Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Anna May Wong
Fresh from Chinatown in New York, Harry Young has taken over the illegal import business in the seamy Limehouse district of London, where he cold-bloodedly disposes of rivals and runs a ... See full summary »
"In the Gay Nineties New York had grown up into bustles and balloon Sleeves ... but The Bowery had grown younger, louder and more rowdy until it was known as the 'Livest Mile on the face of... See full summary »
Three young girls working in an agency have build a singing trio. They want to 'lease' the dictaphone of their boss to make a record of their singin, but they are caught and fired. When ... See full summary »
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
You forgot your dress. You wouldn't want to compromise me, would you?
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Cast and crew clearly had fun putting together this tale of a gang of ingenious jewel thieves in foggy London. A perfect pace keeps the action and humor flowing, and the cast is spot on.
Clive Brook, Helen Vinson and Alan Mowbray all play their own doubles as the gang who goes out on midnight runs to steal diamonds while their look-alikes stay at the night club under the watchful eye of the police. Sir Guy Standing is the frustrated commissioner who brings in George Raft as an undercover American cop to infiltrate the club and discover the secret of their success.
Humorous all around, and the construction of their hideout is brilliant with hidden doors and secret alarms. Of note are the special effects in the "doubles" scenes. We see this so frequently, and yet here in 1933, it becomes a fascinating piece of work, with actors handing objects to themselves in the split screen.
The cast already mentioned as well as Alison Skipworth as a potential victim of thievery are a kick. Raft is a wise guy and even briefly throws in a bit of the coin-flipping that made him famous. It's too bad the studio did not more fully explore the idea of him as an undercover cop in later films. As Sir Guy points out, no one would suspect a man with a face like that of being a detective. As one not familiar with Brook or Vinson, this was a delightful discovery in that regard as well.
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