Circle of Iron
"As a martial arts film, it has flat choreography. As an adventure film, it simply fails to stage content or emotion. "
Circle of Iron (1979)
AKA: Circle of Iron
Director: Richard Moore
Producer: Sandy Howard, Paul Maslansky
Writer: James Coburn, Bruce Lee, Stanley Mann, Stirling Silliphant
Cast: David Carradine, Jeff Cooper , Eli Wallach, Roddy McDowall, Christopher Lee
Running Time: 102 min.
Plot: A young martial artist competes for and wins the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowlege held by a wizard named Zetan. Along the way, he meets strange enemies and allies--often having difficulty determinimg which is which.
RAVEN'S REVIEW: Bruce Lee had helped write a screen play called "The Silent Flute," which was never produced. Following his death, that screen play was sold and changed beyond recognition, leaving only a few elements of the original. What became of this mess was "Circle of Iron," a very bad David Carradine movie. As a martial arts film, it has flat choreography. As an adventure film, it simply fails to stage content or emotion.
By the looks of it all, its makers intended on a epic, they must have settled for a lot less somewhere down the line. Still, some of Lee's imagery still lingers on, the ending where the hero looks into his treasure is a great example of what the entire film could have been.
Interestingly, Bruce Lee must have felt close to his writing of "Flute" which is based on a martial artists in search of a guarded treasure, he would later rework this idea into another screen play entitled "The Game of Death." A film that also never saw the light of day in its original format due his passing. It has been written, that a third attempt to get the original "Flute" produced was made by Bruce's son Brandon Lee who had acquired the rights, he too died before production. It would be a good day for all martial artist and movie fans alike if and when a respected film maker brings to the screen what Bruce Lee intended on more than thirty years ago.
RAVEN'S RATING: 4/10