5.9/10
2,039
53 user 45 critic

Circle of Iron (1978)

A young martial artist embarks on an adventure, encountering other martial artists in battle until one day he meets an aging blind man who will show him the true meaning of martial arts and life.

Director:

Richard Moore

Writers:

Stirling Silliphant (screenplay), Stanley Mann (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
David Carradine ... The Blind Man / Monkeyman / Death / Changsha
Jeff Cooper ... Cord
Christopher Lee ... Zetan
Roddy McDowall ... White Robe
Eli Wallach ... Man-in-Oil
Anthony De Longis ... Morthond (as Anthony de Longis)
Earl Maynard Earl Maynard ... Black Giant
Erica Creer ... Tara
Michael M. Vendrell Michael M. Vendrell ... Martial Artist (as Michael Vendrell)
Leo Whang Leo Whang ... Martial Artist
Donnie Williams Donnie Williams ... Martial Artist
Robert Gardner Robert Gardner ... Martial Artist
Tom Ascensio Tom Ascensio ... Martial Artist
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Storyline

A young martial artist, Cord the Seeker, competes for and loses the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowlege held by a wizard named Zetan, but he goes along the path to seek Zetan anyway. Along the way, he meets strange tests and challenges by enemies and allies - often having difficulty determining which is which. Written by Sam L. <saml75@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Bruce Lee's spirit lives in ... Circle of Iron See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 July 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Silent Flute See more »

Filming Locations:

Bet Shean, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of the fight sequences, David Carradine's nose was broken twice, his toe gouged, and knee hurt. See more »

Goofs

During the fight between Changsha and the Black Giant David Carradine's wig falls off after a high kick. See more »

Quotes

Cord: You were through here before!
Blind Man: [Blind man slaps Cord's face] How many times?
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 51 secs by the BBFC to remove footage of fighting staff, a throwing star and a shot of a cow receiving a karate blow to its neck. The cuts were fully waived for the 2008 Orbit DVD release. See more »

Connections

Version of The Silent Flute See more »

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User Reviews

 
Be the empty vessel
5 November 2004 | by CelluloidRehabSee all my reviews

This is the story and journey of a lone man, Cord (played by Canadian Jeff Cooper), who is in search of Zetan and his book of knowledge. Along the way he meets many people and has to overcome several trials.

The story was original conceived by Bruce Lee, with help from James Coburn. In the meantime Bruce left for Honk Kong (Golden Harvest) to make what would be his series of movies that would immortalize him. This movie was resurrected after Bruce's untimely death.

What would have been Bruce's role, as the blind mystic/martial arts flute player with a bell on his toe, went to the universal Bruce Lee role acquiring machine that is David Carradine. In David's defense he does play 4 roles in this movie and is the saving grace of the movie. Jeff Cooper painfully interprets Cord, the hero. He almost lacks any emotion even when annoyed or angry his face is strangely serene and on the verge of a smile. He obviously spent time working out, but little to no time in a dojo. Also what's up with the hair ?? David's problem lies in his "martial arts" skills and his fortune cookie kung-fu babble. The movie seems like an extended version of the TV series that David was in (Kung Fu).

There are problems with this movie. Initially the movie was to take place in the East (China, Thailand, etc) to correspond with the various themes of the movie (Taoism, Zen Buddhism, etc). Instead the movie was filmed in Israel. The landscapes and backdrops are at times breathtaking, just out of place. This along with the crappy martial arts choreography (think Dolemite) and the repetition of extras gives the movie the feel of a Conan knock-off.

There are also some nice cameos by Roddy McDowall, Christopher Lee and Eli Wallach. The man in oil scene is priceless. Throughout all this if one pays attention, one can pick up a lot of Bruce's beliefs and philosophies. One can only wonder how good this movie would have been if Bruce would have been able to make it. I highly recommend this movie for fans of Bruce and the martial arts genre.

-Celluloid Rehab


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