When famous explorer Dr. John Benton (Charles F. Miller) stumbles upon an ancient Chinese scroll in a Mongolian tomb, he discovers the secret behind the mystery of the ‘Eternal Fire’. The secret dies with him when he is murdered halfway through his lecture on the expedition. All Captain Street (Grant Withers) of the San Francisco Police Department and Jimmy Wong (Keye Luke) , an amateur Chinese detective have to go on to find out ‘whodunit’ is the Professor’s last words "Eternal Fire". Smart deductions and quick thinking soon put Street and Wong on the killer’s trail, but not before a few of the expedition members are attacked!
Running Time: 77 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: PG
"While presenting viewers with an intriguing mystery that lingers in their minds long after the film ends, the classic feature film ‘The Phantom of China’ offers a very interesting insight into Chinese customs and traditions. In this (sadly) concluding episode of Wong’s detective series, Dr. Benton’s discovery of an ancient Chinese scroll triggers a murder (his own) and a series of attacks on members of his expedition, before the mysteries of his death and the Eternal Flame are solved. Grant Wither’s portrayal of an impatient yet dogged detective is remarkable, while Keye Luke seems to have eased into the role of a Chinese detective with aplomb. It must be remembered that this was a role which veteran actor Boris Karloff had played with distinction in the preceding five episodes. A spattering of Chinese proverbs gives the movie an oriental slant that goes well with the theme (a Chinese mystery). Intrigue and suspense are never too far away as the narrative speeds on, held together by some witty remarks by Street. The humor is subtle and helps in defusing some tense moments in the drama. Phil Rosen’s outstanding direction explains why he was such a sought-after director in the 40s and 50s. In this classic film DVD from A2ZCDS, witness how an amateur joined hands with a veteran detective to avert a national disaster!"
"’Phantom of Chinatown’ grabbed my attention because I have extensive dealings with Chinese people in my line of work. This movie from the last century gave me a new respect for them while holding me spellbound, too. I guess our own country does suffer from a serious lack of mystery..."
Nathaniel H. Kelly, Detective-Immigration (WASHINGTON D.C.)
"Farfetched and totally delightful. I don’t need to believe anything in order to enjoy it. This movie (Phantom of Chinatown’) sets out to entertain, and it does that with bells on. Keye Luke as is splendid as Wong, and a credit to the character that I loved Boris Karloff for. Giving this old classic gem back to the movie world was an inspired thing to do, A2ZCDS."
Densmore Irons, Jr. (Tallahassee)
Ralph Gilbert Bettison
Charles F. Miller
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