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The Big Boss

original title: Tang shan da xiong (aka Fists of Fury)

Comparison:

  • Mandarin raw scan
  • Mandarin Cut
Release: Jul 30, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the unrestored raw scan of the Mandarin print and the Mandarin Cut, both included on Arrow Video's UK 4K UHD set.
 
 
- 13 changes
- Difference: 44.7 sec
 
 
We have already summarized all the essentials about the British box set BRUCE LEE AT GOLDEN HARVEST from Arrow Video in 4K UHD in the report on the Mandarin Cut of the first film The Big Boss. It's a must-buy for die-hard fans, partly because of this absolutely spectacular 10-minute-longer cut. As already mentioned, there are two more versions to choose from on the 4K UHD disc. Both use the standard master as a base (seamless branching) and have a few inserts. In this report, we will focus on the unrestored raw scan of the Mandarin print, which is included as a "Grindhose" extra on disc 2.

Not surprisingly, various imperfections in the image can be observed, especially during reel changes where sometimes a few frames and occasionally several seconds are lost. Interestingly, this has even affected some bits of violence, and particularly in the finale, it is possible that this was a deliberate censorship intervention. In any case, it is understandable why the clean restored standard master was used as the basis for the actual "Mandarin Cut" main version, with only supplementary material added to it. At the same time, we can confirm from the present comparison that there is also nothing additional to be discovered in the film print. For the "Mandarin Cut" reconstruction, every single longer snippet was genuinely taken into account and not just inserted half-heartedly, as done by other labels like T.V.P., where only selected sections were included in similar projects.

 

Running times are arranged according to the scheme
Unrestored raw scan from in 23.976fps / Mandarin print from in 23.976fps
The Mandarin version starts with a reference to Fortune Star.

36 sec


The beginning of the old Golden Harvest logo was missing in the Mandarin print, so it was completed from another source.

Mandarin Cut 7.8 sec longer

Mandarin Raw ScanMandarin Cut



12:21 / 13:05-13:06

After a reel change marker is seen in the top right of the image...

Mandarin Raw ScanMandarin Cut


...a few frames are missing from the transition of the shot from Cheng to the weeping Mrs. Ma.

0.7 sec


20:37 / 21:22-21:23

Cheng takes a few more steps forward - just before the Mandarin-exclusive scene where Cheng passes by Nora Miao and walks away shamefully. There is also a marker in the image just before this.

0.7 sec



21:35 / 22:21-22:22

When Chow Mei is being harassed by Tony, there is a jump cut.

0.5 sec



38:06 / 38:54-38:56

Jump cut, just before Mi turns around.

1.5 sec



39:35 / 40:24-40:25

Jump cut during a (harmless) moment of the fight scene.

0.7 sec



39:39 / 40:29-40:30

There's a bit of a hiccup in Hsu's movements shortly after.

1.2 sec



40:53 / 41:45-41:46

When Tony throws the knife at Hsu, the beginning of the shot is missing, where Hsu, with the knife in his abdomen, briefly makes a pained face.
It's uncertain whether this is a deliberate censorship or just a missing piece due to the source material.

0.8 sec



In the two identical seconds that follow, there are some noticeable damages in the image and another marker:

Mandarin Raw ScanMandarin Cut



40:55 / 41:48-41:49

The same shot continues for a moment longer.

1.1 sec

41:10 / 42:04-42:06

Jump cut, just before Cheng puts the alarm clock back.

2 sec



43:32 / 44:28

Jump cut in the middle of a camera movement.

0.7 sec



51:23 / 52:20

A flaw in the source material causes a punch to the face to be missing.

0.7 sec



61:02 / 61:59-62:12

A longer missing section due to a reel change: Ah Kun makes a comment at the end of the scene (before Cheng sits at the dining table with Mi).

13 sec



61:33 / 62:43-62:44

Jump cut, just before the people are led inside.

0.6 sec

A few frames are also lost shortly afterward.

72:05 / 73:17-73:18

A few frames are lost during a reel change as Cheng stands at the gate of Mi's estate.

0.8 sec



83:25-83:30 / 84:39-84:46

A source material error affects the shot of the doorknob, and shortly after, when Tony looks out from behind the door.

Uncut 2 sec longer



Again, some damages and markers in the image are evident in the moments that follow...

Mandarin Raw ScanMandarin Cut



83:32 / 84:48-84:58

...before the scene simply cuts off and omits the moment when the prostitute makes a sound shortly before the camera pans down to show a knife in her chest. The following shot of Chow Mei hanging the laundry also starts a bit earlier.

10 sec



Immediately after, there is a 0.7 sec jump cut that is lost.

84:11 / 85:37-85:38

The men are shown walking a moment longer to the outhouse (+ first frames of the following shot).

1 sec



88:09 / 89:37-89:38

Jump cut as the attackers stand around Cheng.

1 sec



94:15 / 95:44-95:45

Reel change: The tree is shown a bit earlier.

1 sec



99:23 / 100:52-100:53

After the additional scene in the brothel, Cheng is shown walking outside a bit earlier.

1.3 sec



107:15 / 108:46-108:56

The most well-known scene of the many small snippets that could already be discovered on the German VHS and the old DVD: When Cheng has his hands rammed into Mi's chest, the rotation is actually much longer. Interestingly, even in the Mandarin print, this scene was incomplete in yet another way.

Here, only the beginning of the shot is shown (which is also present in the standard version), but just before the camera pans up, it immediately switches to the last 4 seconds of the rotation. So, while there is indeed more or, especially, different footage seen compared to the standard version, it is far from being the complete shot. Fortunately, for the reconstructed Mandarin Cut, additional footage was sourced from another place, allowing the scene to be shown in the longest possible assembled form.

10.2 sec



107:26 / 109:07-109:10

The last frames of the wide shot are missing, and then several hits from Cheng on Mi's face.

2.9 sec



Interestingly, the Mandarin print then shows only a short portion of the close-up shot of Mi, which is missing in the standard version and thus, in the Mandarin Cut, is inserted at the chronologically appropriate place directly after the cut described here.