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The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939)

 -  Mystery  -  8 March 1939 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 380 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 2 critic

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."

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Grant Withers ...
Dorothy Tree ...
Valerie Edwards
Craig Reynolds ...
Peter Harrison
Ivan Lebedeff ...
Michael Strogonoff
Holmes Herbert ...
Prof. Ed Janney
Morgan Wallace ...
Brendan Edwards
...
Chester Gan ...
Sing, the Butler
Hooper Atchley ...
Carslake
Bruce Wong ...
Asian Man
Jack Kennedy ...
Police Guard
Joe Devlin ...
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:

In all Frisco... only one man had the cunning to pierce the web of intrigue to the lair of an invisible killer! 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. 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

Followed by Phantom of Chinatown (1940) 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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