They Call Me Bruce?

They Call Me Bruce? (also known as They Call Me Bruce) is a 1982 American comedy action film directed by Elliott Hong, written by David B. Randolph, and starring Johnny Yune and Margaux Hemingway.[1]

They Call Me Bruce?
Directed byElliott Hong
Written byDavid B. Randolph
Music byTommy Vig
Distributed byFilm Ventures International
Release date
  • 1982 (1982)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
For the Bruce Campbell 2006 film see My Name is Bruce.

The film was followed by a sequel, They Still Call Me Bruce (1987), which also starred Johnny Yune.


The film opens with a young boy running to meet his grandfather (played by Yune), who lies dying on his bed. The young boy sadly explains that he could not find the medicine required to cure his grandfather's ailment and wonders aloud who will take care of him after his grandfather dies. His dying grandfather attempts to reassure the young boy, and explains that he should go to America. He further explains that when he was younger and working as a merchant marine, he met "the most beautiful girl" in America, and tells the young boy that if he goes there, she will take very good care of him. As the young boy is asking how to find her, his grandfather dies and the film fades to black.

When it fades back in, quite some time has passed and the young boy, who is now an adult, has arrived in America and has begun working as a chef, catering to some gangsters in California. The gangsters, who call the man "Bruce" for his resemblance to the famed martial artist, Bruce Lee, are having trouble keeping their "boss of bosses" happy, and are trying to come up with the perfect solution to distributing cocaine to all of their clients throughout the United States. Some previous attempts at moving the drug have resulted in busts, and the boss of bosses is not happy.

Through a series of misunderstandings, Bruce makes it into the local newspaper as a hero, having thwarted an attempted robbery at the local market. Bruce's boss, Lil Pete, sees the newspaper and quickly devises a plan putting Bruce in control of moving the cocaine across the country, using Freddy, a stooge associated with the drug lords, as Bruce's limousine chauffeur. He convinces Bruce (who already wants to go to New York City to find the lady his grandfather spoke of) that he should drive to New York, not fly, as flying would rob him of seeing the beautiful countryside. Bruce agrees and the rest of the movie follows an unknowing Bruce delivering what he thinks to be flour to associates of the gangsters across the country, and the interactions he has with the people on this trip.


Actor Role
Johnny Yune Bruce/Grandfather
Margaux Hemingway Karmen
Raf Mauro Freddy
Pam Huntington Anita
Martin Azarow Big Al
Tony Brande Boss of Bosses
Bill Capizzi Lil Pete
René LeVant Reverend


The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Film Ventures International and Canada in November 1982. Despite never being in more than 325 theaters, the film was a surprise success and grossed $16,894,678 at the box office.[2]

A DVD of the film was released on April 29, 2003 by Madacy Entertainment, with some minor changes. Various scenes were cut in order to adhere to the standards of a PG rating, one of which was the removal of a short scene of nudity involving a woman disrobing while Bruce is in a hot tub.

A 25th Anniversary DVD edition of They Call Me Bruce was released on June 30th, 2009 by Liberation Entertainment. The film is a high quality transfer from a newly discovered 35mm print, which the studio calls "pristine," and also restored the scenes which were cut from the original DVD release.


  1. ^ F. Shepard, Richard (January 16, 1983). "KOREAN COMIC IN 'THEY CALL ME BRUCE'". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "They Call Me Bruce". Retrieved 2011-04-16.

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