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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:
...
...
...
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Senator Baldwin
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Captain Condon
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Mr. Mansfield
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Janet Baldwin
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...
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Allan Fitzhugh
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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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The print actually credits the "original story" to Murray Leinster and Will Jenkins. Perhaps the filmmakers didn't realize that "Will Jenkins" is a pseudonym for Leinster, but it was probably just an inside joke. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Torchy Blane: [to Steve] Wnat are you, a mouse or a detective.
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Connections

Followed by Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939) 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

 
Familiar cast let down by dull plot
8 February 2013 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Poor Torchy! Her boyfriend, Lieutenant Steve McBride, breaks their date to go protect an art smuggler from a sinister gang. Steve sure doesn't seem too sorry—he hardly even apologizes to Torchy. Of course, she sneaks after him that night, hoping to catch a scoop for her newspaper….

Barton McLane gets a big role this time around—his Lieutenant McBride is right at the center of the action. Unfortunately, the lieutenant has never been dumber. He tells the smuggler not to worry, that the police will protect him—and the smuggler is promptly murdered. He tells the next threatened victim the same thing—and that guy is murdered just as quickly. He's not protecting anybody!

Glenda Farrell is fine as always in her sixth appearance as adventurous reporter Torchy Blane. The cops do their best to keep her in the dark, but Torchy gets her leads and reports them without resisting a dig or two: the first murder, she writes, has left "investigating officers, headed by Detective Lt. Steve McBride, running around in circles so fast they're apt to meet themselves coming back."

The plot concerns some stolen jade "burial tablets" and a supposed Chinese gang out to retrieve them. Unfortunately, there's not enough humor or snappy by-play between characters—the really appealing elements of the series' better entries—to keep this one moving. Tom Kennedy, back again as faithful but dim police chauffeur Gahagan, isn't given nearly enough to do, either.

It's a cast of pros and the production is competent, so the picture is certainly watchable. Farrell, especially, is never boring. However, the rather dreadful plot and an overall lack of zip place this one at the bottom of the list of Torchy Blane mysteries.


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