On the remote Norwegian Bear Island, used as a submarine base by the Germans during World War II, U.N. scientist Larsen sends a distress signal using an emergency N.A.T.O. frequency, and is received by scientific vessel Morning Rose.
Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.
When his brother disappears, Robert Manning pays a visit to the remote country house he was last heard from. While his host is outwardly welcoming, and his niece more demonstrably so, ... See full summary »
Kitty runs a brothel in Nazi Germany where the soldiers come to "relax". Recording devices have been installed in each room by a power hungry army official, who plans to use the information to blackmail Hitler and gain power himself.
Teresa Ann Savoy
When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations, via their radio 'Voice of Terror', the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help in... See full summary »
A young martial artist, Cord the Seeker, competes for and loses the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowlege held by a wizard named Zetan, but he goes along the path to seek Zetan anyway. Along the way, he meets strange tests and challenges by enemies and allies - often having difficulty determining which is which.Written by
Sam L. <email@example.com>
During the fight between Changsha and the Black Giant David Carradine's wig falls off after a high kick. See more »
Tie two birds together. Even though they have four wings they cannot fly.
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UK cinema and video versions were cut by 51 secs by the BBFC to remove footage of fighting staff, a throwing star and a shot of a cow receiving a karate blow to its neck. The cuts were fully waived for the 2008 Orbit DVD release. See more »
I'd been intrigued by this one for some time due its being based on a story concocted by Bruce Lee and James Coburn; when it emerged as a "Special Edition" via the Blue Underground label, I had considered purchasing the DVD but somehow never got around to it. Eventually, CIRCLE OF IRON (as it's better-known) was even expanded into a fully-loaded 2-Disc Set but, then, I happened upon the original disc at a local rental outlet and finally decided to check it out.
As it happened, I was somewhat let down by the film: I'm all for exotic action/adventure stuff a genre which got something of a revival during this era but, despite the various trimmings (martial arts, mystical overtones, plus a number of rather superfluous cameo appearances by the likes of Roddy MacDowall, Eli Wallach and Christopher Lee), THE SILENT FLUTE came across as invincibly low-brow! Besides, while David Carradine is ostensibly the star (and even gets to play four different parts for no discernible reason!), the hero proper of the narrative was played a beefy protégé of his Jeff Cooper whose wooden performance here really drowned the film for me!!
The plot the winner of a martial arts tournament is assigned the task of seeking the whereabouts of a famous wizard (played by horror legend Lee) who is in possession of an all-powerful book sounds intriguing on paper but, to be honest, the way this plays out on screen it's not terribly compelling; worse still, the denouement is a real cop-out! That said, the numerous action sequences and Carradine's characterization of a blind shepherd (himself a martial arts champion) who guides Cooper on his danger-fraught journey make the film palatable for the most part.
Despite the obvious low-budget at his disposal, too, one-time-only director Moore (his more typical credit is as a cinematographer) lends the film reasonable visual style accentuated by the expansive Israeli locations (which constitutes the film's main asset along with Australian composer Bruce Smeaton's beautiful score). As a matter of fact, Moore admits in the disc's Audio Commentary that the main reason that seemed to have gotten him the assignment in the first place was because his background as a cameraman assured (in the eyes of the producers, at least) outstanding visuals!
THE SILENT FLUTE is, ultimately, a hodgepodge of disparate ideas (with its most bizarre element being Wallach's masochistic "Man In Oil" and his diatribe on the virtues of a life without one's own genitalia!) which don't really jell and, consequently, it works only in fits and starts...
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