6.2/10
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23 user 14 critic

Phantom of Chinatown (1940)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 18 November 1940 (USA)
Detective James Lee Wong is on the scene as archaeologist Dr. John Benton, recently returned from an expedition in China where a valuable ancient scroll was recovered, is murdered while giving a lecture on the expedition.

Director:

Phil Rosen

Writers:

George Waggner (screenplay) (as Joseph West), Ralph Gilbert Bettison (original story) (as Ralph Bettinson) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Keye Luke ... James Lee 'Jimmy' Wong
Lotus Long ... Win Len
Grant Withers ... Capt. Street
Charles Miller Charles Miller ... Dr. John Benton (as Charles Miller)
Huntley Gordon ... Dr. Norman Wilkes
Virginia Carpenter Virginia Carpenter ... Louise Benton
John Dilson ... Charlie Frasier (as John H. Dilson)
Paul McVey ... Detective Grady
John Holland ... Mason
Richard Terry Richard Terry ... Toreno (as Dick Terry)
Robert Kellard ... Tommy Dean
Willy Castello ... Jonas (as William Castello)
Lee Tung Foo Lee Tung Foo ... Foo
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Storyline

In the middle of a pictorial lecture on his recent expedition to the Mongolian Desert, Dr. John Benton the famous explorer, drinks from the water bottle on his lecture table, collapses and dies. His last words "Eternal Fire" are the only clue Chinese detective Jimmy Wong and Captain Street of the police department have to work on. Win Lee, Benton's secretary, reveals the doctor's dying words refer to a scroll which tells the location of rich oil deposits. Wong and Street then begin the search for the killer among Benton's associates. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Slight Case Of Murder... Solved by Jimmy Wong! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom of Chinatown See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The car chase about 30 minutes into the film, ending at a train trestle, was shot along the section of Los Angeles' La Cienega Boulevard that's surrounded by oil wells. It is one of the few parts of L.A. that, even after more than 70 years, still looks much the same. See more »

Quotes

Win Len: Mr. Wong, I think you've been reading too many detective stories!
See more »

Connections

Follows Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Run of the mill mystery is of interest mainly because Keye Luke has a rare lead role
1 October 2006 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

Final film in the Mr Wong series loses Boris Karloff and in its place has Keye Luke as James Wong detective. Luke best known as Charlie Chan's number one son was forever in support so its nice to see him in a lead role. It also gives mystery, and especially Charlie Chan fans a glimpse at how Luke might have played the classic detective.

The mystery here is rather bland. During a lecture about an expedition to China the professor giving the talk is killed right in front of everyone. The question is how was it done and by who. You'll have to see the film to find out the why and who, I will tell you why, and thats because of the information that is contained on a scroll that was found in a tomb that will lead to great riches. Its a been there done that sort of affair that reminded me of one of the Mr Moto movies. Its not bad, certainly the cast is game, however the script just doesn't have any real life in it. It just doesn't have any life in it.

Still, I have to say that bland or no its an okay time passer best left for a late night or rainy day movie marathon when these kind of movies seem oh so much better.


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