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The Big Boss

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

Comparison:

  • Regular version
  • English export cut (Arrow Video)
Release: Aug 01, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the regular version (Hong Kong 1983 cut) and the English export cut (1971/72), 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 English export cut.

This version contains all the brief moments that were present in the German VHS release. Strictly speaking, there is nothing really new compared to the report for the version on the old US DVD, including the appendix. However, in this version, there are no censorship cuts as in the German VHS or missing scenes as in the US DVD to criticize. The corresponding original English dub by Golden Harvest also uses the original score from the Mandarin version and not the revised version by Peter Thomas, which was used first in Germany and then in the USA, for example.

Similar to the reconstructed US theatrical version by Arrow, it is a bit peculiar how meticulously these mini-scenes were integrated from the Mandarin source (including burnt-in subtitles, even though the original English dub is heard). But that's precisely why it's a nice little nostalgia bonus for people who grew up with such releases of the film and want to hear the corresponding soundtrack exactly as it was. However, for most viewers, the standard version with consistent picture quality is probably recommended, as it also offers both English soundtracks (with minor dubbing flaws in moments not present in the standard version). In general, it's advisable to prefer the longer Mandarin Cut, but this one is not available with any English dub.

 

Running times are arranged according to the scheme
Standard version from Arrow Video in 23.976fps / US version from Arrow Video in 23.976fps
The standard version still refers to Fortune Star at the beginning.

+ 36 sec


Different production logos at the beginning. The one from Golden Harvest is significantly longer. Then, the order of the credits differs slightly at the beginning, similar to the Mandarin Cut, but including the alternative US title Fists of Fury. The rest of the animations are generally mostly identical, but the US version lacks these overlays.

The standard version is 2.5 sec longer

Standard versionEnglish export version



Note: In the report for Arrow's US theatrical version, we have already listed the numerous differences in credits. There is one last chapter to this topic in the bonus material with the "alternative English credits", which represent yet another mishmash of the different creations without further explanation.



13:47 / 13:14-13:16

Just one frame at the end of a shot is already used from the Mandarin master. Afterward, Cheng and Hsu are seen earlier. This scene is already known from the German VHS.

In the English original dub, Hsu says here, differing from the subtitles of the Mandarin print: "It's just a small place."

As with the US theatrical version, for the optional SDH subtitles on the disc, a black background is briefly added, so it can still be read well over the burned-in Mandarin subtitles.

2.3 sec



14:17 / 13:46-13:48

Also known from the German VHS: The baddies are seen longer before the fight begins. The guy in the yellow shirt delivers his threat while raising his hand admonishingly for a second time.

In the English original dub, Hsu says here, differing from the subtitles of the Mandarin print: "We're gonna teach you to mind your own business."

2.5 sec



18:15 / 17:46-17:50

The beard scene: Already on the old German tape, Cheng and Ah Kun were seen longer. The latter gestures to the peculiarities of the foreman (beard and ponytail). It's exactly the same in the Mandarin Cut.

In this case, the English original dub closely matches the English subtitles for the Mandarin print. Only the "The one" part is missing in the spoken sentence.

4.3 sec



22:39 / 22:14-22:15

Also known from the German VHS: The two workers look a bit longer at the manager as he tries to bribe them. In the English original dub, you can hear them asking: "Why for us?"

0.7 sec



23:11 / 22:47-22:48

As with the German VHS: Slightly longer end/start of two shots.

In the English original dub, the manager promises: "(--and) you can make some money."

1.1 sec



25:30 / 25:07-25:16

The fabric run, already known from the German VHS and in a shortened form from the old US DVD: Hsu and the other workers come to the factory earlier the next morning.

8.8 sec



26:41 / 26:27-26:32

Also completely known from the German VHS and cut in a different way in both the standard version and the old US DVD: Hsu speaks to Boss Mi longer, and the subsequent shot of Mi also begins a little earlier.

In the English original dub, the wording is different from both the subtitles of the Mandarin print and the more well-known US second dub: "First old man Wang disappears, and nobody knows what happened. And now these two."

5.2 sec



31:23 / 31:14-31:17

Known from the German VHS: Mi responds earlier to Hsu's complaint that they haven't heard anything new yet.

In the English original dub, he says: "They happened to have a little money in their pockets now and gone to spend it."

3.2 sec



64:33 / 64:28

After half an hour without deviations, a shot of Ah Kun and co is a few insignificant frames longer.

0.4 sec



69:15 / 69:10-69:13

Known again from the German VHS: Mi is seen a bit longer at the beginning of the conversation with Cheng.

In the English original dub, he says: "I know why you've come. It's this strange business about Hsu Chien, isn't it?"

3.3 sec



70:39 / 70:37-70:41

Also on the German VHS: Mi praises Cheng a bit more.

English original dub: "You can go a long way. You'll have a big future with us."

4.3 sec



77:32 / 77:34-77:35

Also, the slightly earlier shot of the prostitute (before she shows the brand on her chest) is already known from the German VHS.

0.8 sec



98:21 / 98:24-98:32

The most famous scene among the many small snippets that could already be discovered on the German VHS and the old DVD: When Cheng thrusts his hands into Mi's chest, the rotation is actually much longer. The resulting body position also explains the continuity error in the standard version, where Cheng suddenly stands on the right and Mi on the left.

Note: Interestingly, this scene was also incomplete in the Mandarin print. It only showed the beginning of the shot (also included in the standard version), and before the camera moves up, it immediately cuts to the last 4 seconds of the rotation. So, while it contains different and especially other footage than the standard version, it is also not complete. Fortunately, another source was used for this by Arrow, so the scene is seen in the longest possible form.

7.9 sec



Credits
100:03-100:09 / 100:14-100:22

The end credit is different.

Standard version 0.3 sec longer

Standard versionEnglish export version