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Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)

 -  Mystery  -  1 August 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 351 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

A pretty Chinese woman, seeking help from San Francisco detective James Lee Wong, is killed by a poisoned dart in his front hall, having time only to scrawl "Captain J" on a sheet of paper.... See full summary »



(screenplay), (characters: series in Collier's Magazine)
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Title: Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)

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Complete credited cast:
Marjorie Reynolds ...
Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
Grant Withers ...
Huntley Gordon ...
Mr. Davidson
George Lynn ...
Capt. Guy Jackson (as Peter George Lynn)
William Royle ...
Capt. Jaime
James Flavin ...
Police Sgt. Jerry
Lotus Long ...
Princess Lin Hwa
Lee Tung Foo ...
Willie (as Lee Tong Foo)
Bessie Loo ...
Lilly May
Richard Loo ...
Tong Chief
Ernie Stanton ...


A pretty Chinese woman, seeking help from San Francisco detective James Lee Wong, is killed by a poisoned dart in his front hall, having time only to scrawl "Captain J" on a sheet of paper. She proves to be Princess Lin Hwa, on a secret military mission for Chinese forces fighting the Japanese invasion. Mr. Wong finds two captains with the intial J in the case, neither being quite what he seems; there's fog on the waterfront and someone still has that poison-dart gun... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dart | princess | mr wong | detective | ship | See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Wong in Chinatown  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The third of the 6-film series, and the first to feature Marjorie Reynolds as Captain Street's reporter girlfriend. Later remade as a Charlie Chan feature, The Chinese Ring (1947). See more »


When Street and Logan arrive at Davidson's house, the supposedly-dead dogs are clearly breathing as Street kneels to examine them. See more »


Followed by Phantom of Chinatown (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

A very low-energy B detective film
7 March 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I've seen several Mr. Wong films and I can definitely understand why Monogram Studios decided to drop the series in favor of making Charlie Chan films. Unlike the Chan films, the Wong series is pretty dull--with unlikable or bland supporting characters and a very low energy level in the movies. It's like the characters are just walking through the lines and putting little into it--particularly Boris Karloff, who was capable of so much better work than this. His supporting characters don't help, as Grant Withers is a pretty dull police inspector and Marjorie Reynolds in her first of four appearances in the Wong series as the nosy reporter is a tad annoying.

The film begins with a Chinese princess coming to Wong's house. When his butler goes to get Wong, an unseen person kills the lady with a poisonous dart! It turns out that the princess was in America to buy planes for their war with the Japanese, though since the US was not yet at war with Japan, they were never mentioned by name. Why she was killed and unable to complete her mission is mildly interesting, but that's about all. My advice is try to see a different B-detective series, such as Sherlock Holmes, The Falcon or Charlie Chan--they are just a lot more interesting and fun to watch.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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