takes a dangerous turn the mob boss hires the best fighter from America to kill the Chinese Kung Fu fighter. The film shows both fighters’ respect for each other and their martial arts skill.

This was his second that gave rise to Chuck Norris. The only movie between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. Let me share with you two interesting things about the movie. This was Bruce Lee’s first movie as a director, writer, and actor. And the second one is Chuck was not the first option to play the character of Colt, Joe Lewis was Bruce Lee’s first consideration who was an influential kickboxer and martial artist. The iconic fight is still appreciated by millions.

  1. Enter the Dragon (1973)
on the set of enter the dragon

Bruce Lee has been an inspiration to all the following generation not only in his field of study but in all the fields in the world worship his philosophy, and appreciate his style of action. We know his intense and extreme level of practice. Though in his early career in the film industry, he didn’t get much success.

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Later, the success came through entering the dragon which shook the worldwide film industry as well. The film explores the mission of a Shaolin martial artist who is an undercover agent for British intelligence to expose the drug trafficking and sex trade in the country. With a good storyline and philosophical touch, the movie has become one of the best and most influential Bruce Lee movies of all time.

  1. Game of Death (1978)
bruce lee and kareem abdul jabbar movie

You can’t miss any of Bruce Lee’s films because every film has uniqueness in action as well as the plot. As we know that during the production of the movie, Bruce died. After almost five years of his death, the production house finally released the movie by mixing his previous living footage with the new actor’s appearance. The fight between Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bruce Lee is another iconic marital arts action scene.

It’s a story of a martial arts movie star who hides his death to find out those people who were trying to kill him. There are modifications and twists. Otherwise, the film would have taken a different shape. Some interesting fights make the movie more adventurous. Bruce Lee gave a new direction to Kung Fu movies. Today, most of his movies are available in English.

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  1. The Green Hornet (1966-67)
bruce lee as kato in the green hornet

The late 1960s was a real-life entry into Hollywood for Bruce Lee. Though he doesn’t have many projects in 1960, he was strengthening his footsteps in the Hollywood film industry. Along with movies with minor appearances, he started to appear in TV shows as well with some of the leading Hollywood actors.

Season 1 ran for only 1966-67. The show features a publisher and a martial arts fighter who fight against dangerous criminals in the city, secretly. This was perhaps the start of the martial arts film genre through this show. 

  1. Longstreet (1971-72)
bruce lee as martial arts instructor in Longstreet

His earlier exposure in TV shows either through a Karate teacher or behind mask appearance. Longstreet obtains a fantastic mystery story. Within only one year, the show became a blockbuster hit. Bruce Lee got his much-extended role in this show. 

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If you find the best Bruce Lee TV shows, then Longstreet and The Green Hornet come at the top of the list. After losing his sight and wife in a bombing incident, an insurance investigator refuses to quit and starts living uniquely. There is a lot to learn from this show due to its elaborative procedures for a blind person. Sound effects play a great role in Longstreet. 


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Rabi Chatterjee

My love for films grew from the initial period of theatre life. Since then, I have become a big film-addicted person. After finishing almost over 4k movies in various languages, I see films as a remedy for the psychological well-being of a person. Watching movies, especially good movies is like experiencing life through someone else. Founder at Filmo Maniac

View all posts by Rabi Chatterjee →

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