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The Fatal Hour (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 15 January 1940 (USA)
When Captain Street's best friend Dan Grady is murdered, Street enlists the help of Chinese detective James Lee Wong. Mr. Wong uncovers a smuggling ring on the waterfront of San Francisco ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (adaptation) (as Joseph West) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Harry 'Hardway' Lockett
...
Frank Belden, Jr.
...
Tanya Serova
...
Det. Ballard
...
Frank Belden Sr.
...
Griswold (as Jason Robards)
...
Jeweler
Jack Kennedy ...
Mike, Police Sergeant
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Storyline

When Captain Street's best friend Dan Grady is murdered, Street enlists the help of Chinese detective James Lee Wong. Mr. Wong uncovers a smuggling ring on the waterfront of San Francisco and unmasks the killer, though not until several more murders occur. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hora Fatal  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The radio with the remote control is a Philco model 40-205RX with the "Mystery Control" wireless remote. The rotary dial on the remote selected one of eight preset stations, turn the volume up or down and turn the radio off (but not on). 5,050 of this model were manufactured and it sold for $159.50 (which would equate to $2,744 in 2016). See more »

Goofs

Drinks suddenly appear on the table in front of Tanya and Frank between shots. Plus, she complains the drink gave her a headache despite her not drinking it at all. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Bill Street: I'll see you later.
Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan: Not me, flatfoot. Get one of the nurses out of the receiving hospital. They don't mind a pain in the neck.
See more »

Connections

Follows Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Formulaic Fun
6 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Mr. Wong series borrows somewhat from the Torchy Blane series at Warner Bros., i.e. feisty female reporter annoying the police officer/boyfriend, but also key to solving the crime. A comment was made elsewhere about that character here having a "Lois Lane" moment. Torchy Blane was allegedly the inspiration for the Lois Lane character of Superman comics.

A humorous, but probably unintentional, mistake shows up early in the film when Boris Karloff's darkening makeup is forgotten on his neck, giving him a two-tone head.

Although one can disparage Karloff for these films, keep in mind that film actors then, as now, need and want work. There are plenty of other well-experienced actors appearing in the Mr. Wong films, whom you can see in better films at better studios in the 1930s, or even in later films.

Although Karloff was making "B" films at Monogram and Columbia around this time, at least he had an "up" blip in his career when he played a major role in "Arsenic and Old Lace" on Broadway from 1941 to 1944.

This film is no worse than the formulaic TV series we have now, both comedy and drama, TV now being today's equivalent of the "B" movies of yesterday.


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