Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 29th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: UK, August 4th, 1967
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Harry Alan Towers
Cast: Robert Cummings, Margaret Lee, Rupert Davies, Klaus Kinski, Maria Rohm, Ingrid, Sieghardt Rupp, Roy Chiao, Brian Donlevy, Dan Duryea, Christopher Lee, George Raft, Maria Perschy
DVD released: November 22nd, 2006
Approximate running time: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian, Dolby Digital Mono Italian, Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: CVC
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (Italy)
Five Golden Dragons was written and produced by Harry Alan Towers a prolific film producer whose films are often adapted from literary sources like the Marquis De Sade, Sax Rohmer, Edgar Wallace and Bram Stoker. The plot for Five Golden Dragons is best describe as an Alfred Hitchcock type film in the orient where an innocent man on the run trying to clear his name. Visually the film is a pedestrian affair that is at times elevated by the Hong Kong locations used in the film. Director Jeremy Summers approaches the film with a workman like style that never feels personal. The story is actually pretty entertaining and there are just enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.
Robert Cummings (Saboteur,Dial M for Murder) is cats in the lead role of Bob Mitchell an American tourist. One of the things that I liked least about this film is the one liner’s they gave the Bob Mitchell as they just never click. Cast as sisters are Euro-Cult beauties Maria Perschy (Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll) and Maria Rohm (Venus in Furs). Cast in the other main female role is Margaret Lee who plays the Femme Fatale night club singer Magda. Two Harry Alan Towers regular’s Klaus Kinski and Christopher Lee appear in the film. Lee’s Role is nothing more than a very brief cameo while Klaus Kinski gets a more sizable role as one of the main heavies Gert. Five Golden Dragons features an amazing cast that is rounded out by performances by Rupert Davies, Dan Duryea and George Raft.
The kills are tame with little or no blood which is more a product of its era than anything else. Besides the great cast one thing that does immediately grab you is the beautiful Hong Kong locations. One of the film’s best scenes involves a chase where a detective follows Ingrid who has just been released by the police. The detective chases Ingrid though the narrow streets of Hong Kong as they both are being transported in Rickshaw’s. The films pacing keeps things lively right from the start as it jumps right into the action with a murder in the opening moments that sets up the rest of the film. Malcolm Lockyer’s oriental flavored score while not memorable it is satisfying.
Five Golden Dragons is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Details look crisp, black levels remain strong throughout and colors are nicely. There are no problems with motion blurring / ghosting. There is no major print damage and outside of some mild edge enhancement this transfer looks very good.
This release comes with three audio tracks two in Italian a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix and a Dolby Digital mono mix. The other audio track is an English audio mix presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The only subtitles provided are in Italian. The English audio mix sounds clear and evenly balanced. The two Italian audio mixes are more then adequate. There is a bare bones release that comes with no extra content. Overall Five Golden Dragon’s makes its DVD debut with a strong audio/video presentation that finally presents the film in its original aspect ratio.