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Mask of the Dragon (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 10 March 1951 (USA)
Lt. Dan Oliver, an American soldier in Korea, agrees to deliver a jade dragon statuette to a curio shop in Los Angeles. Soon after his arrival, he is murdered. Phil Ramsey and Ginny ... See full summary »


(as Samuel Newfield)


(screenplay) (as Orville Hampton)

On Disc

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Complete credited cast:
... Phil Ramsey
... Ginny O'Donnell
... Manchu Murphy
... Maj. Clinton
... Police Lt. Ralph McLaughlin
Dee Tatum ... Terry Newell
Richard Emory ... Army Lt. Daniel Oliver
... Prof. Kim Ho
Charles Iwamoto ... Simo (as Mr. Moto)
... Kingpin (as Karl Davis)
... Johnny Grant - TV Show Host (as John Grant)
Curt Barrett and the Trailsmen ... Western Band
Curt Barrett ... Band Leader


Lt. Dan Oliver, an American soldier in Korea, agrees to deliver a jade dragon statuette to a curio shop in Los Angeles. Soon after his arrival, he is murdered. Phil Ramsey and Ginny O'Donnell trace the murder to the shop of Professor Kim Ho. Ramsey receives a package mailed to him by Oliver from Honolulu that contains the jade dragon, and takes it to the curio shop to force a showdown with Kim Ho. He is attacked by Ho's hoods and is about to be killed when Ginny arrives with Police Lt. McLaughton and the police. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime Wore the MASK OF THE DRAGON! See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 March 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dragon of Death  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (TV) (edited)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Re-titled and edited down to less than 30 minutes, it was sold to television in the early 1950s as part of a syndicated half-hour mystery show. See more »


Manchu Murphy: See Chiang Kai Shek and his cousin Cancelled Check!
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't take packages from strangers
27 July 2013 | by See all my reviews

Mask Of The Dragon has young Richard Emory killed almost immediately after coming home to America after Korean war service. Before that he had agreed to help a Korean dealer in Oriental artifacts get a Chinese jade statue into the USA.

Watching this it occurred to me that ever since 9/11 we are all warned and asked at airports not to accept packages from strangers. You would think someone in the army and a private detective would know better.

So like in The Maltese Falcon your partner is supposed to do something about it when you're killed and this film does have some similarities to The Maltese Falcon updated for the Cold War. Of course the plot and the characters aren't halfway as interesting.

I think you've figured out there is smuggling afoot here, but when you see the film I think you'll agree that the smuggling might have made more sense going out of the USA instead of coming in.

Richard Travis as the Sam Spade of the piece and Sheila Ryan as a CSI investigator and Lyle Talbot of the LAPD try to solve the homicide of Emory and later of Dee Tatum a singer stabbed through a curtain on the Johnny Grant Show. Sid Melton plays one of the bad guys and he was Lippert Pictures house comedian. In this film his comedy is very forced.

Dashiell Hammett if he saw this film would have been mortified at what was done to his masterpiece.

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