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Dragon Flies (1975) Poster

(1975)

Trivia

This movie is memorable for featuring the catchy tune song "Sky High" sung by Jigsaw which was the movie's main title theme. The song was a popular top-of-the-pops charter.
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Jump to: Cameo (8) | Director Cameo (1)
The car explosion featured during the opening sequence in Central Australia after the car rolls over had car-door fly off the vehicle, the projectile missing the director Brian Trenchard-Smith and the camera unit by about a couple of feet. Correct explosion stunt process requires such a component to be chained to the vehicle so as to prevent it flying off and hitting someone. However, despite this, the flying door actually adds to the excitement of the shot.
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Yu Wang played a practical joke on Rebecca Gilling by pretending to eat live flies before their love scene.
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The first ever Australian martial-arts movie.
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According to director Brian Trenchard-Smith, this movie was the hit at the Cannes Film Market in 1975 and sold to every territory available within just a few days.
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An Australian Hip Hop group called 'Katalyst' used many parts of this movie for their video clip of 'Uprock This'.
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During the final fight, George Lazenby did the stunt where his character catches fire and goes on fighting himself - only for it to go wrong when he was unable to get his burning jacket off. The take of him struggling is kept in the movie. Lazenby received minor burns to his arm from doing this stunt.
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Yu Wang was injured during filming when he crashed his hang glider into rocks in Sydney Harbor. Jimmy Wang Yu (Yu Wang) fell 100 feet from the disabled glider onto a sand dune. The accident left him knocked unconscious. According to the DVD Audio Commentary, Yu Wang was absent from filming for two days.
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First theatrical feature film directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith.
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This film is considered an Ozploitation picture, an Australian exploitation movie.
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First ever Australian-Asian movie co-production. The production was co-produced between Hong Kong's Golden Harvest films and Australia's The Movie Company and Greater Union with some investment from the Australian Government's Australian Film Development Corporatio (AFDC).
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In 1975, this movie's main theme song "Sky High" went to No. #3 on the USA Billboard Hot 100 Chart, No. #9 on the UK Singles Chart and No. #2 on the New Zealand Charts. In 1976 in Japan peaked at No. #2 on the Oricon Singles Chart.
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This picture was one of fifty Australian films selected for preservation as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Kodak / Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project.
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Co-lead star George Lazenby doesn't appear in the movie until the thirty-four minute mark.
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George Lazenby sports a mustache in this movie.
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This movie was retitled 'The Dragon Flies' for its American release in the USA.
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This Australian co-production is notable for featuring three of Australia's most famous landmarks all in the same movie: Ayers Rock (Uluru), The Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbor Bridge.
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About 85% of this movie is set in Australia with about 15% set in Hong Kong, according to director Brian Trenchard-Smith on the film's DVD Audio Commentary. He maintains that because this picture was a joint Australian-Hong Kong co-production which required half of the film to be shot in each country, a number of the Australian-set scenes (which seem to have been mostly interiors) had to be filmed in Hong Kong in order to achieve a 50% filming quota there.
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Many of the cast and crew working at Ayers Rock (Uluru) in Central Australia suffered from heat exhaustion whilst working there.
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The first ever Australian / Hong Kong co-production.
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The actor billed as Hung Kam Po, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, who appears as Win Chan during the opening sequence, was also this movie's martial-arts choreographer and coordinator.
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British cinema release prints were cut by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in order to delete out groin kicks and fatal blows.
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Director Brian Trenchard-Smith had himself set on fire by the stunt crew to demonstrate to actor George Lazenby that being on fire was a stunt that could be done.
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According to the DVD Audio Commentary and the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008), the fight scene atop of the elevator between Wang Yu and Brian Trenchard-Smith allegedly involved real fisticuffs, the punches thrown at the latter allegedly being real punches. Reportedly, the two had a strained relationship during the shoot. As Wang Yu is credited as a co-director in some prints, as such, this movie represents an instance where a film's rival two directors have literary fought it out on the set.
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The film was intended to star Bruce Lee.
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Yu Wang received top / first billing, George Lazenby received second billing, Hugh Keays-Byrne received third billing, Roger Ward received fourth billing and Frank Thring received fifth billing.
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This movie's director Brian Trenchard-Smith has described this picture on the DVD Audio Commentary as "...a veritable smörgåsbord of martial-arts mayhem, James Bond spoofery and general thud and blunder".
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Yu Wang was dubbed by Roy Chiao.
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The production shoot for this movie went for fourteen weeks.
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This picture's director Brian Trenchard-Smith said of this film in 2001: "I am proud to have been the architect of Australia's first co-production with Asia. The time is ripe for more of them. Taking a fresh look at Dragon Flies (1975) now 28 pictures wiser and still learning, I wince a little at my errors in judgment, but on balance feel it has a lot of entertainment value for action fans with a retro sense of humor. I grew up on early James Bond, so I have always been amused by the crypto-fascist superhero who causes enormous destruction of property and loss of life in the name of justice. So I set out to blend the conventions of the thud-and-blunder thriller with the delirious excesses of the Kung Fu genre. Perhaps it is fortunate that there are only 18 minutes of my dialogue in 106 minutes of non-stop action. I think the picture's energy and sense of fun made it a success across the world. I want to thank the cast and crew for all the support they gave to help me through my first picture...Everyone else, switch off your politically-correct inhibitors, settle back for a couple of hours of laughs and gasps."
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Reportedly, according to director Brian Trenchard-Smith on the DVD Audio Commentary, the song ["Sky High"] cost the production $50,000 (Australia) to include with the movie.
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This movie was filmed around October, November and December 1974 and January 1975.
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George Lazenby's character is called Jack Wilton aka Mr. Big but Lazenby is only billed as Wilton in the closing credits.
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Second dramatic theatrical feature film for Academy Award winning cinematographer Russell Boyd. It's Boyd's third if one counts the short-feature Matchless (1974) as a feature. Boyd's first had been Between Wars (1974). Boyd had previously worked with director Brian Trenchard-Smith on the documentary The Love Epidemic (1975).
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At least two sequences including the petrol station scene were cut from this movie for its American release in the USA due to the distributor's belief that the dialogue in these scenes was too Australian.
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The combo foot chase and kitchen / restaurant fight sequence featuring Yu Wang and Grant Page ran for nine minutes.
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The start of the song "Sky High"'s first beat being played over the opening credits syncs exactly with the sound of a gun being shot by Yu Wang.
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This movie was partially inspired by the James Bond movie franchise. A number of elements about this movie reflect this: The film's main movie poster was of the panoramic action scene design typical of the Bond movie posters of the period; co-lead star George Lazenby had actually played James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969); the villain's lair is a top suite penthouse as was the case in the then recent Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever (1971); the movie features a key action sequence set around a famous landmark, in this case, Uluru/Ayers Rock, the world's largest rock formation in Central Australia; the hero character has more than one love-interest; a catchy memorable song ("Sky High") features during the credits and was a song not dissimilar to the type of easy-listening Bond Song that had frequented that movie series; whilst the movie also segues into the opening credits at a training camp a la From Russia with Love (1963).
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This picture was partially inspired by the James Bond movie franchise and a number of this movie's story elements were in common with the then most recent and latest James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). For starters, both pictures were similarly titled, both having a title prefix "The Man..." ; both movies included outlandish very 70s style car chases; both pictures featured martial-arts and both films featured Hong Kong as a key location. This movie was made and released about only seven months after The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
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This movie was partially inspired by the James Bond movie franchise and a number of this movie's story elements were in common with the then recent James Bond movie, Live and Let Die (1973). Both films featured drug smuggling as a storyline; both pictures had hang-gliding sequences and both movies had a villain who was known by the alias, Mr. Big.
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This 1975 action movie features hang-gliding which became a popular sporting pastime in the 1970s. This movie is considered to be partially influenced by the James Bond franchise. Of the two James Bond movies in which hang-gliding appears, Live and Let Die (1973) and Moonraker (1979), both were made during the 1970s, as was this movie.
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Known to have been inspired by the James Bond film series, this movie was made and released about six years after George Lazenby had starred as James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
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A number of the cast and crew who appeared in this movie had previously worked on the earlier Australian movie Stone (1974). This included actors Hugh Keays-Byrne, Bill Hunter, Rebecca Gilling, Roger Ward, Ruth Erica, Rosalind Speirs and Deryck Barnes as well as a number of technical crew. Both films were produced by David Hannay.
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Publicity for this movie around the time of its theatrical release called the picture "the most dangerous film ever made in Australia".
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In terms of the modern action movie genre, this film was Australia's first ever really big "action" picture.
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Two stunt men were injured in a car crash whilst filming the car chase sequence and they were both hospitalized.
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A sound recordist was injured during production filming when he broke his ankle whilst a stuntman also broke his foot during the shoot.
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Director Brian Trenchard-Smith had an accident during filming when he was hit in the eye with chemical spray.
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A country house set that had been especially constructed for filming was set fire by vandals during principal photography.
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First film as an actor for stuntman Grant Page.
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During filming for the movie's opening sequence, director Brian Trenchard-Smith climbed up and down the massive natural rock formation Ayers Rock / Uluru three times in the one day.
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This movie is one of few dramatic Australian theatrical feature films which has filmed at Australia's seminal Uluru landmark known previously as Ayers Rock. The few others include Journey Out of Darkness (1967); A Cry in the Dark (1988); and Young Einstein (1988).
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The Australian DVD release of this movie includes two other Brian Trenchard-Smith films, Kung Fu Killers (1974) and Hospitals Don't Burn Down (1978).
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Car chases in this picture were shot on open roads and without any official permissions or permits.
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According to the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008), lead star Wang Yu was very unpopular with a number of the key crew personnel working on this picture.
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This martial-arts movie was made in 1974-1975 and released in the latter year. This period was during the height of the 1970s kung fu film craze.
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This movie was the Closing Night Film at the 2nd Asia Pacific Film Festival in Sydney, Australia on 18 August, 2001.
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Apparently, actor Yu Wang allegedly disliked Australia and his love-interest in this movie, actress Rosalind Speirs.
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According to trade paper 'Variety', this movie was the first coproduction of its kind, a "Hong Kong-Australian James Bond hybrid".
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According to the book 'History and Heartburn: The Saga of Australian Film 1896-1978' by Eric Reade, director Brian Trenchard-Smith received nine offers of co-production after this picture was launched theatrically.
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A number of sources, as stated by the British Film Institute (BFI)'s 1997 'BFI Companion to Crime', maintain that Wang Yu directed parts of this movie. Indeed, it is stated on the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008) that Wang Yu thought he was the director of the movie and wanted to direct the picture.
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Hong Kong versions of this movie credit Wang Yu as a director on this picture alongside Brian Trenchard-Smith though in Australian versions only the latter is the official credited director.
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The budget for this picture blew-out from $450,000 (Australian) to $550,000 (Australian), $50,000 of this being allocated for the acquiring of the rights to the Jigsaw song "Sky High".
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First Australian theatrical feature film acting credit for Australian actor George Lazenby.
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Billed as a take on the James Bond movies, this film actually featured a fight in a kitchen, something which didn't take place in a Bond movie until Never Say Never Again (1983) and The Living Daylights (1987).
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This movie was originally rated R (18+ years and over admitted) in Australia. Critics and the director have said that this classification hurt the movie at the Australian box-office. When this movie was released on VHS video-cassette in Australia during the 1980s, it was still rated R. However, when this film was classified for DVD in Australia by the Office and Film and Literature Classification on 29/10/2008, the movie was rated MA (restricted to persons 15+ years and over) thereby garnering a lower classification rating.
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The production shoot for the opening sequence at Ayers Rock (Uluru) in Central Australia went for four days.
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Cameo 

Bill Hunter:  As the cop Peterson.
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Grant Page:  The stunt-man as an Assassin.
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Geoffrey Brown:  One of the film's publicity co-ordinators as a thug.
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Kevin Broadribb:  One of the film's publicity co-ordinators as a thug.
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Peter Armstrong:  As a Bodyguard / person at the party.
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Rangi Nicholls:  Bodyguard / person at the party.
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Andre Morgan:  This movie's Australian-Hong Kong co-production representative and an executive producer on the picture as a thug.
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Geordie Dryden:  The film's key grip as a man at a picnic.
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Director Cameo 

Brian Trenchard-Smith:  The director as a Martial-Arts Heavy.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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