Comparison between the censored UK-VHS from Warner Home Video (BBFC 18) and the uncensored German DVD from Warner Home Video, which contains the same uncensored version of the movie as the UK-DVD.
UK-VHS: 92:01 min without credits (92:41 min with credits) in PAL
German DVD: 97:38 min without credits (98:19 min with credits) in PAL
- 13 additional cuts
* 11 censorship-related cuts (115,9 sec)
* 2 plot extensions from the Extended Version (201,3 sec)
total running-time of the new material: 317,2 sec (= 5:17 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. Even Lee's only major US-release Enter The Dragon had to be censored. Many of the scenes that had to be removed were very tame. Not only did they cut out the scenes where he uses weapons, simply holding them was enough to have scenes removed. Besides that, it's business as usual: Easily imitable moves and techniques, especially from our old friend bolo, were anathema to the BBFC. 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.
Especially the 2-Disc Special Edition is a highlight for every fan because there are two full-length documentaries on the bonus disc, and due to the new censorship guidelines both discs are uncensored.
One more comment on the number and length of cuts: As can be infered from the classification of the cuts into censorship-related cuts and plot extensions, the UK-tape was based on the Theatrical Version. The two additional scenes of the Extended Version, which is the one that can be found on any new DVD-release have already been discussed in this related censorship report and are not included in this report. Censorship-related cuts only add up to slightly more than 2 minutes.
Time references are given according to the following scheme:
UK-VHS in PAL / UK-DVD in PAL
20:03 / 22:55-22:56
flawed editing when Roper returns to the golf course.
43:04 / 46:03-46:05
Man is shown significantly longer.
43:29 / 46:30-46:31
Roper and his gambling partner are shown earlier.
47:41 / 50:43-50:53
The last part of the shot after Lee has taken cover is missing: A guard with a nunchaku in his hands walks into the picture and bored he spins it around for some time.
First, another shot has been shortened: The guard walks foward a couple of more steps, the nunchaku under his arm is clearly visible.
This is followed by an inter-cut to Lee, then the guard is shown again. Lee follows him and eventually hides again.
49:21 / 52:51-52:53
In the original the shot starts slightly earlier and again the nunchaku is particulary striking. (The tape version continues when the guy has turned so far to the side that the nunchaku isn't visible anymore.)
49:25 / 52:57-53:02
The middle part of the shot was removed. The tape version continues when the guy is covered by the bush.
51:56 / 55:33-55:34
Han and his followers are shown longer in a long shot.
53:24 / 57:02-57:09
Bolo bends over to the poor guy, grabs his hair and pulls back his head hard, which causes his neck to break with a crack (it could also be his backbone that is suffering, though)
53:47 / 57:32-57:39
Bolo squeezes his next victim, bones are cracking.
54:45 / 58:37-58:38
Han nods a little longer after Lee has bowed in front of him.
70:29 / 74:24-74:31
The beginning of the shot was removed because of a nunchaku.
75:42 / 79:44-79:46
A short part in the middle of the shot was removed. In the original the camera zoomes out and Lee attacks two opponents with his sticks.
75:47 / 79:51-79:54
The shot is longer and again one attackers is carrying a nunchaku.
The following shot of Lee is also supposed to begin earlier.
75:52 / 79:59-80:28
First, the shot of Lee is longer, then he is attacked by the guy with the nunchaku but he instantly secures the weapon of the former with his stick. after some nunchaku-"waving", the attacker gets to feel Lee's martial arts skills. The tape continues when the guy falls into the water.
76:03 / 80:39-81:06
After Lee has been captured, he is shown again from above with the nunchaku in his hand. He sits down and puts them over his neck in a relaxed fashion. Han stands one level above Lee, praises him and wants to recruit him. ("The battle with the guards was magnificent. Your skill is extraordinary. And I was going to ask you to join us.")
Lee lowers his eyes again.