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When Were You Born (1938)

Approved | | Mystery, Romance | 18 June 1938 (USA)
Mei Lee Ling, an astrology expert, tells one of her fellow passengers on a ship, that he will die within two days and the next day he is dead. The police suspects that Mei does know ... See full summary »

Director:

(as William McGann)

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Anthony Coldewey), (original story) (as Manley Hall)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Doris Kane (Leo)
...
Mei Lei Ming (Aquarius)
...
Nita Kenton (Cancer)
...
Larry Camp (Aries)
...
Inspector Jim C. Gregg (Taurus) (as Charles Wilson)
...
Reporter Davis (Gemini)
Eric Stanley ...
Shields, Corey's Valet (Virgo)
...
Phillip 'Phil' Corey (Libra)
Leonard Mudie ...
Frederick 'Fred' Gow (Scorpio)
...
Peter Finlay (Sagittarius)
Maurice Cass ...
Dr. Merton (Capricorn)
Frank Jaquet ...
Sergeant Kelly (Pisces)
...
Assistant District Attorney (as Jack Moore)
Manley P. Hall ...
Himself - Manley P. Hall - Opening Narrator
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Storyline

Mei Lee Ling, an astrology expert, tells one of her fellow passengers on a ship, that he will die within two days and the next day he is dead. The police suspects that Mei does know something, but she doesn't. But to clear herself she offers her help to solve the murder. Soon she and the police find themselves in a web of crime and false identities. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Em Que Dia Você Nasceu?  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Too Marvelous for Words
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Played when Miss Ming tells Cory about himself in the ship's lounge
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User Reviews

 
A bizarre screenplay in a well-made murder mystery solved by astrology.
6 January 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

Since I've always felt that astrology can be described at best as fraudulent, the goings on here annoyed me very much. Tell Anna May Wong your birthday and she can look up your chart and tell you everything about you. She tells James Stephenson he has two days to live; Jeffrey Lynn that his wife will have twins; Inspector Charles Wilson that there will be two more murders, etc. It goes on and on and she's never wrong! Mind you, she says these predictions are only generalizations, because she doesn't have the exact time of your birth. The opening scenes has Manley P. Hall (the one who concocted the original story) on-screen telling how astrology enables you to predict the future and he cites laughable examples of it. He also explains the 12 signs of the zodiac and the characteristics of the people born under those signs. To me it was all nonsense. You might note that the character of each of the 12 credited actors was born under a different zodiac sign which was specified on-screen.

The film is well directed by William McGann, who sets a nice pace for the 65 minute length of the film, and it was somewhat fun to watch the mystery unfold. But I cringed every time Wong opened her mouth with some item seemingly picked out of the air. If you believe in astrology, you may like this film. I didn't.


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