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I Cover Chinatown (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Music | 1 October 1936 (USA)
A tour guide in Chinatown and his girlfriend get mixed up with jewel thieves and murder.



(story and screenplay)
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Cast overview:
Gloria Watkins
Puss McGaffey - the Bus Driver
Clark Duryea
Insurance Salesman
Myra Duryea
Truck Driver
Edward Emerson ...
Victor Duryea
Head Waiter
Bruce Mitchell ...
Police Detective
Robert Love ...
Charita Alden ...
Rae - Hawaiian Dancer
Andy Iona ...
Band Leader Andy Iona, as Andy Iona and His Recording Hawaiians
The Recording Hawaiians ...
Andy Iona Band


Two San Francisco brothers, Clark (Theodore von Eltz)and Victor Duryea ('Edward Emerson'), run a jewelry store in Chinatown that really serves as a fencing operation for stolen goods. Clark's wife, Myra (Polly Ann Young), becomes aware of their crooked operation and states her intentions to leave him. Clark, fearing that Myra will inform the police, kills her and stuffs her body in a truck. Meanwhile, Myra's sister, Gloria Watkins (Elaine Shepherd), comes to San Francisco to visit her sister, finds out she is missing, and sets out to investigate her disappearance. Along, the way, she is aided by "Puss" McGaffey ('Vince Barnett'), a Chinatown tour-bus driver and his friend Eddie Barton (Norman Foster), the tour-bus barker who aspires to be a private detective Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

1 October 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

No Bairro Chinês  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Norman Foster's last film as leading man and first as director. See more »

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User Reviews

Fast-moving movie with lots of curiosity value!
21 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

Although interiors were filmed at RKO Studios, this film was not released by RKO and has been difficult to obtain, but now an excellent print has surfaced on an Alpha DVD. Why the excitement? It was the first movie to be directed by Norman Foster (whom Orson Welles regarded as the best director in the world – aside from himself, of course!) Foster was an actor at this stage of his career but soon switched full-time to directing, In fact, he abandoned acting altogether after playing a bit in his Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938), but resumed his acting career in 1972. His most famous film was the Orson Welles vehicle, Journey Intro Fear (1942), which Welles himself partially re-edited and re-shot. (Fortunately, both versions are available on DVD, and both have played on TV in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, England and France). Anyway, getting back to I Cover Chinatown, this movie was largely shot on location in San Francisco's Chinatown. Theodore Von Eltz is the villain you love to hiss, and then, of course, there's Elaine Sheppard, here making little impression despite her impressive debut as the female lead in the Clyde Beatty serial, Darkest Africa. (Miss Sheppard was nothing if not determined. When her first attempt at a movie career gradually petered out in 1940, she started at the top again in 1943, and when that gradually petered out in 1945, she started again at the top in 1951. But this third time, there were no further takers. I suppose she could have gone into TV, but I'm glad to say she didn't choose that route. Presumably, she wanted success in the movies, or nothing! An admirable ambition, but you can see why she didn't make the grade. She's a fine actress, but she doesn't stay in the mind. I saw this movie last night but already I've forgotten what she looked like, although I can picture just about everyone else in the cast firmly in my mind, including Eddie Gribbon – not an actor known to me at all despite his 204 credits – who has only a very, very small role).

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