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Shadow of Chinatown (1936)

Approved | | Thriller | 10 October 1936 (USA)
Feature version of the 1936 serial "Shadow of Chinatown."


Robert F. Hill (as Bob Hill)


Isadore Bernstein (continuity), William Buchanan (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Victor Poten (archive footage)
Bruce Bennett ... Martin Andrews (archive footage) (as Herman Brix)
Joan Barclay ... Joan Whiting (archive footage)
Luana Walters ... Sonya Rokoff (archive footage)
Maurice Liu Maurice Liu ... Willy Fu (archive footage)
Charles King ... Grogan (a thug) (archive footage)
William Buchanan William Buchanan ... Healy (a thug) (archive footage)
Forrest Taylor ... Police Capt. Waters (archive footage)
John Cowell John Cowell ... Willie (archive footage)
James B. Leong James B. Leong ... Wong (archive footage)
Henry T. Tung Henry T. Tung ... Dr. Wu (archive footage)
Paul Fung Paul Fung ... Tom Chu (archive footage)
George Chan ... Old Luce (archive footage)
Moy Ming Moy Ming ... Wong's Brother (archive footage)


Feature version of the 1936 serial "Shadow of Chinatown."

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis










Release Date:

10 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. Its earliest documented telecast in New York City took place Sunday 25 June 1950 on WATV (Channel 13). See more »


Featured in Mad Scientist Theatre: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Bad feature version of a bad serial. Containing possibly the worst Bela Lugosi nonperformance, this is a movie to avoid unless you like to torture yourself
6 July 2006 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

Feature version of a serial of the same name has Bela Lugosi turning tables on a woman who hired him to help with her evil plans in Chinatown while a reported and her beau hunt down the villains.

One of the few things worse than this movie is the full length serial version. That monstrosity put me to sleep with its wild over length (15 chapters with enough plot for 2) and the same poor production values that make this film just as bad. I've seen almost every sound serial ever made, but the original serial was a chore and a half to get through and I never finished it (its one of the few). I have no idea what possessed me to try the feature version other than, perhaps selective amnesia about the original. Here the story unfolds in approximately one fifth the time but its a hopeless mess with an attempt to get a good portion of the "good bits" into it. Making matters worse is the cheapness of the film, this was an independent production and had a limited budget. There's tons of stock footage, almost no music and a technical quality (especially the sound) thats lacking.

In the "of note" column, and its not really a good thing, is the fact that this stands as one of the worst performances Bela Lugosi ever gave. I'm not even sure its a performance. Even in the final days Bela was never this disconnected to what he was doing. Its mind numbingly awful. Fortunately he's not alone since a good many of the other actors are clearly collecting a pay check not to act. Herman Brix, who would soon change his name to Bruce Bennett and move on to better things does give a performance, even if its phoned in.

Bad film lovers may want to see this on fast forward, but otherwise I'd avoid it at all costs.

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