Walk Like a Dragon

James Shigeta in Person

An intriguing East-meets-Western set in the 1870s town of Jericho, a mythic un-melting pot of diverse ethnicities including Americano hunk Linc Bartlett (Jack Lord); a French-Indian prostitute; a Mexican sheriff; and heathen Chinese, the coolie Cheng Lu (James Shigeta) and brothel chattel Kim Sung (Nobu McCarthy). After “buying” Sung in order to “free” her, Linc triggers another decision that challenges the town's color line. Meanwhile, Cheng Lu learns the hard lesson of the proud immigrant: survival depends on assuming a subservient manner, and a pidgin accent. Written by Clavell and Oakland-born screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring (Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Walk Like a Dragon reminds us how that most American of genres, the Western, possesses complex layers of motivation and meaning; what is shown here has more to do with the 1960s, and the cusp of the civil rights movement, than with the 1870s.

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