Shipping magnate Cyrus Wentworth, downcast over a disaster to his ocean liner 'Wentworth Castle' (carrying, oddly enough, an illicit shipment of Chinese bonds) is shot in his office...at the very moment of kicking out his daughter's fiance Dick Fleming. Of course, Captain Street arrests Dick, but reporter Bobbie Logan, the attractive thorn in Street's side, is so convinced he's wrong that she enlists the help of detective James Lee Wong to find the real killer.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred Sunday 3 May 1942 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). Post-WWII televiewers got their first look at it in Los Angeles Monday 28 November 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5), and in New York City Tuesday 11 July 1950 on the Owl Theatre on WPIX (Channel 11). See more »
In the Tong room scene with Wong, it's obvious that all of the scene, except the "Wentworth Castle" dialogue, was re-used from a previous Wong movie. The most notable clue is the Tong leader changing appearance between shots. See more »
Once you get past the notion of Boris Karloff as a Chinese detective, "Doomed to Die" offers a fair amount of fun. The famed James Lee Wong (Karloff) is hot on the trail of whoever pulled the trigger on shipping magnate Cyrus P. Wentworth (Melvin Lang). What initially looks like an open-and-shut case soon proves much more complex as Wong endures bullets, dead bodies and a constant questioning of his competence to get to the elusive (and completely unpredictable) truth.
Adding some welcome comic relief are hard-nosed policeman Bill Street (Grant Withers) and the ultimate thorn in his side, eager reporter Bobbie Logan (Marjorie Reynolds). Though they've been copied a hundred times in the more than 65 years since this picture was released, their antics are enjoyable and occasionally quite funny due to the duo's strong chemistry.
Overall, it's a little clichéd, confusing and at times slow, but "Doomed to Die" is perfect for a rainy night. It has a certain old movie/Scooby Doo charm even viewers who don't go for black-and-whiters can appreciate.
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