Comparison between the censored UK-VHS from Polygram Video / 4 Front Video (BBFC 18) and the uncensored UK-DVD from Hong Kong Legends (BBFC 18)
UK-VHS: 98:50 min in PAL
UK-DVD: 102:13 min in PAL
- 3 additional cuts, incl. 2x alternative editing
- time difference: 170,9 sec (= 2:51 min)
Additional time differences result from alternative logos, the bad quality of the masters and early fade-outs on the VHS
In the time of VHS all Bruce Lee classics were only released as more or less censored versions in the UK. As one can imagine, the nunchakus used by Bruce Lee weren't popular with the censors of the BBFC and scenes with these weapons had to be completely removed from Fist of Fury. By the way, the tapes are not recommendable anyway. Not only because of the missing scenes but also because of the heavily zoomed in picture of the VHS.
The DVD releases from the former DVD-label Hong Kong Legends were all uncensored, since the censorship guidelines have become more lenient. To every fan, the "Platinum Edition" can be recommended. The good image quality and the substantial bonus material make it one of the best editions so far.
Time references are given according to the following scheme:
UK-VHS in PAL / UK-DVD in PAL
The UK-DVD begins with the logo of Fortune Star.
00:18-00:36 / 00:48
After the well-known Golden Harvest logo with its four stars, only the VHS shows additional company logos.
+ 18 sec
Only the DVD shows the introductory text. On the VHS it's missing.
03:35 / 03:47-03:48
Flawed editing: The shot from above begins a little earlier.
03:52-05:15 / 04:05-05:28
The first part of the credits, the one with the pictures of Bruce Lee is identical, but then the VHS shows alternative credits without any Chinese characters.
no time difference
19:00 / 19:13-19:20
After Chen has spun the Japanese fighters around in the air, the shot of the master, as well as the shot of Chen kicking some more Japanese and taking out his nunchaku are missing here.
19:02-19:09 / 19:22-21:11
Since the publisher didn't want to censor the tapes too obviously, but nevertheless had to remove all images of the nunchakus from the UK-VHS, some alternative editing was used.
After the shot of the Japanese master getting up, Chen is shown in a close-up for the first time. Afterwards, a short shot of the Japanese follows and then Chen is shown with his arms folded after he has thrown away the nunchakus. After that, another shot of the Japanese follows and then, with the next close-up of Chen, the two versions are identical again.
In the uncensored version the shots are arranged differently and the two shots of the Japanese are shown as one. Before that several other shots of Chen finishing off all disciples are shown.
First, he spins around his nunchakus, which intimidates the Japanese and causes them to hesitate. After some time, some try to attack but all are finished off by Chen. Some blood is shown on screen.
Eventually Chen spins around on the ground and with that knocks all opponents down. Then he poses and the remaining disciples go down to the ground voluntarily.
A Japanese in a black suit wants to grab a weapon but is held back by his master. The master then steps forward and the disciples spread around him. Bruce throws away his nunchakus and folds his arms.
The DVD is 101 sec longer
39:21 / 41:23-41:24
Flawed editing: Tien und Feng are shown longer.
60:33 / 62:36-62:37
Flawed editing when Wu staggers out of the room.
79:03 / 81:07-81:08
Flawed editing: Bruce looks through the door earlier.