Detective James Lee Wong is on the scene as archaeologist Dr. John Benton, recently returned from an expedition in China where a valuable ancient scroll was recovered, is murdered while giving a lecture on the expedition.
A none-too-popular (nor good) radio singer, Rita Wilson is murdered while singing on the air in a radio studio. Radio page boy, Frankie Ryan, and his janitor pal, Jeff, solve the mystery ... See full summary »
In the middle of a pictorial lecture on his recent expedition to the Mongolian Desert, Dr. John Benton the famous explorer, drinks from the water bottle on his lecture table, collapses and dies. His last words "Eternal Fire" are the only clue Chinese detective Jimmy Wong and Captain Street of the police department have to work on. Win Lee, Benton's secretary, reveals the doctor's dying words refer to a scroll which tells the location of rich oil deposits. Wong and Street then begin the search for the killer among Benton's associates. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The last of the six-film series, and the only one not to star Boris Karloff, replaced by Keye Luke. Monogram owed the distributors one more Wong feature, and had completed Karloff's six-picture contract with the horror film The Ape (1940). See more »
James Lee Wong:
Greetings. Only the eyebrows of youth would have the temerity to call the beard of age at such an hour.
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As Boris Karloff moved on to bigger and better things in the horror film genre, the Mr. Wong series from Monogram got a final run with an actual person of Oriental heritage in the title role. Fascinating the mind set of Hollywood in those days.
And who would it have to be for, but a poverty row outfit like Monogram in one of their series films. Keye Luke who moviegoers knew better as the number one son of that other Chinese detective Charlie Chan, gets to play a younger version of that noted scholar and criminologist James Lee Wong. Luke plays him just as Boris Karloff did as a man who went to both Oxford and Heidelburg and did not speak in fortune cookie aphorisms.
But I'm sure it must have confused the living daylights out of the Mr. Wong audiences when the relationship between Wong and homicide police captain Street of the SFPD was so different. Grant Withers played Street in all the Wong films and he was not at all resentful about deferring to the older man's knowledge. The same way Captain Stottlemeyer defers to Adrian Monk on that show.
But with Luke, Withers is at first downright hostile, in fact this film of necessity is set back to when they first meet and Withers most reluctantly bows to Luke's skill for investigation.
The leader of an expedition to China where an ancient scroll was taken from a Ming Emperor's tomb is murdered while giving a lecture. And the scroll goes missing as well. There are a whole host of suspects, including a pilot that had been lost in the desert, but he turns up rather early in the film.
It might have been nice if Keye Luke had inaugurated the series instead of an Occidental like Karloff, good as he was. History could have been made.
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