Circle of Iron 1978 ***

Any film based on a story by Bruce Lee and James Coburn has to be interesting, and Circle of Iron/The Silent Flute is a genuine oddity. Richard Moore’s film features Jeff Cooper as Cord, who seeks a confrontation with wizard Zetan (Christopher Lee), but must go through many obstacles to get there. Bruce Lee died before the film could go into production, but the four roles he would have played are picked up by David Carradine, and the mystical quality of his Kung Fu TV show is much in evidence here. Roddy McDowell has an unlikely cameo, as does Eli Wallach, discovered in a caldron full of oil where he punishes himself for his own misdemeanours. If you ever wondered what kind of films Bruce Lee might have made if he’s lived to enjoy his stardom, Circle of Iron/ The Silent Flute has your answer; mystical, dotty but entertaining.


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