6.2/10
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Mr. Wong, Detective (1938)

Passed | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 5 October 1938 (USA)
This film is badly planned out. Roemer was not able to plant all of these poison glass balls in the way that the movie would have us believe. Roemer is unable to plant the first glass ball,... See full summary »

Director:

William Nigh

Writers:

Houston Branch (screen play), Hugh Wiley (based on: the "James Lee Wong" series in Collier's Magazine written by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Mr. James Lee Wong
Grant Withers ... Captain Sam Street
Maxine Jennings ... Myra Ross
Evelyn Brent ... Olga aka Countess Dubois
George Lloyd ... Devlin
Lucien Prival ... Anton Mohl
John St. Polis ... Carl Roemer
William Gould ... Theodore Meisle
Hooper Atchley ... Christian Wilk
John Hamilton ... Simon Dayton
Wilbur Mack Wilbur Mack ... Russell
Lee Tung Foo Lee Tung Foo ... Tchin (as Lee Tong Foo)
Lynton Brent ... Tommy
Grace Wood Grace Wood ... Mrs. Roemer
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Storyline

This film is badly planned out. Roemer was not able to plant all of these poison glass balls in the way that the movie would have us believe. Roemer is unable to plant the first glass ball, he is locked up by Street for the third. The only way he could have planted the glass balls would have been to have gone to the victims homes and offices before they suspected him. Would people not have noticed a strange glass ball if they had been left for a long time beforehand? No motive is given for his killing of the three victims. He just wanted to kill them.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thousands asked to see Collier's Magazine famous detective on the screen... here he is! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Detektiven Mr Wong See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

As an example of just how low the budget of this film was, when a note is delivered to Mr. Wong's front door, the actor playing the messenger has no dialogue. If the actor had spoken even one word, SAG rules would have required Monogram Pictures to pay him an additional $10! See more »

Goofs

Mr. Wong's servant waits on him on what we are told is his day off. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Anton Mohl, aka Baron Von Krantz: You're going to get killed doing that, one of these days, Lescardi!
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Boris Karloff: The Debut of Mr Wong
22 November 2013 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

From memory the Mr Wong films were fun if not mind-blowingly great, though they most likely weren't trying to be. Any film that has Boris Karloff in is worth a shot, and Mr Wong, Detective is not an exception. Some scenes are poorly lit and with unfocused editing, the film does have some dull stretches that could have benefited from tighter scripting and while mostly entertaining and with a character that is nicely contrasted to the character of Mr Wong Grant Withers can go overboard with the shouting. The sets are good though and match the atmosphere and mystery well, while the script on the most part is snappy and the story is diverting and fun with a clever killing method and a particularly gripping final 10-15 minutes. The direction isn't award-worthy but it was decent, and the acting likewise. Boris Karloff is one of those actors who always did his best with what he had regardless of the quality(and he did have films, especially in the later years, that were beneath him material-wise)- Vincent Price and Tim Curry are other examples of this. He is served well, and while not exactly convincing as Chinese he commands the screen brilliantly, carrying the film with no trouble. Overall, not great but not bad at all. Not a must-see but it is worth the look and for more than curiosity value. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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