Vowing to marry Cynthia Wentworth (Catherine Craig) come what may, Dick Fleming (William Stelling) barges into his future father in law Cyrus P. Wentworth’s (Melvin Lang) office to announce his intentions, when the old man is mysteriously shot dead. Fearing arrest, Dick goes into hiding. The murder brings Police captain Bill Street (Grant Withers) rushing to the scene and Bill wastes little time in pinning the murder on Dick. It is now up to Dick’s friends Bobbie Logan (Marjorie Reynolds) , a street-smart reporter, and the revered private eye James Lee Wong (Boris Karloff) to save him from the electric chair.
Known as the King of Horror for his memorable performances in a series of scary Hollywood Classics, Boris Karloff played several bits and pieces roles before he was finally discovered by the world as the star in Whale’s Frankenstein in 1931. His performance in this classic earned him not only critical acclaim but propelled him into superstardom, making him a movie icon. Karloff’s versatility also brought him non-horror roles, among which The Lost Patrol, House of Rothschild, and West of Shanghai are still remembered. Doomed to Die is one among a series of mystery movies in which Karloff plays the enchanting Chinese detective James Lee Wong.
Running Time: 67 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: NR
Restrained by tight-fisted budgeting and hectic schedules, William Nigh was destined to become a non-stylist director and settled down to directing a string of modestly budgeted fast- paced action thrillers and mysteries. Credited with a string of moderate successes with his Mr. Wong detective series, Nigh enthralled audiences with the clever deductions of his Chinese private eye - James Lee Wong.
Somewhere along the way Nigh seems to have had a brush with Chinese culture and traditions and uses these pretty effectively - in his almost trademark use of Chinese actors, Chinese settings, Chinese dialogues and yes a sprinkling of Chinese philosophy as well. Doomed to die is set at the confluence of two cultures - American and you guessed it - Chinese!
This thrilling narrative has the not-so-bright- police chief Bill Street pitting his wits against the masterly Wong with the nosey, reporter Bobbie Logan adding insult to Street’s injuries as they try to figure out who killed shipping magnate Cyrus P. Wentworth. Wong’s dogged and methodical ways finally help him nab both the culprits - when all the while you are looking for just one.
Humorous, fast-paced and intriguing, "Doomed to Die" is actually "Set to Thrill." Don’t miss it!
"As a die-hard fan of Boris Karloff, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to view this fascinating murder mystery from the 40s. With vintage films having disappeared from movie houses and the television as well, it is very comforting to learn that a2zcds.com is preserving these Hollywood classics on DVD. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Thanks everybody at a2zcds. Keep them coming!"
Thomas King (Denton, Michigan)
"This is one of the most thrilling murder mysteries starring the enigmatic Boris Karloff. The plot is out of this world, complex, mysterious and ever so thought provoking. I bet you’d be on the edge of your seats till the end trying to figure out whodunit. If you are a mystery-movie lover, here is a special treat for you!"
Ben Martin (Montgomery, Alabama)
Ralph Gilbert Bettison - Writing Credits
Paul Malvern - Associate Producer
Harry Neumann - Cinematography
Robert Golden- Editor
Catherine Craig - Cynthia Wentworth
Guy Usher - Paul Fleming (Dick's father)
Henry Brandon - Victor 'Vic' Martin (attorney)
Melvin Lang - Cyrus P. Wentworth
Wilbur Mack - Matthews (Wentworth's assistant)
Kenneth Harlan - Ludlow (chauffeur)
Richard Loo - Tong leader
Tristram Coffin - Baldwin (insurance adjuster) (uncredited)
Mike Donovan - Det. Mike (uncredited)
Gibson Gowland - Doctor (uncredited)
Jack Kennedy - Police Sgt. Casey (uncredited)
Maxine Leslie - Miss Reed (Cyrus' secretary) (uncredited)
Bill Willmering - Det. Blake (uncredited)
Hugh Wiley - (characters from James Lee Wong stories in Collier's Magazine)
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