The Big Brawl (1980)

R | 95 mins | Comedy | 5 September 1980

Full page view
HISTORY

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer-director Robert Clouse along with producer Fred Weintraub and executive producer Raymond Chow were the same team responsible for the successful film Enter The Dragon (1973, see entry), starring Bruce Lee. To avoid duplicating Lee’s style. Clouse set the story in 1938-era Chicago, IL, and Chan’s performance, based on his Chinese Opera-training in martial arts, theater, mime and gymnastics, produced a different type of action hero. Chan did his own stunts, choreographed his fights, and learned how to skate for a roller skating race sequence in the movie. Additional stunt work was provided by the Los Angeles Thunderbirds (or T-Birds), a professional Roller Derby team.
       Production charts in the 18 Jan 1980 HR stated that principal photography on the film, referred to by its working title Battlecreek Brawl, began 14 Jan 1980 in San Antonio, TX. The film’s budget was $6 million, according to a 14 Apr 1980 HR article.
       As reported in the 14 Feb 1980 DV, twenty-one fighters and 1,200 extras participated in the climactic fight scene filmed in Floresville, TX.

      The following acknowledgments appear in the end credits: “The producers wish to thank Bong Soo Han for the use of his karate facilities and the people of San Antonio and Floresville, Texas for their cooperation during the making of this motion ... More Less

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer-director Robert Clouse along with producer Fred Weintraub and executive producer Raymond Chow were the same team responsible for the successful film Enter The Dragon (1973, see entry), starring Bruce Lee. To avoid duplicating Lee’s style. Clouse set the story in 1938-era Chicago, IL, and Chan’s performance, based on his Chinese Opera-training in martial arts, theater, mime and gymnastics, produced a different type of action hero. Chan did his own stunts, choreographed his fights, and learned how to skate for a roller skating race sequence in the movie. Additional stunt work was provided by the Los Angeles Thunderbirds (or T-Birds), a professional Roller Derby team.
       Production charts in the 18 Jan 1980 HR stated that principal photography on the film, referred to by its working title Battlecreek Brawl, began 14 Jan 1980 in San Antonio, TX. The film’s budget was $6 million, according to a 14 Apr 1980 HR article.
       As reported in the 14 Feb 1980 DV, twenty-one fighters and 1,200 extras participated in the climactic fight scene filmed in Floresville, TX.

      The following acknowledgments appear in the end credits: “The producers wish to thank Bong Soo Han for the use of his karate facilities and the people of San Antonio and Floresville, Texas for their cooperation during the making of this motion picture.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 1980
p. 34.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 1980
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
31 Aug 1980
p. 33.
New York Times
10 Sep 1980
p. 24.
Variety
27 Aug 1980
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Golden Harvest Presentation
Raymond Chow's Golden Harvest Presents
A Fred Weintraub Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Key grip
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus by
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd ed
Sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Loop ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Casting by
Loc casting
Loc casting
Loc coord
Scr supv
Asst to the exec prod
Prod coord
Prod asst
Asst to the prod
Auditor
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Prints by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Battlecreek Brawl
Release Date:
5 September 1980
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 5 September 1980: New York opening: 10 September 1980
Production Date:
began 14 January 1980 in San Antonio, Texas
Copyright Claimant:
Northshore Investments, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
20 October 1980
Copyright Number:
PA85584
Physical Properties:
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Prints
Film Processing C.F.I.
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Hong Kong, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a 1936 Chicago, Illinois, street fight, mobster and promoter Dominici watches as his fighter loses to brawler Billy Kiss. Morgan, Billy’s manager, warns Dominici that his man does not have the skill to compete in the upcoming Battlecreek Brawl. In another part of town, Jerry Kwan practices acrobatics on the steel girders at a construction site while his girl friend, Nancy, watches. Soon after, gangsters demand protection money from Jerry’s father, Kwan, at his Chinese restaurant, and Jerry defeats the mob in an alley fight. Although Jerry overpowers the gangsters, Kwan would prefer that Jerry spent his time studying to be a doctor like his brother, Robert, instead of training in martial arts with his uncle, Herbert Kwan. Upon hearing that Jerry defeated his men, Dominici commands his nephew and associate, David Leggetti, to bring Jerry to him. At night, Jerry enters a contest at the roller rink to earn the cash prize and notices Leggetti conducting business with an opposing team member. In the first round, the skaters are sprayed with water from fire hoses and Jerry’s teammate, Jug, barely passes the baton to Nancy. After Jerry catches the baton from Nancy, two other skaters attack him. However, he outsmarts them and crosses the finish line victorious. Jerry and Nancy drive off clutching their trophy, while Jug decides to walk home and is beaten by Leggetti’s men. Jerry and Robert find Jug alive but unconscious, and take him to the hospital. Later, Jerry receives a mysterious phone call and is instructed to meet a contact, who will provide information about Jug’s attackers. Instead, Jerry arrives at a deserted outdoor theater and is attacked by the ... +


At a 1936 Chicago, Illinois, street fight, mobster and promoter Dominici watches as his fighter loses to brawler Billy Kiss. Morgan, Billy’s manager, warns Dominici that his man does not have the skill to compete in the upcoming Battlecreek Brawl. In another part of town, Jerry Kwan practices acrobatics on the steel girders at a construction site while his girl friend, Nancy, watches. Soon after, gangsters demand protection money from Jerry’s father, Kwan, at his Chinese restaurant, and Jerry defeats the mob in an alley fight. Although Jerry overpowers the gangsters, Kwan would prefer that Jerry spent his time studying to be a doctor like his brother, Robert, instead of training in martial arts with his uncle, Herbert Kwan. Upon hearing that Jerry defeated his men, Dominici commands his nephew and associate, David Leggetti, to bring Jerry to him. At night, Jerry enters a contest at the roller rink to earn the cash prize and notices Leggetti conducting business with an opposing team member. In the first round, the skaters are sprayed with water from fire hoses and Jerry’s teammate, Jug, barely passes the baton to Nancy. After Jerry catches the baton from Nancy, two other skaters attack him. However, he outsmarts them and crosses the finish line victorious. Jerry and Nancy drive off clutching their trophy, while Jug decides to walk home and is beaten by Leggetti’s men. Jerry and Robert find Jug alive but unconscious, and take him to the hospital. Later, Jerry receives a mysterious phone call and is instructed to meet a contact, who will provide information about Jug’s attackers. Instead, Jerry arrives at a deserted outdoor theater and is attacked by the Woo brothers, a pair of martial artists. Dominici and John, an associate, sit down and watch the fight unfold. When Jerry wins, Dominici and John disappear. Back at the restaurant, Kwan voices his fears that Jerry will not be able to earn a living with his fighting. Although Kwan thinks Jerry can make money working at his restaurant, Jerry is unenthusiastic about joining the family business. Meanwhile, Robert asks Jerry to meet Mae Chan, his mail order bride from China, when her ship arrives at the dock in San Francisco, California. When Mae’s purse is snatched, Jerry retrieves it, and finds that Dominici’s men have kidnapped her. To ensure Mae’s safe return, Jerry agrees to be Dominici’s fighter at the Battlecreek Brawl in Texas for the $15,000 prize money. Since Robert has not yet met Mae, Dominici holds her hostage, while an imposter, Miss Wong, takes her place as Jerry trains for the fight. In Chicago, Jerry and Uncle Herbert hatch a plan to rescue Mae, breaking into Dominici’s compound and eliminating most of his men; however, they are caught, and although Dominici is impressed with their rescue attempt, he will not release Mae until Jerry wins the Battlecreek Brawl. In Texas, Jerry’s first opponent tries to run him down in a patrol car, but destroys a fire hydrant instead, ending the fight. Behind the scenes, Dominici’s rival, Morgan, has enlisted Leggetti’s help to eliminate Jerry from the competition. A stranger hands Jerry his uncle’s hat with a note warning that his uncle has been kidnapped. Jerry advances to the final against Billy Kiss, but is told that Herbert will not be harmed if he loses the fight. The brawl between Jerry and Billy commences, but before long Jerry disappears in the crowd. Although Herbert has been tied up and held captive, he escapes from Morgan’s men and climbs up the bell tower. Billy finds Jerry in the crowd and is about to finish him off when Herbert rings the bell and alerts his nephew that he is okay. Jerry is free to win the competition and attacks Billy repeatedly. When it looks like Jerry might win, Leggetti instructs Billy to take the fight inside a movie theater. There, Jerry is ambushed, but defeats the gangsters. In the street, Billy claims victory but Jerry reappears, and the fight resumes with the fighters using everything at their disposal. Jerry finally overpowers Billy with a series of acrobatic moves. Jerry is congratulated by the crowd and hoisted in the air, where he is joined by Nancy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.