IMDb > Phantom of Chinatown (1940)

Phantom of Chinatown (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.2/10   251 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
George Waggner (screenplay)
Ralph Gilbert Bettison (original story)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Phantom of Chinatown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 November 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A thousand suspects... 20 fingerprints... a Chinese temple... Mr. Wong solves a murder! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Worthwhile Poverty Row mystery See more (18 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Keye Luke ... James Lee 'Jimmy' Wong

Lotus Long ... Win Len
Grant Withers ... Capt. Street
Charles Miller ... Dr. John Benton / Cyrus Benton in Newspaper (as Charles Miller)
Huntley Gordon ... Dr. Norman Wilkes
Virginia Carpenter ... Louise Benton
John Dilson ... Charlie Frasier (as John H. Dilson)
Paul McVey ... Detective Grady
John Holland ... Mason
Richard Terry ... Toreno (as Dick Terry)
Robert Kellard ... Tommy Dean
Willy Castello ... Jonas (as William Castello)
Lee Tung Foo ... Foo
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lynton Brent ... Radio News Broadcaster (uncredited)
Jack Cheatham ... Stakeout Cop (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Detective in Refrigerator (uncredited)
William Gould ... Policeman (uncredited)
Bruce Mitchell ... Police Officer Stationed at Front Door (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Extra in Audience at Benton's Lecture (uncredited)
Victor Wong ... Charley Won (uncredited)

Directed by
Phil Rosen 
 
Writing credits
George Waggner (screenplay) (as Joseph West)

Ralph Gilbert Bettison (original story) (as Ralph Bettinson)

Hugh Wiley (characters from "James Lee Wong" series in Collier's Magazine)

Produced by
Paul Malvern .... producer
 
Original Music by
Edward J. Kay  (as Edward Kay)
 
Cinematography by
Fred Jackman Jr. (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Ogilvie 
 
Art Direction by
Charles Clague 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mack V. Wright .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Dave Milton .... interior decorator (as David Milton)
 
Sound Department
William R. Fox .... sound director (as William Fox)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
62 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
USA:Approved (PCA #6779)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Quotes:
James Lee Wong:Greetings. Only the eyebrows of youth would have the temerity to call the beard of age at such an hour.See more »
Movie Connections:
Follows Doomed to Die (1940)See more »

FAQ

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Worthwhile Poverty Row mystery, 26 October 2002
Author: John Seal from Oakland CA

Smilin' Leonard Maltin rates this one a bomb, but he couldn't be more wrong. It's a real forgotten gem and the best of the Mr. Wong detective series. Why? For whatever reason, the producers decided to cast Keye Luke--an Asian actor--in the role of the cinematic sleuth. Many similar films were made throughout the 30s and 40s, with Warner Oland and Sidney Toler cast as Charlie Chan and Peter Lorre as Mr. Moto. Luke was preceded by Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff as Wong. This seems to be the only example of an Asian detective being played by an Asian actor, and I'd love to know how Luke's casting came about. He's merely adequate as an actor, but his work gives the film an appealing realism (albeit as much as a film about an eternal flame and a lost scroll can be realistic). There are also reasonably good supporting roles for Asian actors, including Lotus Long as the leading lady, Lee Tung Foo in a comic role, and other uncredited actors. Series regular Grant Withers is on hand, wearing a rather unattractive and ill-fitting hat, as the bumbling police detective who needs Wong's help to crack the case. The film actually seems to take place in a somewhat realistic world, San Francisco's Chinatown, where Asian-Americans miraculously man and operate the telephone exchange! At 61 minutes the film is brisk entertainment that will keep your attention. It also manages to feel fresher than better acted and better budgeted genre films of the same period. Strongly recommended to sleuthing fans.

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