IMDb > Phantom of Chinatown (1940)

Phantom of Chinatown (1940) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Director:
Writers:
George Waggner (screenplay)
Ralph Gilbert Bettison (original story)
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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:
Unheard Of See more (17 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Keye Luke ... James Lee 'Jimmy' Wong
Grant Withers ... Capt. Street
Lotus Long ... Win Len
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)
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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
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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:
Possibly the very first instance where Hollywood produced a 'prequel,' because this last entry in the series depicts the first meeting between Mr. Wong and Capt. Street.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

What is notable about this film?
Is this available on DVD?
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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Unheard Of, 30 October 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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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