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.
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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Asian detectives were usually played by Caucasian actors at the time this movie was made, but Phantom of Chinatown is an exception and features Keye Luke in the role of Mr. Wong. Luke makes a likable and younger version of Wong and it's great fun to see how Wong and Captain Street first met. Grant Withers as Captain Street is one of my favorites elements of the Mr Wong movies. Withers is exceptionally good in this one. Some have said that Withers should have been replaced with a younger actor for this "prequel", but I don't agree. Luke and Withers make a fun pair. I enjoy all of the Mr Wong series, but Phantom of Chinatown is one of my absolute favorites.
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