If you broaden your scope to include someplace called “the rest of the world,” arguably no film icon ever resonated so far, so quickly and for so long as Bruce Lee. Known for only four films released between 1971 and 1973 (the last one coming a month after his death at 32), Lee’s career wasn’t actually that short. The must-see documentary I Am Bruce Lee points out that he was a child actor in Hong Kong before moving back to his native United States in 1959, where he also found limited success in the mid-’60s as Kato on The Green Hornet. But it was his martial-arts films that turned the world upside down. They not only made him a screen legend and created a viable genre around the world; they forever changed the face of martial-arts practice. His impact was international, unforgettable and—like his onscreen strikes—terribly sudden.
Director: Pete McCormack
Producer: Paul Gertz, Derik Murray and John Barbisan