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Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939)

Torchy Blane has to solve a blackmail case.



(characters), (original story "The Purple Hieroglyph") (as Will Jenkins) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Senator Baldwin
Captain Condon
Mr. Mansfield
Janet Baldwin
Frank Shannon ...
George Guhl ...
Richard Bond ...
Eddy Chandler ...
Captain McDonald (as Ed Chandler)


Newspaper reporter "Torchy" Blaine and police detective Steve McBride are on the trail of an Oriental gang that has committed three murders. Also on hand is a fabricated Scotland Yard operative who is a phony, and has two others assisting him in an effort to throw the police department off the trail; they are trying to exhort $250,000 from a young rich man who is trying to marry a senator's daughter. A submarine gets involved. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El jade fatal  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the onscreen credits state this is an original story, it is actually a remake of Murder Will Out (1930), which has a virtually identical plot and uses many of the same character names. See more »


The Senator states that he is going to announce his daughter's engagement at a party at his Long Island house in three days, on Friday, in the evening. To shift the movie to the party a copy of the party invitation is shown. The invitation announces that the party is on Monday. See more »


Det. Lt. Steve 'Mac' McBride: Let's go into the other room so I can think.
Torchy Blane: With what?
See more »


Followed by Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939) See more »


Garden of the Moon
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Torchy turns over the cards when playing bridge
See more »

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User Reviews

I've seen better
22 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm always drawn to 40s B movies about wisecracking investigators, but some are better than others, and this one is definitely a lesser example of the genre. Farrell's performance as brassy reporter Torchy feels thin, and the detective lead detective is bland, although I rather liked the odd romance between the two.

Tom Kennedy, on the other hand, was quite amusing as a doofus cop.

As for the story, well, it was really moronic. Of particular note was how terrible the lead cop was, constantly assuring people he would protect them and failing to do so, yet never losing confidence and, more amazingly, never getting in trouble. And no one ever said, "I don't trust you because you gave the same assurances to the last guy" (although ultimately you could make a case for why that ultimately makes sense).

I think that will be it for me and Torchy Blane movies.

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