Circle of Iron (The Silent Flute) (1979)

the BAD


Director: Richard Moore

“Tie two birds together, and even though they have four wings, they cannot fly.”
Bruce Lee’s dream project that he was never able to get started, had been made a couple of years after his dead when the script was sold. David Carradine had become very intrested in doing it, which was probably a big selling point thanks to the KUNG FU tv series and he even plays four different roles in Circle of Iron and he’s absolutely great in all of them and watching him pull it off is reason enough to watch this. It’s one big mess of a film, even tough Roddy McDowall and Christopher Lee have small parts in it. The story could’ve worked, but the godawful performance of miscast lead actor Jeff Cooper ruins everything on it’s own. The guy is supposed to be this great fighter on a quest, but comes of more like a daft bodybuilder. He’s clearly too clumsy to actually fight and he seems  out of place here, like he should belong in a barabarian movie instead. It’s an odd casting decision, even more so considering Bruce Lee had intended to cast Steve McQueen as the fighter.
There are a couple of very strange scenes, that don’t make much sense or contribute anything to the story and the finished film is quite the nonsense.
The monkey people are a thing on their own and have to be seen to be believed.
If it wasn’t for Carradine and Lee, Circle of Iron would be absolutely terrible, but besides all the weaknesess (and there are many), there are also some very good ideas and great scenes. The original title was The Silent Flute and this film is also the reason why Carradine is playing a flute in Kill Bill 2.

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