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Chinatown After Dark (1931)

The female head of a criminal gang in Chinatown is after a valuable jewel, and lets nothing stand in her way of finding it.



(story and continuity)

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Complete credited cast:
Madame Ying Su
Jim Bonner
Le Fong
Ralph Bonner
Michael Visaroff ...
Mr. Varonoff
Winter Blossom ...
Ming Fu (as Laska Winter)


The female head of a criminal gang in Chinatown is after a valuable jewel, and lets nothing stand in her way of finding it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See what happens in the underworld dens after dark!


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

15 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Espiões de Shanghai  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. See more »


Referenced in Love and Curses (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

A dagger, a jewel, mystery and murder . . . that's entertainment!
1 June 2005 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

Detective Dooley (Billy Gilbert) explaining police procedure to Lotus (Barbra Kent):

Dooley: When I get enough evidence on him I'll send him to the pen.

Lotus: What pen?

Dooley: Well it ain't the fountain pen!

That's an example of the comedy relief in this movie and we could have gotten along very well if they had just stuck to the mystery and forgotten the . . . um . . . humour.

Chinatown had been a source of mystery and imagination from silent movie days. To hear filmmakers tell it there was danger in every restaurant and a murderer lurking in every dark alley. This thriller from 1931 is no exception. The hero Jim Barton (Rex Lease, taking a break from westerns) is trying to locate his missing brother Ralph. Said brother was supposed to deliver an antique dagger which has a priceless jewel in the hilt to a certain Mr. Lee Fong. Just before delivering the dagger a mysterious hand fires a shot in the dark and when the lights come on Lee Fong is dead and Ralph and the dagger have vanished! Now Jim must find his brother and the dagger, not necessarily in that order. Detective Dooley, who is very tough but so dumb he could not find a bucket of sand at the beach, is certain Jim is the killer so Jim must dodge both the police and Madame Ying Su (Carmel Myers) to solve the mystery.

Despite the low budget and the fact that "Chinatown" is an obvious backlot this is a well constructed picture. Jules Cronjager is a competent cameraman who makes very good use of the shadows. Director Stuart Paton does his job very well also. The lead Chinese characters are played by Caucasian actors in makeup but the "background" roles are handled by actual Chinese actors. If you like this film, and I suspect you will, you might also want to check out CAPTURED IN CHINATOWN (1933) and CHINATOWN NIGHTS (1929).

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