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The Hatchet Man (1932)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  6 February 1932 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 485 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 10 critic

San Francisco Tong hatchet man Wong must execute his boyhood friend Sun. Sun knew his time was up and wrote out his will just prior to Wong showing up at his door. When Sun realizes Wong is... See full summary »

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Title: The Hatchet Man (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Dudley Digges ...
Leslie Fenton ...
Edmund Breese ...
...
J. Carrol Naish ...
Sun Yat Ming (as J. Carroll Naish)
...
E. Alyn Warren ...
Soo Lat, the Cobbler
Edward Peil Sr. ...
Bing Foo (as Eddie Piel)
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Storyline

San Francisco Tong hatchet man Wong must execute his boyhood friend Sun. Sun knew his time was up and wrote out his will just prior to Wong showing up at his door. When Sun realizes Wong is there to kill me he tries to set his friend's mind at ease by telling him he is the beneficiary of all Sun's worldly possessions and convinces Wong to promise to take care of Sun's young daughter, Toya San who Sun has bequeathed to become his wife. Years later, when she becomes of age, she marries Wong, now a powerful figure, though she loves evil Harry. When Wong learns Toya will be happier with Harry he allows them to leave. Still later Wong learns that Harry has been deported and since Toya could not prove she was married to someone else she too was deported to China. When Wong learns of this, he goes after them. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

6 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Honorable Mr. Wong  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Japanese-born Toshia Mori was up for the Chinese-American role of Sun Toya San, before it went to Loretta Young. Mori later admitted it was the biggest disappointment during the first five years of her career before she was signed as a contract player by Columbia. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Slaying the Dragon (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Poor Butterfly
(uncredited)
Music by Raymond Hubbell
Instrumental played in background during Sun Toya San's birthday
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A true classic that needs to be preserved on DVD
2 January 2008 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Yes as many have stated, by today's standards, the casting of this movie seems ridiculous, but please keep in mind the time period that this movie was made. All things considered, even with the period specific "whites for ethnic minorities" casting mentality, respect for a certain amount of cultural authenticity was in this movie to a greater degree than in previous films of this era, and so I feel that in that respect this movie was ground breaking and helped slowly pave the way for minorities to eventually take center stage in great theatrical releases. Most other films before and since (until the late 70's early 80's) stereotyped Asian characters as clownish and comical to an absolutely racist degree. Not so here. Robinson (although he did use some stereotyping) created a character who was not only mysterious, but both an anti-hero as well as deep & complex the likes of which would not be seen for a great long time after. His acting ability was amazing and truly well showcased here. He was able to show what really made his characters great and not just the mugging gangster stereotype that became so exaggerated over time. Often people forget what a true talent Robinson was, and if you need to know why... See this one if you ever get the chance!!!


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