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Black Dragons

2.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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(Apr 03, 2008)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, George Pembroke
  • Directors: William Nigh
  • Writers: Harvey Gaes
  • Producers: Jack Deitz
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2008
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00176SH0Q
  • Learn more about "Black Dragons" on IMDb

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Format: DVD
SYNERGY Entertainment is a NYC based DVD-R manufacturer. Their "Archive Series" videos offer no commentary, deleted scenes, subtitles or other bonus features. Dubs are "best available source" and can vary from very good to only fair.

BLACK DRAGONS is Bela Lugosi's third MONOGRAM picture and one of the earliest films made post-Pearl Harbor and America's entry into WWII. Unfortunately, it came at a low-point in Lugosi's career. Hooked on the morphine used to treat an arthritic back, the stage and film star of DRACULA was financially strapped and forced to accept any work available, including duds such as this.

SYNOPSIS:
The silly tale of Nazi plastic surgeon Dr. Melcher/Monsieur Colomb (Lugosi). He's imprisoned in Japan after he operates on several spies and makes them look like specific American industrialists. That's the spoiler. Until the last reel we can't understand why wealthy Americans would throw in with the enemy.

A good cast wasted, especially the I. Jolley Head Dragon. Avoid!

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.

(4.1) Black Dragons (1942) - Bela Lugosi/Joan Barclay/George Pembroke/Clayton Moore/Robert Frazer/Edward Pell Sr./I. Stanford Jolley
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Format: DVD
Black Dragons, 1942 film

The film shows Washington and the Capitol. [The legislature was considered more important than the Executive Mansion.] A newspaper headline states "Japs Bomb Honolulu". Businessmen talk about building an ammunition dump near the dam. Others talk about sensitive topics. Is there Fifth Column activity going on? Films show fires and as sinking ship. Why are those businessmen so cynical? A stranger calls on Dr. Sanders at home. What happened? A body is found on the steps of the closed Japanese Embassy. What happened? An investigator arrives to gather information. Uncle Bill's niece Miss Alice arrived too. A man arrives to get information, but fails. "He was sound as a dollar." [That's when dollars were made of silver.] What will the visitors find in Mr. Walter's hotel room? A Japanese dagger?

Van Dyke and Ryder return to Dr. Sanders, who gives advice to handle a problem. But they neutralize each other. [Neat, but not believable.] Miss Alice goes to investigate. They find nothing! A body in the cellar shows a lack of proper housekeeping. Two bodies are left on the Japanese Embassy steps. [No anti-littering laws?] Dick will go to see banker Handlin. The butler has disappeared too. Dick Martin brings Handlin back to Washington. There is a shot and the truth finally comes out. Can you believe this Grand Impersonation? [I can't.] What is the fitting reward for the good doctor? Will this Spy Ring be smashed?

The idea behind this film could have been much better with a proper script and bigger budget. It is no secret that many industrialists had fascist sympathies (kept hidden during the war). That "Black Dragon Society" really existed in Japan.
[Does the interior of that house remind you of some other films?]
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Format: DVD
We are treated to eavesdropping on a cabal of fifth column industrialist leaders snickering over their misdeeds.

So is this going to be a two dimensional sabotage movie where the good guys figure out whom the bad guys are just in time to save the bacon?

No. This is more insidious. It looks like the cabal has another secret that will be detected and corrected, not out of patriotism but revenge.

Can you guess the secret before it is played out?

Bela Lugosi gets to make his signature light on his eyes signature look.
Joan Barclay plays the love interest.
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