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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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Writers:

(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

Country:

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

Edited into Who Dunit Theater: Mr Wong "The Fatal Hour" (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Mr. Wong is always right!
13 April 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Although not as legendary or eloquent as his contemporary British colleague Sherlock Holmes, Oriental detective Mr. Wong successfully solved quite a lot of difficult cases as well, with his splendid observation talents and marvelous deduction skills. "The Fatal Hour" is the fourth film in a series of six, all but one starring the unequaled master-actor Boris Karloff in the role James Lee Wong. Police Captain Bill Street always calls him upon for help whenever there's a complex murder case with connections to the oriental community of San Francisco. In "The Fatal Hour", Street's colleague and long time friend Dan O'Grady has been murdered during his investigation of an extended oriental jewelry smuggling network. The owner of the dubious Neptune bar near the harbor – where all the smuggling import and export takes place - is the obvious suspect, but there are a lot more people involved. This isn't a very sensational film in terms of violent bloodshed or wild car chases, but the plot is quite compelling and the dialogues are fluently written. There are a couple of ingenious red herrings and I liked the realistic aspect that Wong isn't a superhero who prevents further murders from happening and thus has to face several more dead bodies during his investigation. Even though pretty much performing on automatic pilot, Karloff is terrific and he receives good feedback from the supportive cast. Particularly Marjorie Reynolds is likable as the obtrusive yet helpful gossip reporter Bobby Logan. Recommended in case you have 70 minutes to spare.


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