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 ...
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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 smoky nightclub. He falls for a low-class, white pickpocket, diminishing his pride in the Chinese half of his heritage and sparking the jealousy of the nightclub's moody star performer. Written by
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 »
Casting George Raft as a Chinese gangster was a 50% success for Paramount Pictures. They got the gangster half, right in Limehouse Blues.
The famous English blues ballad Limehouse Blues permeates the score and serves as a background for the story. Raft plays Harry Young a person of mixed race origins who comes from New York to London to oversee his import, read that as smuggling business. He's also quite ruthless in disposing of rivals like Montagu Love who's a brutish thug who ran things on the waterfront until Raft got there.
Love also has a daughter played by Jean Parker whom he beats on a regular basis and Raft kind of likes her which displeases his Oriental mistress Anna May Wong the only genuine Oriental person in the cast. She's not about to be cast aside no matter what.
30 years later the film would have been cast with someone like James Shigeta or Toshiro Mifune in the lead. Even now it could be done with someone like Lou Diamond Phillips or Russell Wong in the lead. Try as he might George Raft just does not come over as Oriental. And on that the film barely hits average.
I hope I gave someone producer some casting ideas.
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