Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, February 22, 2008


SHADOW OF CHINATOWN (1936). 15 chapter Victory serial. Directed by Bob Hill.

Bela Lugosi plays bitter Eurasian Victor Poten, who is hired by the beautiful Sonya Rokoff (Luana Walters) to break up the Chinese tourist trade in San Francisco. But even Rokoff feels that Poten goes too far and is really waging war on all Occidentals. Herman Brix [New Adventures of Tarzan], who was later known as Bruce Bennett, is the hero of the serial, playing a detective writer and amateur sleuth known as Martin Andrews. Jan Barclay is the feisty, independent, but rather shrill and annoying lady reporter Joan Whiting. Maurice Liu is Andrews' houseman and right hand, Willy Fu, a “good' Oriental to balance the bad. Although there are a couple of memorable scenes – the crushing walls, and the needle-in-the-phone bit that nearly kills off BrixShadow of Chinatown is slow and a bit dull. Lugosi gives a good performance, however.
Verdict: This is not one of the better serials. **.

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