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Shadows of the Orient (1935)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, Romance  |  6 July 1935 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 43 users  
Reviews: 6 user

A classic "B" featurette about "smugglin' in Chinamen for $300 a load"


(as Burt Lynwood)


(story) (as L.E. Heifetz) , (adaptation) (as Charles Francis Royal)
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Title: Shadows of the Orient (1935)

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Cast overview:
Inspector Bob Baxter
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Inspector Sullivan
Oscar Apfel ...
Judge Avery
King Moss
Eddie Fetherston ...
James 'Flash' Dawson
Kit Guard ...
Spud Nolan
James B. Leong ...
Ching Chu


"Shadows of the Orient" was originally (and still is) a Larry Darmour production made under the Empire Films banner in 1935 and released in August of 1935, although Motion Picture Herald did not review it until February of 1936. Following the reorganization of Monogram, after W. Ray Johnston, Scott R. Dunlap, Trem Carr and Paul Malvern broke away from their short stay at Republic Pictures, Monogram was in need of product to fill their exhibitor committments and picked up the film from whatever state-rights limbo it was in, and sent it back out on August 13, 1937 under a Monogram Pictures logo with nothing to indicate it was a re-issue of a two year-old film. Its first New York showing was at the Central Theatre on October 11, 1937, 27 months after initial release through the Empire exchanges, and it had lost three minutes from its original 68 minutes. The Foreword tells it all: "Since the passing of the Oriental Exclusion Act the smuggling of aliens has been constant. Although the ... Written by Les Adams <>

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Action | Drama | Romance






Release Date:

6 July 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Orientens Skygger  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Opening crawl: Since the passing of the Oriental Exclusion Act the smuggling of aliens has been constant. Although the smuggling is less than a few years ago, when Chinese were brought into the United States from Mexico in carlots, the traffic has by no means ceased, according to immigration officials. The length of the frontier and sparsely settled regions makes patrolling impossible. These smugglers have no regard for human life and resort to any means to accomplish their selfish ends. The boss of the ring,...
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User Reviews

Pretty bad...and a sad look at one of the sadder periods in history.
13 January 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Like most videos of older films from Alpha Video, this one is in very rough shape. It's obvious the print has seen much, much better days!

"Shadows of the Orient" is set in the era just after the Johnson-Reed Act (also called 'Immigration Act of 1924' or 'The Oriental Exclusion Act'). This US law created quotas for immigrants that severely limited the number of folks from certain parts of the world--such as Eastern Europe and Asia. However, folks from 'desirable' nations (such as Northern Europe) were given preferential treatment.

Regis Toomey and J. Farrell MacDonald play inspectors working to capture illegal aliens and those profiting from smuggling these folks into the US. Inspector Sullivan (MacDonald), an old an experienced man, is having trouble getting to the bottom of a gang smuggling in Chinese folks. So, Inspector Baxter (Toomey) is brought in--and Sullivan naturally resents it. However, through the course of the film, Baxter proves his worth and, along with his lady friend, is able to put an end to this gang.

While I was uncomfortable with the somewhat xenophobic subject matter, you DO want to see the gang stopped as they are amazingly evil. When they are about to be caught in their airplane, they jettison their cargo--dropping these poor Chinese folks thousands of feet to their deaths!! Nice, huh?! Unfortunately, the film itself just wasn't very good. While Toomey and the rest tried their best, the material was a bit limp and the action scenes pretty bad. For instance, when one plane was shot down, you can see it's from another film as their is a German insignia on the plane that actually crashes! Cheap and silly overall.

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