enter the dragon

Jim Kelly Flashback: Exclusive Interview With the Karate Superstar

The Co-Star of Enter the Dragon Was Ready to Take on the World in 1975!

This article first appeared in the December 1975 issue of Fighting Stars, a sister publication of Black Belt.

"After this year, I will be the No. 1 Black star, and in three years, I'll be the No. 1 worldwide box-office champion — Black or white."

One doesn't interview Jim Kelly; it's more like a confrontation, with the writer firing questions and Kelly kicking and punching back answers.

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Bruce Lee Black Belt Magazine

The August/September 2020 issue of Black Belt Magazine celebrated the 80th birthday of the legendary Bruce Lee. The issue is also a metaphorical time capsule, with an exclusive Shannon Lee interview and a piece about the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on self-defense.

Paul Heller

Paul Heller, who served as executive producer on the Bruce Lee film "Enter the Dragon," passed away Monday at the age of 93. Heller, along with his partner Fred Weintraub, created the original 17 page story treatment for the film which would turn Lee into a worldwide star.

According to the biography "Bruce Lee: A Life," Heller said the story was originally inspired by the Terry and Pirates comic strips he read in his youth. He would hire screenwriter Michael Allin to turn the idea into a full blown movie script. After the success of "Enter the Dragon," Heller would return to the martial arts genre producing the blaxploitation karate film "Black Belt Jones" with Dragon co-star Jim Kelly. Among his other credits, Heller was executive producer for the 1990 Academy Award best film nominee "My Left Foot."

Be Water
 and Enter the Fat Dragon

On July 20, 1973, Bruce Lee passed away in Hong Kong. On July 20, 2020, in honor of his life and his profound effect on my life, I watched director Bao Nguyen's Be Water, an ESPN "30 for 30" film that covers his life, career and martial arts philosophy.

What separates Be Water from other Bruce Lee documentaries is the lack of narration. Instead, Nguyen provides insights via rarely seen videos and home movies; diary entries; letters to friends; and interviews with Lee's students, a former girlfriend, his daughter Shannon Lee, his brother Robert Lee and his widow Linda Lee Caldwell.

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