Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 16

It's nice to get a chance to wander. In between packing rooms, I took a few moments to research today's birthdays, and found the name Stirling Silliphant. He's not a federal witness protection alias; Silliphant wrote some of the 60's mot acclaimed movies and TV shows, including "In the Heat of the Night", "The Poseiden Adventure," "Village of the Damned," "Route 66..."

And it was reading up about him that I learned about a lost Bruce Lee movie. Apparently, he was a student of Bruce Lee's, in his pre-superstar days. Lee and Silliphant co-wrote a script about Eastern philosophy: a young martial artist wanders in search of a mystic book, encountering many trials and battles, as well as wisdom from a mysterious sensei. "The Silent Flute" was supposed to star James Coburn as the wanderer, and Bruce Lee in multiple roles, including the sensai character. The project never got past the location scouting stage. Several years after Lee's death, Silliphant dusted off the script, took out the Tantric sex and some of the gorier fights, and sold it. Although it was now set in a fantasy world, "Circle of Iron" still possessed much of the koans and parables Lee had wanted to present to the audience. This time, David Carradine got Bruce Lee's role (again!) and some new guy had the James Coburn role It's generally considered a not-so-good movie, but still meritorious for its philosophy and audaciousness. Here's the trailer; it's not too hard to imagine what Bruce Lee would have done with the role:

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