Day of the Dragon

Su Ling (“Tinkling Bell of Virtue”) is the slave of a general in exile, a saddle tramp kidnaps her for ransom and dies the death, ignorant of the general’s plan to marry her.

Little Joe wins the girl in a poker game under the impression that she is a horse. “You can’t keep her,” says Ben, he declares her free and allows her to stay, the old country is friendless, she is alone.

An attempt to recapture her fails, two soldiers are executed. The general leads an assault on the Ponderosa and dies.

Su Ling goes to Virginia City as nurse to a doctor, she has learned the language from missionary teachers in China and will teach in town herself.



The Artist

It takes one to know one, that’s how Frank Chase got his job, which is to reconcile those who ain’t. They stare at a painting just the way Arch Johnson does here and say it’s just a picture at best, and wonder at people paying fabulous sums for such a thing.

Chase therefore imagines a greatly successful Western painter who goes blind but remembers every nuance of the land around him. It’s Ben Cartwright who wrests him from despair with the idea of writing down his impressions and memories.

This requires of Chase a vivid pen that translates the real activity of art in terms of the landscape, just as the art department must give a creditable representation of the artist’s work. Dan O’Herlihy plays the part terrifically.


Mission: Impossible

Like “Invasion” (dir. Leslie H. Martinson), an interpretation of Hitchcock’s “Breakdown”. Two partners run a crime syndicate, one is indicted and plans an escape to Tangiers with his list of judges and officials on the take (the other is amusingly portrayed as a rare stamp collector).

The game is post-hypnotic suggestion. The man with the list is a believer in certain arcana of the supernatural, and falls for a tarot reading conducted by Barney that introduces the idea of a Corsican twin, who is supplied by the IMF. This double is seemingly kidnapped by the collector, and appears to have been tortured to death. The man with the list apparently suffers the double’s every injury, and at last reveals to his soberminded son the list’s whereabouts.

The script and direction are admirably elliptic, leaving many details to be explained only later, such as Willy’s tunneling operation into the criminal compound and his rifling of the safe from behind.