IMDb > Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)

Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Mr. Wong in Chinatown -- A pretty Chinese woman, seeking help from San Francisco detective James Lee Wong, is killed by a poisoned dart in his front hall...
Mr. Wong in Chinatown -- Criminologist Mr. Wong investigates the murder of a Chinese princess who was killed by a poisoned dart.


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Scott Darling (screenplay)
Hugh Wiley (characters: series in Collier's Magazine)
View company contact information for Mr. Wong in Chinatown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 August 1939 (USA) See more »
A pretty Chinese woman, seeking help from San Francisco detective James Lee Wong, is killed by a poisoned dart in his front hall... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A very low-energy B detective film See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Boris Karloff ... James Lee Wong
Marjorie Reynolds ... Bobby Logan

Grant Withers ... Inpsector Bill Street
Huntley Gordon ... Mr. Davidson

George Lynn ... Captarin Guy Jackson (as Peter George Lynn)
William Royle ... Captain Jaime
James Flavin ... Sergeant Jerry

Lotus Long ... Princess Lin Hwa
Lee Tung Foo ... Willie (as Lee Tong Foo)
Bessie Loo ... Lilly May

Richard Loo ... Tong Chief
Ernie Stanton ... Burton
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

I. Stanford Jolley ... Palisser Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Jack Kennedy ... Sgt. Brady (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... The Coroner (uncredited)
Moy Ming ... Aged Tong Member (uncredited)
Bruce Mitchell ... Police Officer at Explosion (uncredited)
Angelo Rossitto ... Mute Dwarf (uncredited)
Guy Usher ... Police Commissioner (uncredited)

Directed by
William Nigh 
Writing credits
Scott Darling (screenplay)

Hugh Wiley (characters: series in Collier's Magazine)

Produced by
William T. Lackey .... associate producer (as William Lackey)
Original Music by
Edward J. Kay (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Harry Neumann (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Russell F. Schoengarth  (as Russell Schoengarth)
Production Management
Charles J. Bigelow .... production manager (as Chas. J. Bigelow)
Scott R. Dunlap .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
W.B. Eason .... assistant director
Sound Department
Karl Zint .... sound recording engineer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Louis Brown .... wardrobe
Music Department
Edward J. Kay .... musical director (as Edward Kay)
Edward J. Kay .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
E.R. Hickson .... technical director
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
71 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video) | USA:Approved (PCA #5515)

Did You Know?

This film received its earliest documented telecast Sunday 15 March 1942 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). Post-WWII television viewers got their first look at it in Los Angeles Wednesday 9 November 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5) and in New York City Thursday 23 February 1950 on the DuMont Television Network's WABD (Channel 5).See more »
Continuity: When Mr. Wong removes the dart from the neck of Princess Lin Hwa, it can be seen that there is a residue that covers approximately 1/3 of the tip of the dart. In the next scene, upon examining the same dart under a magnifying glass, no trace of the residue is seen.See more »
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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A very low-energy B detective film, 7 March 2007
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

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.

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