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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)
...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Himself - Manley P. Hall - Opening Narrator: Now the twelfth sign of the Zodiac, Pisces, governs from 20th February to 20th March. Those who are born under it do most of their thinking sitting down because their feet hurt. But in the end, much of the world's greatest progress is accomplished by Piscean people who are mystic, creative and idealistic in their natures.
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Crazy Credits

[prologue] "Because astrology plays such an important part in this story, Manley P. Hall will precede the picture with a brief discourse on this interesting subject". See more »

Soundtracks

Please Be Kind
(uncredited)
Music by Saul Chaplin
Played when Ming tells Nita about herself in the ship's lounge
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User Reviews

 
It Should Be Seen...
26 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...because of ANNA MAE WONG!!!

Typically tight (65") WARNER BROTHERS' mystery 'B' programmer that was churned out from the 1930s' till the mid 1950s', when T.V. took over. This story is wrapped up in the 'pseudo science' of Astrology. Which each character is given a sign and a sub-plot of the Zodiac. It starts off with the 'horoscope' of Nita Kenton (Lola Lane/Cancer) whose character disappears after the proclamation of doom for Philip Corey (James Stephenson/Libra). The rest of the story weaves around his murder and how it is deciphered by Mei Lei Ming (Anna Mae Wong/Aquarius) and her astrological expertise.

Though billed second after Margaret Lindsay (Doris Kane/Leo) it is ANNA MAE WONG that drives this story. Ms. Wong gives her usual professional performance dominating every scene she is in. Unfortunately like most of her Hollywood productions of this time it is in a 'B' effort. Most of her more accomplished efforts having been done earlier or in England/Europe. This was because of the racial discrimination of the time. Today her career would have had a entirely different course.

Due to how Chinese or Oriental characters where portrayed at that time Ms. Wong appeared in what was considered traditional dress. While all other characters appeared in period apparel. It would have been better if she had been shown off in some of the 'chic' fashions she normally wore. There is no doubt of her physical appeal, Ms. Wong being strikingly attractive.

For those who have not seen Ms. Wong this is a good start, but do not stop here. See her early work like THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924), PICADILLY (1929) or the SHANGHEI EXPRESS (1933). She is a wonder to behold.


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