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Shadow of Chinatown (I) (1936)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  10 October 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 148 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 7 critic

A madman sets out to destroy a group of Chinatown merchants.


(as Bob Hill)


(original story) (as Rock Hawkey) , (continuity), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Martin Andrews (as Herman Brix)
Joan Barclay ...
Luana Walters ...
Maurice Liu ...
Charles King ...
William Buchanan ...
John Cowell ...
White Chinaman [Ch. 1] (as Jack Cowell)
James B. Leong ...
Wong [Chs. 5-13]
Henry T. Tung ...
Dr. Wu [Chs. 1-5, 12-15]
Paul Fung ...
Tom Chu [Chs. 1,2]
George Chan ...
Old Luce [Chs. 1,2,7]
Moy Ming ...
Wong's Brother Charlie [Chs. 10-11]


Released both as a 15-chapter serial and as a condensed feature version (for theaters that didn't use serials) which means that all of the cast and crew would one day be credited in some sources with a misleading extra film appearance added to their filmographies even though they only worked on (and got paid) for one performance or job. The story (serial and/or feature) deals with the plotting of a European importing firm to put Chinese trade competition in a west coast Chinatown - city unnamed, but it's by the bay and it isn't Oakland - out of business. Their representative, Sonya Rokoff/The Dragon Lady, a beautiful Eurasian girl, hires Victor Poten, a mad Eurasian chemist and inventor and an equal-opportunity racist who hates both Chinese and White races, to aid her. Poten, by means of his infernal inventions and underworld henchmen, conducts successful raids on the Chinese merchants and also successfully eludes the people hunting and investigating him. Those include newspaper ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrills and chills and shivering shocks as a crazed scientist terrorizes the underworld! See more »


Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 October 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Sombra do Bairro Chinês  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(15 chapters)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The titles of the 15 individual chapters, and their respective running times are:
  • The Arms of the Gods: 26.15

  • The Crushing Walls: 17.00

  • 13 Ferguson Alley: 17.00

  • Death on the Wire: 17.04

  • The Sinister Ray: 16.25

  • The Sword Thrower: 17.25

  • The Noose: 21.29

  • Midnight: 17.32

  • The Last Warning: 18.46

  • The Bomb: 20.00

  • Thundering Doom: 18.31

  • Invisible Gas: 18.22

  • The Brink of Disaster: 18.27

  • The Fatal Trap: 18.25

  • The Avenging Powers: 17.48

  • The chapters have a total running time of 280.5 minutes (4 hours 40 minutes)

See more »


At the end of chapter 14 (repeated at the beginning of 15) you can clearly hear the director cuing Luana Walters to begin running. See more »


Willy Fu: I accede to honorable request of thugs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits of crew and cast are flipped as pages of a book. See more »


Edited into Shadow of Chinatown (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

Another Sleep Inducer
15 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As I often say, I enjoy watching the master, Lugosi, in just about anything. The problem with this is he doesn't have much to do. In order to create a serial, it's necessary for the bad guy to continue to goof up, leaving his adversaries alive to continue the pursuit. The episodes are an endless trapezing of zombie like lackeys and air headed reporters. There's enough sexism to go around for a long time. The conclusion will make some gag. Chinatown businesses are the target of Lugosi who is "Eurasian" and very angry about something, I guess being Eurasian. He tries to destroy the town just for spite. It's an endless parade of pratfalls and silly hypnotism. The one young Asian woman is very beautiful. She is the honorable one in the film, but has been used by Lugosi and he has a hypnotic control over her. It all comes out in the wash, as if we cared.

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