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also known as Dragon of Death

Mask of the Dragon 1951

  • 2.8
An American soldier in Korea (Richard Emory) agrees to deliver a porcelain dragon to a curio shop in L.A.'s Chinatown, but soon after his return to the States, he is murdered. Determined to solve the crime, his private-detective buddy Richard Travis and Travis' girl Sheila Ryan look into the possibility of a smuggling ring and the mystery of the dragon.

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Member Reviews (7)

top reviewer

Spartan Films indeed. Yes, every expense was spared. Neither the whites-playing-Asians nor the Asians in this rush job play Asians convincingly, or even inoffensively -- except maybe Mr. Moto, and that 'judo' move looks more like he's inflating a bicycle tire. (This isn't THE Mr. Moto.) The piano-and-organ score devolves to merely spooky noodling around on the organ for most of the film. The exact reason why everyone wants the black bird, I mean the jade dragon, is completely irrelevant, never mind unbelievable. And although there is a dragon, there is no mask.

Travis and Ryan have plenty of personality, and the detective/lab tech pairing has a lot of potential, but none of that is well used here. At least fans of The Trailsmen will enjoy themselves.

1 member likes this review

Bad acting, hokey music, unbelievable plot; it's an unintentional satire of the Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto films. I loved it; so bad, it's good!

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Wellll...it's no Maltese Falcon. This Poverty Row pulp is a 53 minute stumblebum of stiff acting, bad jokes, and cheap ad-libbing. Everybody acts like they just got the script five minutes ago. That's the dice roll with these old Noirs from Lippert Pictures. Sometimes you get a forgotten gem, but most of the time you get the Mask of the Dragon. Trivia Time: "Mr. Moto" was a real-life wrestler in Southern California in the 1950's.

Pretty good picture, except for the "comedy relief" which was pretty silly and could have been left out.

...'WOW' what a stinker - DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME !!!

A little hokey at times, a combo of '50 post-war noir, Abbott & Costello, Charlie Chan, and more. Still, entertaining enough to watch once.

Sorry, if I sound negative, actually, I like this sort of film..B&W post war.

Good but Organ music made it sound llike a soap opera.