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Description: Certamente, o personagem de Budapeste, José Costa responderia ironicamente "nada". José Costa, um angustiado ghost-writer (escritor fantasma) e também amante da linguagem e da escrita, aos seus 30 anos, é o eu-lírico dessa narrativa que viaja do Rio de Janeiro à Budapeste.
Description: Louisiana football star Gavin Grey had it all. He was an All-American winner who married his high-school sweetheart, homecoming queen Babs Rogers, and who was a character to his hometown. Yet after a failed professional career, Gavin realizes that fame and success have passed him by and that he no longer is the character everyone keeps reminding him he could still be. His dissatisfaction with his life leads to strains in his marriage, and Gavin starts to wonder who he is, if he's not a character anymore.
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The cast is probably the largest draw of "Five Golden Dragons", but be warned: many of those actors (Christopher Lee, Klaus Kinski, etc.) appear only for a several mins and barely do anything. The main star is Bob Cummings, agreeable enough but slightly too old for the part of the cheerful, happy-go-lucky playboy. As usual in 1960's spy/crime/exotic journey movies (this one was shot on zone in Hong Kong), the girls (Margaret Lee, Maria Perschy, Maria Rohm) are tremendously sexy, with wonderfully curvy bodies that their different bikinis/dresses do a nice job of showcasing. Unfortunately, the movie has very tiny action, and few sequences are extremely dragged-out in length (for example, there are 3 musical numbers back-to-back in the middle), which makes me think that this is one situation where the shortened (by 30 minutes!) American ver might now have been superior (it's simple to see the parts that need trimming). One twist near the end works well, but overall this movie has to count as a major disappointment. *1/2 out of 4.
Going into this, I knew not to expect too much from it (having watched any number of low-brow espionage fare from the era) but I was still disappointed by the method it wastes a star cast and is compromised besides by the fatal miscasting of the central role! Harry Alan Turrets made few colourful thrillers during this time, often set vs an exotic backdrop and filled with pretty girls; oddly enough, then, he went and repeatedly shot himself in the foot by selecting a Hollywood veteran (read: method past his prime and usually forgotten) for leading boy – I thought this practice had died with the British B-movies of the previous decade! In this case, we receive Robert (sorry, Bob!) Cummings – introduced sunbathing near a pool! – who really gotta have thought he was appearing in a comedy, since he never takes the mayhem going on around him seriously (despite the constant threats to his own life)! The producer probably felt he had made a coup by securing the services of a two-time Alfred Hitchcock character (albeit perhaps his lightest ever): on his part, the actor probably merely thanked his lucky stars he should still ogle superb half-naked chicks at his age and, for better or worse, this turned out to be his final theatrical film! Anyway, the titular figures are 5 strong industrialists from various territories of the world who join forces – without, however, knowing one another's identity! – intending to control the world's economy (or some such grandiose scheme obviously doomed to failure by the generally oblivious intervention of our happy-go-lucky hero!). When they finally appear, or rather 4 of them (as the fifth remains a mystery till the very end), they are supposed to justify the presence in the movie of Dan Duryea, Brian Donlevy, George Raft and Christopher Lee – who subsequently do nothing but show themselves to one other (after removing their golden-dragon masks) while sitting at table and opening a box in front of them with one of two keys which, were they to adopt the wrong one, would end up shot dead! Convoluting this primary plot is the interaction between Dragon minion Klaus Kinski, a couple of sisters (Maria Perschy, who had fled from service with the Dragon conglomerate, and Maria Rohm, the producer/writer's wife), two vaguely antagonistic others involved in running a nightclub (the woman being "Euro-Cult" babe Margaret Lee), not forgetting the Shakespeare-quoting British Inspector stationed in Hong Kong (played by Rupert Davies) who, when he gets stuck or slips on the Act/Verse front, a local aide butts in half-mockingly (yeah right, like I know Confucius!).Though the Widescreen print looks very good, it all goes for naught when one is never really drawn into the different intrigues, not due to its proving mystifying but rather because it is so sketchily-presented as to barely matter! Along the way, Cummings receives a cryptic note from a boy killed by Kinski's henchman, is chased by the latter and his boys along the river banks and soon atop a temple (cue fully inappropriate cartoonish sounds accompanying the dull and protracted action itself!), framed for Perschy's murder and eventually sent, in the guise of No. 5 Dragon (pardon the lapse into Charlie Chan lingo!), to be eliminated himself at the climactic meeting of the charade-happy big-wigs! Like I said, very several of the stars are given anything substantial to do – of the Dragons, only Duryea gets to utter more than a several dumb lines; Kinski, too, is underused; as for the girls, Rohm's primary lack of experience is evident (this was only her third film), Perschy does what she can with the frightened-lady stereotype, whereas Lee sings and plays the sultry villainess adequately enough but, entering proceedings at the 45-minute tag and appearing thereafter only intermittently, it effects in a 'too tiny too late' scenario!
Unlike the another reviewers, I think the main reason to watch this film, is Robert Cummings, who for some strange reason preferred to bill himself as 'Bob' in the soon years of his career! Everytime a smooth operator on screen, and in my all time top 5 or 6 'comedy' actors, I feel he gotta have realized early on that he was involved in somewhat of a 'turkey', and decided, wisely I think, to enjoy the entire thing tongue in cheek! No matter what else is, or isn't going on around him, Mr. Cummings himself is everytime fascinating to watch! And the women are all gorgeous, and the scenery is nice! It's a pity Cummings couldn't have had a better car for his large screen swansong, but I think the secret of enjoying this movie is simply not to take anything seriously!
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