The Mystery of Mr. Wong (March 8, 1939)
Released on March 8, 1939: Death follows famous detective James Lee Wong as he searches for the stolen jewel, "The Eye of the Daughter of the Moon."
Produced by William T. Lackey
Directed by William Nigh
Written by Scott Darling from a novel by Hugh Wiley
The Actors: Boris Karloff (Mr. James Lee Wong), Grant Withers (Police Captain Bill Street), Dorothy Tree (Valerie Edwards), Craig Reynolds (Peter Harrison), Ivan Lebedeff (Michael Strogonoff), Holmes Herbert (Professor Ed Janney), Morgan Wallace (Brendan Edwards), Lotus Long (Drina, Edwards' maid), Chester Gan (Sing, Edwards' butler), Hooper Atchley (Carslake, Edwards' attorney), Bruce Wong (Asian man), Jack Kennedy (uniformed policeman at the mansion), Joe Devlin (Police Lieutenant George Devlin, Street's partner), Lee Tung Foo (Willie, Wong's servant), Wilbur Mack (the ballistics expert), Dick Morehead (Police detective), I. Stanford Jolley (the first rower charades player)
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The Blank Bullet and the Eye of the Daughter of the Moon
Like the best detective murder mysteries, there are many great clues, leading to many great suspects, and a mystery that remains unsolved until the final scenes. I chose a suspect early on, and then switched to another, and then another . . . . Sadly, none of my choices turned out to be the correct choice.
As our mystery begins we meet wealthy Brendan Edwards, collector of Oriental treasures, who has just purchased a priceless giant gemstone named the Eye of the Daughter of the Moon. He shows the priceless jewel to Mr. Wong and tells him that the day before he took possession of the stone, he got a warning letter threatening to kill him quickly if he owned the jewel.
A bit later downstairs detective Wong and the man join the house party hosted by his young wife Valerie. She is just about to invite her guests to play a game of charades, and in one charade her husband, the new owner of the jewel, is to be shot with a gun full of blank bullets.
Of course, we can see it coming . . . . When a young man in love with his wife fires the gun with the blank bullets in it, her husband drops to the floor . . . . Very, very dead.
Thus begins a mystery that will twist and turn around nearly every character in the story . . . . Except of course the next person to die . . . .
Watch for the oriental maid of the house, actress Lotus Long. Mr. Wong in Chinatown, was released six months after this movie, and she is the girl who is murdered in the first scene . . . . In this story she is the second person murdered after the murder of the owner of the Eye of the Daughter of the Moon.
Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
The threatening note
Boris Karloff, Chester Gan and Grant Withers
Boris Karloff and Chester Gan
Boris Karloff and Dorothy Tree
Boris Karloff and Grant Withers
Boris Karloff and Holmes Herbert
Boris Karloff, Ivan Lebedeff and Holmes Herbert
Chester Gan, Boris Karloff and Holmes Herbert
Craig Reynolds, Boris Karloff and Ivan Lebedeff
Craig Reynolds and Dorothy Tree
Craig Reynolds and Ivan Lebedeff
Dorothy Tree and Craig Reynolds
Dorothy Tree and Morgan Wallace
Grant Withers, Joe Devlin and Boris Karloff
Holmes Herbert and Dorothy Tree
Hooper Atchley, Grant Withers and Boris Karloff
Ivan Lebedeff and Boris Karloff
Joe Devlin, Boris Karloff and Grant Withers
Joe Devlin and Jack Kennedy
Lotus Long and Ivan Lebedeff
Lotus Long and Morgan Wallace
Morgan Wallace and Boris Karloff
Morgan Wallace and Boris Karloff
Wilbur Mack, Boris Karloff and Grant Withers