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The Terror of the Tongs (1961)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Adventure  |  15 March 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 387 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 14 critic

In 1910, Hong Kong members of a secret Tong crime syndicate protect their identities by murdering the daughter of a British sea captain who vows revenge.



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Complete credited cast:
Chung King
Yvonne Monlaur ...
Geoffrey Toone ...
Capt. Jackson Sale
Marne Maitland ...
Brian Worth ...
District Commissioner Harcourt
Ewen Solon ...
Tang How - Tong Leader's Aide
Roger Delgado ...
Tang Hao, tong enforcer
Richard Leech ...
Insp. Bob Dean
Charles Lloyd Pack ...
Dr. Fu Chao, tong member
Marie Burke ...
Barbara Brown ...
Helena Sale
Mr. Ming
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Gill ...
Confucius (as Eric Young)


A secret society of Hong-Kong at the beginning of the century called "The Red Dragon Tong" kidnaps the captain of a ship in the harbour of Hong-Kong as he tries to detain the killers of his daughter. Because the secret society is very powerful it is not easy to free him from their hands. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They were the Oldest Secret Cult in the World... And the Most Fendish! See more »


Action | Adventure


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 March 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terror of the Hatchet Men  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


(Eastmancolor)| (Eastmancolor) (UK prints)| (USA, theatrical prints)| (Technicolor) (USA, TV prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in the months of April and May 1960. See more »


Tang Hao, tong enforcer: [to Jackson as he fakes illness to pull a gun] You underestimate the Oriental mind, Captain. The Chinese theater is the oldest in the world.
See more »

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User Reviews

Decent little Hammer rarity
22 November 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Terror of the Tongs is a largely unknown Hammer film and, as such, isn't one the great studio's best films. It is, however, a more than decent entry in Hammer's oeuvre, and is well worth seeking out for Hammer fans. The film takes place in Hong Kong, and director Anthony Bushell does a fairly good job of capitalising on the mystery of the eastern culture. The most prominent thing about this film is no doubt the fact that it stars the great Christopher Lee - as the Chinese head of 'The Tongs'! It's a hilarious performance, and while Lee doesn't exactly convince the audience that he's Chinese, it brilliantly shows off his charisma and ability to hold the audience's attention. The plot focuses on a secret Hong Kong society known as 'The Red Dragon Tong'. They kidnap the captain of a ship in Hong Kong harbour while he's trying to restrain the people who kidnapped his daughter. We then follow the attempt to free him from the Tong; but this isn't a group of amateurs, as the society is big and powerful and freeing the captain isn't easy.

The film actually isn't a lot like what I've come to expect from Hammer, as it's all played out rather seriously and there's not a hint of anything even resembling supernatural activity. The film doesn't reflect particularly well on the Chinese people - as despite being set in Hong Kong, there's hardly any natives on the cast list and the Chinese characters don't get to much that has any bearing on the plot. The atmosphere is nothing to write home about, although director Anthony Bushell manages to create just about enough tension to keep things ticking over. The acting is generally below average, with only Christopher Lee coming out of the film with any credibility - which is amazing considering the nature of his role. The film doesn't have a great deal of bite - in spite of a torture sequence and numerous scenes of drug use - although it mostly isn't boring. Overall, I can't say that The Terror of the Tongs is even near to being Hammer's finest hour, but it's a decent little rarity and worth tracking down for Hammer fans.

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