The Mysterious Mr. Wong (1935)

May 4, 2011

Starring Bela Lugosi, Wallace Ford, Arlin Judge, and Lotus Long The Mysterious Mr. Wong is based on a novel “The Twelve Coins of Confucius” written by Harry Stephen Keeler. This film has nothing to do with the six films that Monogram made later with Karloff or Keye Luke.Directed by Monogram regular William Nigh it tells the story of Wong trying to possess all of the 12 coins so that he may return to China as an emperor. The beginning of the film offers murder after murder as one by one he is able to obtain all but one of the coins which ends up in the hands of reporter Barton. On the surface it sounds like it could be a good story for a drama/horror film. In reality this is much more a comedy with Ford and Judge acting like a Thin Man couple with the beat cop McGillcuddy, played by Robert O’Connor adding even more humor. This film is available for free on the internet archive as well as Alpha Video for $1.00. The video is ok to watch but the audio provides a definite challenge. Even though Lugosi is acting the part of the Chinese Wong he still has his Dracula accent which adds to the humor even more. If you’re a fan of Lugosi then you’ll want to watch it but expect a comedy. The rating is as high as it is only because of Lugosi.  (*1/2)

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