Director: Ernst Hofbauer
Red Dragon though it is of course much better known to most of you as Das
Geheimnis der drei Dschunken or perhaps you know it as 009 Missione Hong
Kong. This is a pretty good indication that this low grade low energy spy
film is a co-production of Germany and Italy. But as was often the case in
these Euro genre films of the 1960's they brought on a one-time English speaking
star who was on his back nine. It was apparently released in the USA as Code
Name Alpha so I have no idea where the title Red Dragon came from.
In this case it was Stewart Granger who had starred in so many adventure
and swashbuckling films of the previous 20 years. At this point in his career
- 52 years old and that sort of film falling out of favor - he was appearing
in a bunch of German films. Among these was his character of Old Surehand
based on the Karl May westerns in three films and a few other spy films -
Target for Killing and Requiem for a Secret Agent. Requiem has Daniela Bianchi
(From Russian with Love) and Target has Karin Dor in it. I have to admit
that as mediocre as this film was I want to see these other Euro films of
his. I have always liked Granger though he always feels so awfully phony
in his acting.
Here he is an FBI man who is sent to Hong Kong to break up a ring that exports
contraband to Red China. His partner is the lovely Rosanna Schiaffino from
Italy. It is all pretty clunky with Granger getting captured constantly it
seems, traditionally not being killed by his captors, escaping and then getting
caught again. It is a game of who is stupider - him or the bad guys.
There is a bit of action but nothing that will make you rewind and watch
again. In fact, he has one fight with a henchman played by the great HK star
Yuen Siu Tien who was in many kung fu films - a few with Jackie Chan and
Sammo Hung. His son is the great action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. Of course,
Granger beats him up and tosses him overboard. There was only one other face
I recognized from HK films but can't recall the name - the fisherman. The
main pleasure of the film for me was simply that it takes place in HK in
1965 and there are many exterior shoots. I always love seeing old Hong Kong.
It always looks so wonderful to me.