Phantom of Chinatown (1940)

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“My name is Wong. James Lee Wong.”
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US / 62 minutes / bw / Monarch Dir: Phil Rosen Pr: Paul Malvern Scr: Joseph West Story: Ralph Bettinson Based on: characters created by Hugh Wiley in 12 stories published 1934–38 in Collier’s Magazine Cine: Fred Jackman Jr Cast: Keye Luke, Lotus Long, Grant Withers, Charles Miller, Huntley Gordon, Virginia Carpenter, John H. Dilson, Paul McVey, John Holland, Dick Terry, Robert Kellard, William Castello, Lee Tung Foo.

Not long after his return from a field trip to Mongolia, Dr. John Benton (Miller)—clearly labeled “Cyrus Benton” in a newspaper that we see—is giving a lecture at San Francisco’s Southern University about his expedition and the discovery he made in the Gobi Desert of the long-lost tomb of a powerful Ming emperor. He illustrates the lecture with the movie footage taken during the trip by photographer Charlie Frasier (Dilson), the very same guy as who’s now operating the projector for the lecture. Sitting in the front row are two further members of the expedition, Benton’s daughter Louise (Carpenter) and the pilot Tommy Dean (Kellard); the two are evidently sweet on each other. Helping the archaeologist is his secretary, Win Len (Long).

Tommy (Robert Kellard) and Louise (Virginia Carpenter), so much in love.

But one member of the expedition didn’t return, Benton explains to his audience. The backup pilot, Mason (Holland), was lost during a wild dust-storm and, although the party hunted for him, in the end they had to abandon the search.

Frasier (John H. Dilson) films everything.

Suddenly Benton grabs his throat and collapses. Soon the homicide cop Captain Sam Street (Withers) and his sidekick Detective Grady (McVey) are on the scene, but it looks as if Continue reading

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Gambling Daughters (1941)

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How bad men lead defenseless girls astray!

US / 63 minutes / bw / PRC Dir: Max Nosseck Pr: George R. Batcheller, T.H. Richmond Scr: Joel Kay, Arnold Phillips, Genevieve Hogan Story: Sidney Sheldon, Ben Roberts Cine: Mack Stengler Cast: Cecilia Parker, Roger Pryor, Robert Baldwin, Sigi Arno, Gale Storm, Charles Miller, Al Hall, Eddie Foster, Janet Shaw, Marvelle Andre, Dick Russom, Joe Ortiz, Judy Kilgore, Gertrude Messinger, Roberta Smith.

Gambling Daughters 1941 - closer

Two students at the swanky Lakeside School for Girls, Lillian Harding (Storm) and Katherine Thompsen (Shaw), one night on impulse follow their French teacher, le professeur Bedoin (Arno), and discover he’s gone to an illicit gambling joint called the Angel’s Roost. The girls swank into the club there with the entitled air of two virginities looking for the quickest way to lose themselves. (Presumably in order to save money on acting fees, the bustling clientele at the Angel’s Roost are here and elsewhere represented primarily by off-camera chortles and coughs.)

Gambling Daughters 1941 - 1 Prof Bedoin at casino with piano duo Russom & Ortiz behind

Le professeur Bedoin (Sigi Arno) at the Angel’s Roost gambling den with the piano duo of Dick Russom and Joe Ortiz as backdrop.

Encouraged by the club’s manager, Chance Landon (Pryor), the two girls soon get completely hooked on the roulette wheel. In no time at all, they Continue reading