Carradine had built an impressive abundance of credits over the years, rivalling his father, John, in the low-budget department. But leave us not forget, David was also an Academy Award Best Actor nominee for his role of Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby's BOUND FOR GLORY.Naturally, his iconic role of Caine in KUNG FU will be at the top of his legacy, but there are other landmarks in his canon as well. His take on Cole Younger in Walter Hill's brilliant western THE LONG RIDERS fit him like a glove, the only film he appeared with brothers Keith and Robert. In 1975, Carradine starred as a character called Frankenstein in the sensational satire DEATH RACE 2000 for Roger Corman's studio. And naturally, his most recent rebirth courtesy of Quentin Tarantino as the title character in KILL BILL.But one Carradine film that has been omitted from his obits really deserves to be revived, the kung fu fantasy CIRCLE OF IRON from 1978. In 1969, Bruce Lee and James Coburn conceived the screen story for IRON (originally titled THE SILENT FLUTE) with the full intention of starring in it themselves. This is a few years before Lee's ascension as a major star in Hong Kong films, so the project was an uphill battle at best. The project remained on the shelf long after Lee's death in 1973. Oscar winning screenwriter Sterling Silliphant (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT) devised a workable screenplay and David Carradine, capitalizing on his KUNG FU fame, took over Lee's quadruple play.
CIRCLE OF IRON is almost a greatest hits package of Zen parables.Sample dialogue:
BLIND MAN: A fish saved my life once.
BLIND MAN: I ate him.
I love this kind of stuff.
It contains some very decent fight sequences attached, wrapped in a serviceable story about the quest for the Book of Knowledge. Directed by cinematographer Richard Moore in his one and stint in the captain's chair, handles the whole package with a light, but deft touch.
And Carradine plays each of his characters in his easy, laconic-and iconic-style. CIRCLE OF IRON is a fine testament to the man, the legend, now the salacious rumor.
Now that the dust has settled, maybe now we can remember Carradine for something other than the weirdo way his life ended and get back to more serious discussion.
Like the fact that Jon & Kate are separating! Yay!
Frankly I smell a rat. (Maybe it's under Kate's hairdo. What the hell is that thing anyway? Didn't Brad Pitt wear a similar helmet in TROY?) I have a feeling it's all a set up. They saw how big the ratings were for these "troubled relationship" shows of theirs, the biggest in TLC history. (Shame on them and anyone who watched them. That's right. Shame. Remember that feeling?) next set of shows will be them living separate lives and how they deal with the kids which will all culminate in their reconciliation., resulting in even bigger ratings for these boorish freaks.
And the kids? Maybe they'll get their own spin-off series, one for each kid. I hope it involves therapy...or even foster parents. They can go live with The Duggers. They need eight more kids. That'll put 'em in well into the twenties.
What a world.