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

Friday, June 20, 2008

MR. WONG IN CHINATOWN


MR. WONG IN CHINATOWN (1939). Director: William Nigh.

A woman (Lotus Long) comes to see investigator James Lee Wong in his house in San Francisco, and is promptly murdered with a blow gun. it turns out that she is a princess who recently came into the country on a tramp steamer. Could some of the other passengers be involved? What does the dwarf on the ship know about the murder? Boris Karloff gives a flavorful performance as Mr. Wong, and Grant Withers is Police Captain Street. Marjorie Reynolds is a reporter who saves Wong and others from a violent murder attempt. Bessie Loo is the princess' maid, Lilly May. Lotus Long had a larger part in the Mr. Wong film Phantom of Chinatown wherein Keye Luke essayed the role of James Lee Wong. The picture holds the attention -- barely -- but doesn't really amount to much.

Verdict: Where's Charlie Chan when you need him? **.

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