4.5/10
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Shadow of Chinatown (1936)

Not Rated | | Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi | 10 October 1936 (USA)
A madman sets out to destroy a group of Chinatown merchants.

Director:

Robert F. Hill (as Bob Hill)

Writers:

Robert F. Hill (original story) (as Rock Hawkey), Isadore Bernstein (continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Bela Lugosi ... Victor Poten
Bruce Bennett ... Martin Andrews (as Herman Brix)
Joan Barclay ... Joan Whiting
Luana Walters ... Sonya Rokoff, aka The Dragon Lady [Chs. 1-14]
Maurice Liu Maurice Liu ... Willy Fu
Charles King ... Henchman Grogan [Chs. 1-13]
William Buchanan William Buchanan ... Henchman Healy
Forrest Taylor ... Police Capt. Walters [Chs. 1-7, 12-15]
John Cowell John Cowell ... White Chinaman [Ch. 1] (as Jack Cowell)
James B. Leong James B. Leong ... Wong [Chs. 5-13]
Henry T. Tung Henry T. Tung ... Dr. Wu [Chs. 1-5, 12-15]
Paul Fung Paul Fung ... Tom Chu [Chs. 1,2]
George Chan ... Old Luce [Chs. 1,2,7]
Moy Ming Moy Ming ... Wong's Brother Charlie [Chs. 10-11]
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Storyline

Released both as a 15-chapter serial and as a condensed feature version (for theaters that didn't use serials) which means that all of the cast and crew would one day be credited in some sources with a misleading extra film appearance added to their filmographies even though they only worked on (and got paid) for one performance or job. The story (serial and/or feature) deals with the plotting of a European importing firm to put Chinese trade competition in a west coast Chinatown - city unnamed, but it's by the bay and it isn't Oakland - out of business. Their representative, Sonya Rokoff/The Dragon Lady, a beautiful Eurasian girl, hires Victor Poten, a mad Eurasian chemist and inventor and an equal-opportunity racist who hates both Chinese and White races, to aid her. Poten, by means of his infernal inventions and underworld henchmen, conducts successful raids on the Chinese merchants and also successfully eludes the people hunting and investigating him. Those include newspaper ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

15 Episodes of Flaming Action... Dynamic Thrills and Eerie Mystery! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Sombra do Bairro Chinês See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(15 chapters)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The titles of the 15 individual chapters, and their respective running times are:
  • The Arms of the Gods: 26.15
  • The Crushing Walls: 17.00
  • 13 Ferguson Alley: 17.00
  • Death on the Wire: 17.04
  • The Sinister Ray: 16.25
  • The Sword Thrower: 17.25
  • The Noose: 21.29
  • Midnight: 17.32
  • The Last Warning: 18.46
  • The Bomb: 20.00
  • Thundering Doom: 18.31
  • Invisible Gas: 18.22
  • The Brink of Disaster: 18.27
  • The Fatal Trap: 18.25
  • The Avenging Powers: 17.48
  • The chapters have a total running time of 280.5 minutes (4 hours 40 minutes)
See more »

Goofs

At the end of chapter 14 (repeated at the beginning of 15) you can clearly hear the director cuing Luana Walters to begin running. See more »

Quotes

Willy Fu: I accede to honorable request of thugs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits of crew and cast are flipped as pages of a book. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Free Rainer (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Not as bad as all that...
20 July 2004 | by ralphv2See all my reviews

SHADOW OF CHINATOWN is hardly the zenith of serials, but time has lent it a certain amount of charm as a period piece, showing a romanticized vision of a 1930s city and Chinatown, both of which would have been equally exotic to most of the serial's viewers at the time. It possesses a certain wisecracking humour, especially from Lugosi's henchman, lacking in all the later serials. The cast rise above the material, and some of the portrayals verge upon endearing; Lugosi is always a pleasure to watch, and you get a glimpse of his acting ability, his adeptness with nuances and subtleties, even when dealing with one-dimensional characters with over-the-top declarations. Say what you want about this serial, but it's on my view-annually list.


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