Black Dragons

Black Dragons is a 1942 American film directed by William Nigh and starring Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, and George Pembroke. The cast includes Clayton Moore (later famous as the Lone Ranger), who plays a handsome detective. The Black Dragon Society also appears in Let's Get Tough! a 1942 East Side Kids film made by the same team of writer Harvey Gates and producer Sam Katzman.

Black Dragons
Promotional lobby card for Black Dragons
Directed byWilliam Nigh
Produced byJack Dietz
Sam Katzman
Barney A. Sarecky
Written byRobert Kehoe
Harvey Gates
StarringBela Lugosi
Joan Barclay
George Pembroke
Music byJohnny Lange
Lew Porter
Heinz Roemheld
CinematographyArthur Reed
Edited byCarl Pierson
Distributed byMonogram Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • March 6, 1942 (1942-03-06)
Running time
64 min.
CountryUnited States


It is prior to the American entry into World War II, and Japan's fiendish Black Dragon Society is hatching an evil plot with the Nazis. They instruct a brilliant scientist, Dr. Melcher, to travel to Japan on a secret mission. There he operates on six Japanese conspirators, transforming them to resemble six American leaders. The actual leaders are murdered and replaced with their likenesses. Dr. Melcher is condemned to a lifetime of imprisonment so the secret may die with him.



The film was rushed into production following the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was to begin filming on 17 January 1942 but this was pushed back until 21 January. The original working title was The Yellow Menace.[1]


The film was released in Los Angeles on the double bill with the Australian film Pituri (also known as Uncivilised).[2]

The Los Angeles Times said that "those who love their mystery and their Lugosi will find this film unusually sinister."[3]

The film was colorized in the 1990s.[1]

See also


  1. Gary John Rhodes, Lugosi: His Life in Films, on Stage, and in the Hearts of Horror Lovers p 123
  2. 'GOLD RUSH' CLEVER REVIVAL Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 03 Mar 1942: A9.
  3. Horror Film Stars Lugosi Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 28 Feb 1942: 9.
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