Daughter of the Tong (August 28, 1939)
Released on August 28, 1939: A sultry, secretive Chinese woman heads the Tong, a crime syndicate infiltrated by the F.B.I.
Directed by Bernard B. Ray
Written by George H. Plympton and Alan Merritt.
The Actors: Evelyn Brent (Carney, the Illustrious Daughter of the Tong), Grant Withers (Ralph Dickson), Dorothy Short (Marion Morgan), Dave O'Brien (Jerry Morgan), Richard Loo (Wong, hotel clerk), Dirk Thane (henchman Ward), Harry Harvey (Harold 'Mugsy' Winthrop), Budd Buster (Lefty McMillan), Robert Frazer (FBI Chief Williams), Hal Taliaferro (FBI Agent Larson), James Coleman (henchman Hardy), Richard Cramer (FBI man), Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian (henchman), Jack Hendricks (henchman playing the pinball machine), James B. Leong (importer), Walter Long (henchman), Lew Meehan (warehouseman), Constantine Romanoff (henchman), Gene Roth (henchman), Harry Tenbrook (henchman Sam).
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Daughter of the Tong is an interesting story about the FBI after a Chinese syndicate run by the elusive 'Carney.' The FBI infiltrates the Tong and discovers that the bad guy Carney is actually a gorgeous girl! With a great 1939 car chase and some good fights it is a worthwhile way to spend an hour. But the actors, and a bit of gossip about them, can make it more interesting than ever as you watch them perform. As you watch the actors, know this about them:
Evelyn Brent, the gangster boss 'Daughter of the Tong' at five foot two inches tall was a mighty powerful sultry leading lady in the final years of silent pictures. Born in Tampa, Florida in 1899, she moved to New York as a very young teen and started modeling, and then acting for several motion picture studios located there. Her biggest movie hits were during the silent era, but she appeared in motion pictures and theater until her final screen appearance on a television episode of Wagon Train in 1957. She had three husbands, but the one you will remember is her third husband Harry Fox. Don't know the name of Harry Fox? No, he had no connection to the Fox movie studio folks . . . . he invented a dance that caught the world on fire in the 1920's . . . . yup, you guessed it . . . . he created the Foxtrot!
Grant Withers plays the leading man, FBI Agent Ralph Dickson . . . what's the dirt in his closet that you always wanted to know? At the time of this motion picture he was 35 years old, and married to Gladys Joyce Walsh, and John Wayne was the best man at his wedding. But several years earlier, when he was 26 years old he ran off to Yuma, Arizona with a young 17 year old actress that he met while filming a movie and got married, but it was annulled before long. The young girl that ran off with him was none other than 'good girl' Loretta Young!
Dorothy Short, who plays Marion Morgan, brother of Jerry Morgan, played by Dave O'Brien, is the love interest for leading man Grant Withers. Nothing strange there . . . except that Dorothy Short in real life was married to Dave O'Brien, and they had a lovely marriage and two children for a long time . . . until she divorced Dave because he spent more time yachting and sailing than with her!
Yup, I'd say, "Only in Hollywood," but you know, stuff like that happens in towns small and large all over the world. It's just more fun to talk about and know about when it is folks that we get to know and love because of their work in old motion pictures. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and watch the FBI versus a sultry seductive Daughter of the Tong from 1939.
Budd Buster in Daughter of the Tong
car chase scene in Daughter of the Tong
Dave O'Brien title card in Daughter of the Tong
Dave O'Brien in Daughter of the Tong
Dorothy Short buys a newspaper in Daughter of the Tong
Evelyn Brent and Dave O'Brien in Daughter of the Tong
the Evelyn Brent title card in Daughter of the Tong
Evelyn Brent in Daughter of the Tong
Grant Withers and Dorothy Short
Grant Withers and Robert Frazer
Grant Withers title card in Daughter of the Tong
Grant Withers spies on the Tong
Grant Withers in Daughter of the Tong
Hal Taliaferro title card in Daughter of the Tong
Harry Harvey title card in Daughter of the Tong
Harry Harvey is arrested in Daughter of the Tong
Harry Harvey watches for escaped gangster Ralph Dickson
Richard Loo and Grant Withers
Richard Loo is desk clerk in Daughter of the Tong
Robert Frazer title card in Daughter of the Tong