FACTOID # 5: Minnesota and Connecticut are both in the top 5 in saving money and total tax burden per capita.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > The Silent Flute

The Silent Flute is an unproduced screenplay written by Stirling Silliphant, Bruce Lee, and James Coburn in 1969. Although it has never been published, copies are available through private collectors. A version of the script, however, was released as the 1978 film, Circle of Iron. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ...

After completion of the script, while scouting for shooting locations in India, a heated argument broke out between Coburn and Lee, resulting in a distancing of the two. The project was put on hiatus, and a few years later, when Coburn offered to restart production as director, Lee was preoccupied with other films and refused.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.



The Silent Flute tells the story of Cord, (to be played by Coburn) a martial artist who seeks "The Book," which is said to contain the ultimate truths of fighting. Every five years a competition is held to pass it on to another person. When he finally obtains it, he has no need to look inside, the journey itself being his enlightenment. Along the way he has to fight four battles with characters each representing a different aspect of his weakness - all to be played by Lee:

  • Changsha (Rhythm Man) - a skilled martial artist, he travels with several players of musical instruments. His greatest asset is broken rhythm, which he uses to confuse opponents.
  • The Monkey Man - a fighter who is known to gouge out eyeballs. The fight is brutal, and it unites Cord with his animal instincts.
  • Death (Panther Man) - represents the fear of death within man. A fierce growl signifies his entrance into the story.
  • Ah Sahm - a blind flute player and martial artist. He meets with Cord at different points, and it is learned that he is not an enemy but rather a physical projection of Cord's enlightened self. An especially disturbing scene involves Ah Sahm killing a child, saying that he would have grown up to be a tyrant.

After Cord has proven himself, he meets with the book's current holder, Yamaguchi. All the competitors attempt to defeat him, but it is not until Cord enters that he discovers the secret. An intense stare-down ensues, and Yamaguchi tells him that the highest form of fighting is no fighting at all, and he presents him with the book.


Although never filmed, a number of concepts present in The Silent Flute can be seen in later movies and television such as on the show Longstreet. In the pilot episode, written by Silliphant, James Franciscus plays a blind investigator who meets Li Tsung, played by Bruce Lee. He teaches him to embrace his animal instincts and "learn the art of dying," an idea borrowed from the Panther Man character. In addition, some dialog is used in Enter the Dragon, as well as the uncompleted Game of Death. Enter the Dragon (《龍爭虎鬥》 aka. ... Game of Death (Chinese: 死亡遊戲) was the film Bruce Lee had planned to be the demonstration piece of his martial art Jeet Kune Do. ...

The Ah Sahm character seems to be based on Al-Khidr, a Qur'an figure. Specially, Cord's trip with Ah Sahm is very similar to Al-Khidr's trip with Moses, where he damages the ship, kills a child, and restores the damaged wall, and later, explains his 3 actions to Moses. Al-Khadir (right) and Dhul-Qarnayn, here referring to Alexander the Great, marvel at the sight of a salted fish that comes back to life when touched by the Water of Life. ... The Qurān [1] (Arabic: ‎, literally the recitation; also called The Noble Qurān; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ...

Circle of Iron

After Lee's death, the script was rewritten by Stirling Silliphant and Stanley Mann. A film was produced in 1978 with Richard Moore directing called Circle of Iron. It starred David Carradine playing the Lee roles as well as a guest appearance by Eli Wallach. The film bore little resemblance to the original script. David Carradine (born John Arthur Carradine on December 8, 1936 in Hollywood, California) is an American actor. ... Eli Herschel Wallach (born December 7, 1915) is an American film, TV and stage actor. ...

Years later, Bruce's son Brandon Lee showed an interest in making a more faithful version, but he died before having a chance to do so. Brandon Bruce Lee (李國豪 Cantonese: Léi Gwokhòu Pinyin: Lǐ Guóháo); February 1, 1965 – March 31, 1993) was an American actor of Chinese, Swedish, and German descent. ...

External links

  • Circle of Iron at IMDb
  • Features a copy of the original 16 page treatment



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m