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Soundtrack review: Enter the dragon (Lalo Schifrin – 1973, 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Enter the dragon (Lalo Schifrin – 1973, 2014)


“Enter the dragon” is one of the best martial arts movies of all times and the last film before Bruce Lee’s death. The score for this movie has been very much a holy grail for many, and this year we finally got a proper release. Lalo Schifrin, the jazz man most known for his immortal Mission: Impossible theme wrote this score, and after 40 years we get to listen to the entire composition. This is another movie with sentimental value for me, because it’s one of the movies I have the earliest recollections about… I remember flashes and scenes from when I was very young. My parents were watching it and I must have been at an age where I couldn’t understand much when I first stumbled upon it. I did return to the movie and I remember almost every scene now.

The “Main titles” tell you everything you need to know about this score… This is funky goodness, cool and baring the sign of the time when this score was written (1973). You will instantly feel like grooving when listening to this one, it’s one of those immortal themes that are still as good now as it was 40 years ago.

The blend of jazz, funk and Asian influences is simply brilliant. The funky cues are among the coolest you will ever hear. This is a true martial arts movie score, with swift and sharp hits, smooth moves and tough as iron. “Headset jazz” or “Into the night” make me so happy and excited when I listen to them… I just feel like putting on a black outfit and sneaking in somewhere. I will be untouchable and invisible, of course.

Just like the opening titles, the “End titles” and the “Theme from Enter the dragon”, with Bruce Lee’s sharp battle cries and a rhythm so smooth that you want to cover your skin with it, remain among the coolest ever written, and as legendary as Bruce Lee himself.  Do yourselves a favor and listen to this release.

Cue rating: 81 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 36 / 60

Album excellence: 60%


Main Titles

Sampans And Flashbacks

The Banquet

Headset Jazz

The Gentle Softness

Into The Night

Broken Mirrors

End Titles

Theme From Enter The Dragon

Main Titles (Alternate)

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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