6.3/10
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The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939)

Approved | | Mystery | 8 March 1939 (USA)
Detective tries to solve the murder of antiques collector who was in possession of a famous jewel known as "The Eye of the Daugther of The Moon."

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the "James Lee Wong" Series in Collier's Magazine written by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Peter Harrison
...
Michael Strogonoff
...
Prof. Ed Janney
...
Brendan Edwards
...
Drina, the Maid
...
Sing, the Butler
...
Carslake
Bruce Wong ...
Asian Man
Jack Kennedy ...
Police Guard
...
Police Lt. George Devlin
Lee Tung Foo ...
Willie (as Lee Tong Foo)
Wilbur Mack ...
Ballistics Expert
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Storyline

The Eye of the Daughter of the Moon, a golfball sized sapphire has been stolen in China and smuggled into the US. Richards, a rich man who knows a curse was placed on the Eye by the Emperor Hong Chong Tu as he buried it in his dead unfaithful wife's heart, expects to be murdered for receiving it. He shows Mr Wong the Eye and a death threat note. At a party, during a game of "Indications", Richards is shot, seemingly by his secretary, Peter Harrison. Add a peeking Chinese butler and maid, a budding singer, another criminologist, Richards' lawyer and an unsigned changed will. Mr Wong helps Street sort out the details to uncover all the secrets and the murderer. Written by John P Roberts, Jr

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | mr wong | gem | sapphire | party | See All (49) »

Taglines:

Mote tingling mystery thrills from the new Chinese detective sensation! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El misterio de Mr. Wong  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial USA telecast Sunday 22 February 1942 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). Post-WWII television viewers got their first look at it in New York City Wednesday 10 May 1950 on the Night Owl Theatre on WPIX (Channel 11). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sing, the Butler: Good morning, sir.
Brandon Edwards: Morning.
[the butler begins to take his coat]
Brandon Edwards: Never mind! The mistress up yet?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mammoth (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Very good for this genre
1 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When compared to the typical genre mystery of it's time, this movie is quite good. Karloff raises the level with his measured acting, and the film is mercifully free of the comic relief clowning that was so common at the time.

This is one of those 'house' mysteries. Most of the action occurs in one house - the house of a wealthy man, as always. And, as is so often true in the genre, the detective just happens to be on the scene when the murder occurs. Another plus for this film is that the policeman - Detective Street - is not a buffoon. Street is less a foil than an aid to Mr Wong, allowing us to take the story seriously - although we can't be too serious. There are obvious red herrings, and sudden reveals of facts we didn't have. For all that, the Wong series came after the clunkiness of the early talkies had been worked out, and the acting is much closer to what we would come to expect from classic studio products.

Although I always struggle with Karloff as a Chinese - unlike the Chan series, for some reason - I have to say the role he played got the job done. This film is out of copyright, and is available online for free, and on at least one low-priced mystery collection. I found it at the library in a 5 CD Mystery and Murder set.


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