Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)

April 21, 2011

Third in the Wong series this film introduced Marjorie Reynolds in the role of nuisance reporter

Bobby who teamed with Detective Street played by Bill Withers to provide humor in the films. While I sometimes found the ever ending one liners annoying I can see the reason for the humor. This film was subsequently made into  The Chinese Ring (1947),the first appearance of Roland Winter as Charlie Chan for Monogram. Karloff as a Chinese detective is much easier to get use to once you remember that he went to school at Oxford which answers the question of his British accent.  This tale finds a Chinese princess (Lotus Long) and her maid, murdered by poison darts within the first 1/4 minutes of the film. As she is dying she writes the name captain j. She was on a mission for the Chinese Tong to purchase airplanes for the war effort. Naturally the bank president, captain of the aviation company, freighter captain, and a befriended midget living in the basement of where she stayed are all suspects.  William Nigh directed and Scott Darling wrote the screenplay as they teamed up once again. Edward Kay put together the soundtrack a welcome addition as this underscore fit the film okay. This film is available as free viewing on the internet archive database or for purchase in a set including all Mr. Wong in the series from Alpha Video for $17 or separately for $4. (**1/2)

http://www.archive.org/details/Mr_Wong_in_Chinatown

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