The Law of the Tong (December 15, 1931)

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The Law of the Tong
 

Released on December 15, 1931: A young blonde girl inadvertently saves the life of a Chinese Warlord and he repays her by watching over her and protecting her.

Produced by Willis Kent

Directed by Lewis D. Collins

The Actors: Phyllis Barrington (Joan), Jason Robards Sr. (Charlie Wong), John Harron (Denny), Dot Farley (Madam Duval), Mary Carr (Mother McGregor), Frank Lackteen (Yuen Lee), William Malan (Captain McGregor), Richard Alexander (Davy Jones), Wong Chung (Tong member), Ben Corbett (first drunk), Olin Francis (dance hall customer)

 
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The Chinese Warlord and the Blonde Lotus Blossom

This movie was filmed by an independent producer during the first days of talking pictures, so don’t expect the wide-screen hi-def quality of today’s blockbuster movies, but Do expect a story that will hit you, if you allow it to, on many different political and social levels, blended into a simple yet elegant love story embedded in a Chinatown crime adventure.

As our story opens in the Chinatown area of San Francisco we meet Joan, a blonde orphan girl who makes a living in a dance hall flirting and dancing with any man that has the money to pay her. The men she flirts with are rough, tough sailors and other men who live on the shady side of the street. This night a man who doesn’t fit that mold meets her and he tells the young blonde girl that she has much more potential than flirting with crusty sailors, and that night young Joan quits the seedy nightclub and heads off into the streets of San Francisco in search of a better life.

After weeks of wandering we see Joan walking weakly along a dark street in Chinatown and walking up the street towards her is Charlie Wong, the wealthy Chinese leader of the neighborhood. As Charlie Wong walks towards her, there is a large, dark car following silently. Charlie Wong talks to Joan a moment and then suddenly Joan drops to the sidewalk, faint from hunger and weariness. At that moment the large black car pulls to a stop and machine guns blast out a storm of bullets heading directly at Charlie Wong . . . . But he has knelt to the ground to help the fainting girl, and the bullets miss their mark.

Charlie Wong will take the young girl into his home and will care for her until she is well. He explains that she saved his life and his life is now hers . . . . He will be her servant and his wealth, power and influence will be hers for the rest of her life. Charlie Wong will be like a father to the young blonde girl. His men will watch over her and he will see that no harm ever comes to the young Lotus Blossom that saved his life. We discover that Charlie Wong helps poor Chinese men sneak into America and Charlie gets them the jobs that Americans are not willing to do for the amount of pay offered. Charlie Wong helps them get a small piece of the American Dream. Of course, even in 1931 America this is against the law, and the cops will be after Charlie Wong before the curtain falls.

Throughout the drama the constant overriding theme is the platonic relationship between Charlie Wong and his lotus blossom girl, Joan. Like a benevolent father Charlie will make sure that Joan has the life that he thinks she deserves. Joan will be torn between her loyalty to crime warlord Charlie Wong and the undercover detective that she has fallen in love with. How can a love story between a gangster boss, a young blonde, and a police detective like this end? Like all good stories, it will complete a circle of love and devotion that was started when the Lotus Blossom met the Master of the Tong. . . . . The Law of the Tong demands it . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Phyllis Barrington
Phyllis Barrington
Dot Farley
Dot Farley
Frank Lackteen
Frank Lackteen
Frank Lackteen and Phyllis Barrington
Frank Lackteen and Phyllis Barrington
Frank Lackteen
Frank Lackteen
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr. and Phyllis Barrington
Jason Robards Sr. and Phyllis Barrington
Jason Robards Sr. and Phyllis Barrington
Jason Robards Sr. and Phyllis Barrington
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr.
John Harron
John Harron
John Harron, Frank Lackteen and Jason Robards Sr.
John Harron, Frank Lackteen and Jason Robards Sr.
John Harron and Frank Lackteen
John Harron and Frank Lackteen
John Harron
John Harron
Phyllis Barrington
Phyllis Barrington
Phyllis Barrington and Dot Farley
Phyllis Barrington and Dot Farley
Phyllis Barrington and John Harron
Phyllis Barrington and John Harron
Phyllis Barrington and Mary Carr
Phyllis Barrington and Mary Carr
Phyllis Barrington and John Harron
Phyllis Barrington and John Harron
Phyllis Barrington and John Harron
Phyllis Barrington and John Harron
Phyllis Barrington and Jason Robards Sr.
Phyllis Barrington and Jason Robards Sr.
Phyllis Barrington
Phyllis Barrington
Phyllis Barrington
Phyllis Barrington
Richard Alexander and Dot Farley
Richard Alexander and Dot Farley
William Malan and Jason Robards Sr.
William Malan and Jason Robards Sr.
Wong Chung
Wong Chung