The Big Boss centers around a man named Cheng Chao On, who travels from China to Thailand to visit his relatives. Prior to traveling, he made a promise to his mother to not get into any fights. Shortly after he gets there, he lands a job at the ice factory where his relatives work. However, a mishap on Cheng Chao On's part leads to a discovery of drugs. Two cousins are called into the manager's office and they refuse a deal, which results in their murder.
The family immediately notices the absence of their cousins and goes asking around. A couple of cousins visit The Big Boss's mansion. However, things get heated, which results in violence and more missing cousins. Tensions eventually get heated to the point that Cheng Chao On finally breaks his promise to not get into any fights. From then on, things get interesting.
The Big Boss was Bruce Lee's break-out role, which showcases his skills as a martial artist. However, it has been subject to a lot of editing over time. The initial release had a lot more scenes which have been edited out of the latest editions of the film and could possibly be lost. A lot of sequences have been either trimmed or cut out. The original-language release versions actually have jump cuts in the soundtrack where the edits occur. A lot of these scenes can be found in the original theatrical trailers.
A supposedly uncut version of the film was screened back in 1979. It had almost every scene intact except for the infamous "saw in the head" scene. There is rumored to be a print that has the completely uncut edition. However, the full version of The Big Boss has not been seen since the 70s.