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Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939)

Torchy Blane has to solve a blackmail case.

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Captain Condon
...
Mr. Mansfield
...
Janet Baldwin
...
Captain McTavish
...
Desk Sergeant
...
Allan Fitzhugh
...
Staunton
Eddy Chandler ...
Captain McDonald (as Ed Chandler)
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Storyline

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>

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Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

4 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El jade fatal  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The seventh of nine "Torchy Blane" films from Warner Brothers made from 1937-39. See more »

Goofs

The money in the small bag handed over to the three men in the boat, although in fake currency, appears to be mostly $1 bills - in bundles marked $1,000, though in stacks to small for that amount in singles. Even with $1,000 bundles there would have to be 250 of them and only about a tenth of that is shown in the small bag. $250,000 in $1 bills would also weigh about 550 pounds. See more »

Quotes

Detective Sergeant Gahagan: Quit kidding, Torchy. You ain't no lady. You're a reporter.
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Connections

Follows Fly Away Baby (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is Where You Find It
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when McBride pulls Senator Baldwin aside at the engagement party
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User Reviews

 
As much about Chinatown as was Roman Polanski's Chinatown
26 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

Fifth in the series of reporter-criminologist Torchy Blane who assists Detective Lieutenant Steve McBride in solving crimes. In this entry, Torchy figures out the solution to the deaths of three prominent men but allows Steve to get the credit at the end and make the collar. If this subservience is not enough, we are subjected to rampant racial stereotyping of Chinese and blacks. Detective Sergeant Gahagan provides comic relief that includes in this film his breaking into poetry from time to time. The film does involve Chinese burial tablets and has a few superficial shots that might have been take on the street of a major city "Chinatown" but the plot does not have anyone going there and doing anything. This version mostly takes place in police stations, at The Adventurers Club, homes, and at sea where a contribution is made by the US Navy. The plot is a remake of the 1920 "The Purple Cipher" and the1930 "Murder Will Out." It involves a combination of revenge murder and blackmail. There are notes to victims passed on Chinese laundry tickets and via additional means. Death comes via a multitude of means and bodies have a habit of disappearing. Fair.


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