Enter the Dragon

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First-ever US-Hong Kong Co-production[edit]

The widespread popularity of Chinese martial art films worldwide in the early 1970's became known as the 'Kung fu wave'. Bruce Lee was the face of this movement and became the first Chinese global superstar. The release of 'Enter the Dragon' in 1973 was the apex of the global 1970's Kung-fu wave and was the first ever US-Hong Kong co-production. The most internationally successful at the time, the USA deemed the film an artefact of 'cultural significance' and has preserved it in the National Film Registry. Historians note the resonance of such films amongst African-Americans, who particularly embraced this genre of film due to the appeal of non-white heroes who often displayed a sense of nationalistic pride. The Hong Kong influence can still be felt in worldwide action cinema today; Quentin Tarantino's recent Kill Bill films are a prime example of this influence, with the films paying homage to the classic martial arts genre. Bruce Lee's legacy helped imprint Chinese martial arts culture into the global consciousness. The US-Hong Kong co-production of 'Enter the Dragon' signified a fusion of American and Chinese culture and challenged the dominance of typical western action movies with white heroes.