6.5/10
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Chinatown Nights (1929)

Joan Fry, a society woman, falls in love with Chuck Riley, the white-leader of a powerful gang in Chinatown, and he quickly drags her down into the depths with him. But seeing her so much ... See full summary »

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Samuel Ornitz (story "Tong War"), Ben Grauman Kohn (scenario) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Chuck Riley
Florence Vidor ... Joan Fry
Warner Oland ... Boston Charley
Jack McHugh Jack McHugh ... The Shadow
Jack Oakie ... The Reporter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Inez Marion Inez Marion
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Storyline

Joan Fry, a society woman, falls in love with Chuck Riley, the white-leader of a powerful gang in Chinatown, and he quickly drags her down into the depths with him. But seeing her so much in love with him causes him to realize he isl in love with her, and he determines to lift her up again. "Boston" Charley, the rival gang-leader, has other plans. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tong War See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone) (talking sequences, musical score, sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the earliest of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wellman gives birth to talkies during tong war.
16 July 2002 | by arthurswardSee all my reviews

Filming of Chinatown Nights as a silent was one-third completed when production was stopped to adapt it to sound. Four days later, dialogue had been written and filming resumed. In the Movietone version that survives, the retained silent sequences sometimes jarringly remind the viewer that the silent cinema was a totally different art form. Over-emoted scenes are dubbed and the result is risable. Indeed, Florence Vidor quit the talkies immediately upon the completion of principle photography and her dubbing is handled by an actress who manages to inject a tremmello into every syllable. However, when the new footage takes over, the film paces itself well. The love story plays true and the Chinese Theatre set piece is rousing. Wellman keeps the camera moving. If you enjoy seeing the birth of a new art form, then you might not mind the man with the megaphone's sloppy looping. His voice will still bark even when the cone goes to his side. And did I mention Warner Oland plays an evil Oriental? Recommended.


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