10 user 12 critic

Shadow of Chinatown (1936)

Passed | | Adventure, Crime, Horror | 10 October 1936 (USA)
A madman sets out to destroy a group of Chinatown merchants.


Robert F. Hill (as Bob Hill)


Robert F. Hill (original story) (as Rock Hawkey), William Buchanan (special dialogue)




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]


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


Thrills and chills and shivering shocks as a crazed scientist terrorizes the underworld! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The titles of the 15 individual chapters, their respective running times and certificate numbers are:
  • The Arms of the Gods: 26.15 - #2509
  • The Crushing Walls: 17.00 - #2510
  • 13 Ferguson Alley: 17.00 - #2511
  • Death on the Wire: 17.04 - #2512
  • The Sinister Ray: 16.25 - #2513
  • The Sword Thrower: 17.25 - #2514
  • The Noose: 21.29 - #2515
  • Midnight: 17.32 - #2516
  • The Last Warning: 18.46 - #2517
  • The Bomb: 20.00 - #2518
  • Thundering Doom: 18.31 - #2519
  • Invisible Gas: 18.22 - #2520
  • The Brink of Disaster: 18.27 - #2521
  • The Fatal Trap: 18.25 - #2522
  • The Avenging Powers: 17.48 - #2523
  • The chapters have a total running time of 280.5 minutes (4 hours 40 minutes)
See more »


The "HELP" sign drawn on the mirror by Joan is written in skinny, very straight and angular letters, but when it is projected, Batman-style, on the wall outside, the letters are then rounded and fat. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Free Rainer (2007) See more »

User Reviews

Shadow leaves a black mark
14 June 2004 | by Mike-764See all my reviews

Eurasian Victor Poten decides to drive the Chinese merchants from their district in order to start his new race and eliminating any Asians or whites that stand in his way. Its up to Martin Andrews, author and expert on Chinese cultures (only thanks to his manservant Willy Fu) and reporter Joan Whiting to stop Poten's nefarious plot. This serial is absolutely forgettable with absolutely nothing to keep the viewer in any suspense to watch the next week's chapter or the serial throughout. The entire cast tries their best to make something out of this, but are overcome by the ineptness of the production crew. The only saving grace for this travesty is the banter between Herman Brix and Joan Barclay does make for some funny scenes. Rating, based on serials, 2.

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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


(15 chapters)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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