I Saw A Film!
I felt my heart sinking as this one progressed. I almost decided it wasn’t going to be worth the effort, but I persevered and was rewarded with a bit of action/spy malarkey and whimsy that was made a bit more palatable by including some lovely ladies, including (Secret Agent Super Dragon’s) Margaret Lee as lovely Magda and Maria Rohm (from Justine and Venus in Furs!). The issue I had with the film is that it starred Robert Cummings as the playboy hero of the film, and his remembered mug, and forgotten importance to film and TV was suddenly revived in some long forgotten neural avenues of my brain as he writhed and chuckled and produced his comic stylings all over this half can of flat soda. It wasn’t what I signed on for, but it got doable. As an added delight of oil leaking and burning into the cylinder, Klaus Kinsky is along for the ride doing his best heavy-browed, little weirdo routine.
The story is rather insipid, a fellow is killed by some robed boobs in Hong Kong, and he leaves behind a note for our hero (why? I don’t know) that merely says The Five Golden Dragons. Who are the five golden dragons? A bunch of cheap Western movie heavies including George Raft and a youthful Christopher Lee. They get together wearing hilarious paper mache dragon masks and go through an elaborate ritual at a table using keys to unlock little doors that will trigger a pistol that shoots them if they have the wrong key. Good fun, and we get to see that tedium twice!
Man I’m having a hard time searching my brain for something to tell you about. While there is some fun chasing and gamboling about Hong Kong (Shaw Bros Studios were part of this effort) and the police love quoting Shakespeare (act/scene), there’s so little to really captivate a modern aficionado of these sorts of spy thrillers that you’ll likely fall fast asleep during the several musical numbers that are played right through at a very square little club.
I suppose much of the fun of this revolved around Cummings’s facial expressions and awkward humor. I’m just not a fan of this sort of cut-up comic, wrong fellow in the suit, playing in a straight thriller. I read this was his last feature, I’m sure he’d have been better in an actual comic spy spoof. I mean, I think I can watch Rowan Atkinson do just about anything, so maybe it’s I just don’t think Cummings was given enough to do actually do.
This runs free on Prime, and I don’t understand why our hero isn’t featured on the poster.