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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI


DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI (1937). Director: Robert Florey.

When her father is murdered and she herself is nearly killed by members of a gang who smuggle in illegal aliens (and sometimes just dump them out of a plane's cargo bay when the law gets too close), Lan Ying Lin (Anna May Wong) decides to go undercover as a dancer to track down the leader. Also on the villains' trail is agent Kim Lee (Philip Ahn); the two eventually team up due to the desperate circumstances they find themselves in. This interesting, if minor, suspense film is bolstered by fine acting, not only by the leads but by a very talented supporting cast: Anthony Quinn has a small role as a nasty pilot; Charles Bickford is a member of the smugglers who runs a seedy nightclub. Larry "Buster" Crabbe is perhaps more interesting than usual as a mustachioed, sneering brunet and J. Carrol Naish is as excellent as ever as his superior, Barden. Evelyn Brent makes an impression as a neurotic gal who's jealous of Bickford's attentions to Wong, and (Ms.) Cecil Cunningham all but steals the picture as Mary Hunt, who befriends Anna and her father but has some secrets of her own. Wong and Ahn make a good team, but further pictures detailing their adventures never materialized; too bad.

Verdict: Engaging thriller with some very good sequences. **1/2.

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