Mr. Wong in Chinatown (August 1, 1939)

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Boris Karloff is Mr. Wong
 

Released August 1, 1939: A young Chinese Princess is hit with a poison dart in Mr. Wong's living room, writing a cryptic message as she lays dying, that only Mr. Wong can interpret.

Produced by William T. Lackey

Directed by Scott Darling

The Actors: Boris Karloff (Mr. James Lee Wong), Marjorie Reynolds (Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan), Grant Withers (Police Captain Bill Street), Huntley Gordon (Mr. Davidson, banker), George Lynn (Captain Guy Jackson), William Royle (Captain Jaime), James Flavin (Police Sergeant Jerry), Lotus Long (Princess Lin Hwa), Lee Tung Foo (Willie), Bessie Loo (Lilly May), Richard Loo (Tong Chief), Ernie Stanton (Burton, Davidson's butler), I. Stanford Jolley (Palisser Hotel Clerk), Jack Kennedy (Police Sergeant Brady, desk sergeant), Donald Kerr (Taxi Driver), Wilbur Mack (the coroner), Moy Ming (the old Tong member), Bruce Mitchell (police officer at the explosion), Angelo Rossitto (mute dwarf), Guy Usher (police commissioner)

 

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The Chinese Princess Murder

On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the U.S. joined the war in the Pacific and the war in Europe that became the biggest (so far) war ever, World War Two, but several years earlier England was busy fighting German aggression and China was busy fighting Japanese aggression.

Japan attacked China in 1937, and the U.S. unofficially helped China fight back the attacks by the Japanese army. Three fighter squadrons of U.S. airplanes manned by volunteer American pilots flew missions in China and were known as the Flying Tigers, with their distinctively painted shark-faced airplanes.

These U.S. volunteer pilots became members of the Chinese Air Force to help push back the Japanese attacks on China. Of course, after Japan attacked our ‘safe harbor’ in Hawaii, the U.S. created and helped operate the largest war-machine in the history of the planet, fighting two all-out wars in the Pacific and in Europe.

The heart of this 1939 murder mystery revolves around a Chinese princess who comes to San Francisco with a fortune in cash. She has arranged to purchase airplanes for the battle that is raging in China.

As our adventure opens, the butler for Detective James Lee Wong answers the front door and a beautiful oriental woman insists on speaking to Mr. Wong. She is told to wait in the front room while Wong’s man Willie finds Mr. Wong in his chemistry laboratory and informs him that he has a visitor.

When Mr. Wong and Willie get to the front room to meet Princess Lin Hwa, they discover her dead body crumpled on the floor. Before she dropped to the floor she was able to scribble ‘Captain J’ on a piece of paper.

Thus begins another twisted journey through the crime-ridden San Francisco and into Chinatown with Boris Karloff as Mr. Wong, Marjorie Reynolds as Bobby Logan, the snoopy reporter girlfriend of Police Inspector Bill Street, played by Grant Withers.

Pop a big bowl . . . . Wait a minute . . . . Before I go, let me tell you about Princess Lin Hwa, played by the actress Lotus Long. Her birth name was Lotus Pearl Shibata, and she had a Hawaiian mother and a Japanese father.

As her acting career began it was widely assumed that she was Chinese, and she never spoke out to correct the record, so when the U.S. began interring all Japanese Americans at the beginning of the war, she was never asked about her heritage, and she kept working throughout the war, letting folk believe that she was Chinese, not Japanese. In fact, she had a part in a war time 1942 movie called 'Flying Tigers' that you can watch right here: Flying Tigers Movie Starring John Wayne —»

Now you should pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Angelo Rossitto
Angelo Rossitto
Angelo Rossitto
Angelo Rossitto
Bessie Loo
Bessie Loo
Bessie Loo and Marjorie Reynolds
Bessie Loo and Marjorie Reynolds
Bessie Loo
Bessie Loo
Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff and George Lynn
Boris Karloff and George Lynn
Boris Karloff and Lee Tung Foo
Boris Karloff and Lee Tung Foo
Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
Donald Kerr, Marjorie Reynolds and Boris Karloff
Donald Kerr, Marjorie Reynolds and Boris Karloff
George Lynn
George Lynn
George Lyn and Huntley Gordon
George Lyn and Huntley Gordon
George Lynn and William Royle
George Lynn and William Royle
George Lynn
George Lynn
Grant Withers, Bessie Loo and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers, Bessie Loo and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers, Marjorie Reynolds, Bessie Loo and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers, Marjorie Reynolds, Bessie Loo and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers, Marjorie Reynolds and Ernie Stanton
Grant Withers, Marjorie Reynolds and Ernie Stanton
Grant Withers and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers and Boris Karloff
Grant Withers
Grant Withers
Guy Usher and Grant Withers
Guy Usher and Grant Withers
Huntley Gordon
Huntley Gordon
Huntley Gordon and Boris Karloff
Huntley Gordon and Boris Karloff
Huntley Gordon and Ernie Stanton
Huntley Gordon and Ernie Stanton
Huntley Gordon, Marjorie Reynolds and Boris Karloff
Huntley Gordon, Marjorie Reynolds and Boris Karloff
Huntley Gordon
Huntley Gordon
I. Stanford Jolley
I. Stanford Jolley
Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
James Flavin and Grant Withers
James Flavin and Grant Withers
James Flavin and Marjorie Reynolds
James Flavin and Marjorie Reynolds
James Flavin and Grant Withers
James Flavin and Grant Withers
Lee Tung Foo and Boris Karloff
Lee Tung Foo and Boris Karloff
Lee Tung Foo and Lotus Long
Lee Tung Foo and Lotus Long
Lotus Long
Lotus Long
Lotus Long
Lotus Long
Marjorie Reynolds
Marjorie Reynolds
Marjorie Reynolds and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds and Guy Usher
Marjorie Reynolds and Guy Usher
Marjorie Reynolds, James Flavin and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds, James Flavin and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds
Marjorie Reynolds
Marjorie Reynolds and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds and Grant Withers
Marjorie Reynolds
Marjorie Reynolds
Moy Ming
Moy Ming
Richard Loo and Boris Karloff
Richard Loo and Boris Karloff
Richard Loo
Richard Loo
William Royle and George Lynn
William Royle and George Lynn
William Royle and Grant Withers
William Royle and Grant Withers
William Royle and Huntley Gordon
William Royle and Huntley Gordon