G-Men vs. The Black Dragon/Black Dragon of Manzanar (film)


Title G-Men vs. The Black Dragon/Black Dragon of Manzanar
Date 1943
Director William Witney
Producer W. J. O'Sullivan
Starring Rod Cameron (Rex Bennett); Roland Got (Chang); Constance Worth (Vivian); Nino Pipitone (Haruchi); Noel Cravat (Ranga); George Lewis (Lugo); Maxine Doyle (Marie); Donald Kirke (Muller); Ivan Miller (Inspector); Walter Fenner (Williams); C. Montague Shaw (Nicholson); Harry Burns (Tony); Forbes Murray (Kennedy); Hooper Atchley (Caldwell)
IMDB G-Men vs. The Black Dragon/Black Dragon of Manzanar

A fifteen-part action serial film from 1943 that was directed by William Witney and produced by Republic Pictures. The basic premise of the films centered around the Black Dragon Society, a fictionalized Japanese spy ring led by the treacherous leader Oyama Haruchi (played Nino Pipitone in heavy "yellowface"), that has infiltrated the United States and begins plotting sabotage at the beginning of World War II. The program's hero, Federal Agent Rex Bennett (Rod Cameron), is hired by the U.S. government to uncover and capture them before the Japanese villains succeed. To aid him in his efforts against the Black Dragon Society, Bennett enlists British special agent Vivian Marsh (Constance Worth) and Chinese special agent Chang Sing (Roland Got) to stop them and help win the war. These exploitation films fed directly into the wartime public hysteria and fears of a Japanese fifth column. The "Black Dragon Society" had been in the news in the summer of 1943 due to unsubstantiated allegations by investigators for the Dies Committee of 10,000 members in the United States.[1]

In 1966, the films were re-edited and broadcast into 100 minute versions under the title Black Dragon of Manzanar for television; the addition of the U.S. concentration camp at Manzanar to the new title suggested that the spy ring had a connection to the Japanese Americans who were forcibly detained throughout World War II, justifying reason for their incarceration and loss of civil liberties.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

Kinnard, Roy. Fifty Years of Serial Thrills. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 1983.

Stedman, Raymond William. The Serials: Suspense and Drama by Installment. Second Edition. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977.

Footnotes

  1. See for instance, Pacific Citizen, May 27, 1943, 1, accessed on March 18, 2015 at http://www.pacificcitizen.org/digitalarchives/assets/images/full/PCN_19430527_001.jpg.