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– by Anthony Esteves

His name is forever etched in stone. His words echo forever in the pantheons of philosophy, martial arts, and pop culture. He is easily one of the most influential popular figures of the late 20th century and the film that gave him international fame is now streaming on Netflix.

Released in 1973, Enter The Dragon tells the tale of a Shaolin martial artist named Lee (played by Bruce Lee) who is selected by a British agent to infiltrate a special tournament held on a secluded island. The plan is for Lee to gather intel on the island’s crime boss owner, Han (Kien Shih). Lee is joined by Roper (John Saxon) and Williams (Jim Kelly) on the island as the three attempts to climb the ladder in the tournament. As the tension builds and the body count starts to rise, Lee decides to make his move and bring down Han himself in what became one of the greatest climactic showdowns in action film history.

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Upon joining this production, Bruce Lee did not want to create just another martial arts film. He wanted to present a piece of art that showed the beauty of Chinese culture. One that would open the eyes of mainstream American audiences and show them how rich the heritage he so loved was. Sadly, Lee never got to witness the success of his dream, as the legend fell into a strange coma and passed away just three weeks before the film’s premiere.

However, Lee’s dream came to fruition nevertheless. The film went on to revolutionize the genre, considered by many as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time. In 2004, Enter The Dragon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. In a statement, the Library of Congress said that the film was “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Moreover, the themes in the film have sparked discussions about how they reflect the changes taking place within post-colonial Asian societies in the aftermath of the Second World War.

If you have never seen this film, now is the time to introduce yourself to a martial arts classic featuring “The Dragon” himself. Take some time out of your day and keep your eyes glued to the screen as you watch the film that revolutionized the martial arts genre. Additionally, if you haven’t before, research the history of Bruce Lee. Learn about the man who was so much more than just an actor or a fighter. Bruce Lee believed in the philosophy of the art form as well as the betterment of the human spirit. Show some respect to the icon himself by reading a bit about the man.

But first, go to Netflix and watch Enter The Dragon right away.

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