Mystery Classics, Vol. 15 [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Mysterious Mr. Wong
To the world at large, Mr. Wong (Bela Lugosi) is a harmless shopkeeper in the Chinatown district (where no one seems unduly put off by his Hungarian accent) In truth, however, Wong is an eeeeevil Mandarin who'll stop at nothing to get his hands on the Twelve Coins of Confucious, which according to legend will allow him to rule over the Chinese province of Keelat. In his efforts to obtain these coins, Wong leaves a trail of corpses behind, eventually arousing the suspicions of wisecracking reporter Jason Barton (Wallace Ford). Narrowly escaping assassination in a Chinese restaurant, Barton and his sweetheart Peg (Arline Judge) take refuge in Wong's humble shop, where they stumble into a gathering of the villain's henchmen. Will our hero and heroine escape in time to thwart the sinister, seemingly all-powerful Mr. Wong? Boasting a full-blooded performance by Bela Lugosi and campy dialogue to spare (much of it astonishingly racist!), Mysterious Mr. Wong is a bad-movie buff's delight. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Black Book
Also known as Reign of Terror, The Black Book is a bold effort by director Anthony Mann to film a French Revolution epic on a "B" detective picture budget. Robert Cummings stars as Charles D'Aubigny, who has been engaged by a group of political moderates to retrieve a little black book from Revolutionary leader Robespierre (Richard Basehart). The book allegedly contains evidence that Robespierre has been acting in his own interest rather than on behalf of the new government. D'Aubigny is compelled to deal with the tangible threat of Robespierre's chief henchman (Charles McGraw) as well as his uncertainty concerning the loyalties of those working with him. The Black Book is retrieved, but not before Robespierre has self-destructed on his own. The cheapness of The Black Book works in its favor, especially its overuse of shadows; while this photographic device was intended to disguise the seediness of the sets, it accurately conveys a "dark" period in French history that here is literally as well as figuratively dark. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Phantom of Chinatown
In the last of Monogram's "Mr. Wong" whodunits, Keye Luke takes over from Boris Karloff as the Chinese detective Jimmy Lee Wong, more of an amateur sleuth, really, than his eminent predecessor. The subject for Wong's examination is the poisoning of Dr. Benton (Charles F. Miller), the leader of an expedition to Mongolia and the possessor of a mysterious and seemingly deadly scroll. With Captain Street (Grant Withers) and the dead man's Chinese secretary (Lotus Long alternately aiding and obstructing the investigation, Wong gets to the bottom of things within the expected 68 minutes or so by using himself as a decoy. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Mystery of Mr. Wong
The second film in the mystery series about a Chinese sleuth, this one concerns the theft of the "Eye of the Daughter of the Moon," the largest star sapphire in the world, which is stolen from China and turns up in the possession of an unscrupulous gem collector, who receives a death threat containing clues to the potential murderer's identity and calls in Mr. Wong. During a game of charades, the lights mysteriously go out and the collector is shot, and the chase is on. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Bela Lugosi
    Bela Lugosi - Mr. Wong
  • Wallace Ford
    Wallace Ford - Jason Barton
  • Arline Judge
    Arline Judge - Peg
  • Image coming soon
    Fred Warren - Tsung
  • Lotus Long
    Lotus Long - Moonflower
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