AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Chinatown After Dark
Director: Stuart Paton (Dir)
Release Date:   15 Oct 1931
Production Date:   at International Film Studios
Duration (in mins):   58
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Cast:   Carmel Myers (Madame Ying Su)  
    Rex Lease (Jim Bonner)  
    Barbara Kent (Lotus)  
    Edmund Breese (Lee Fong)  
    Frank Mayo (Ralph Bonner)  
    Billy Gilbert (Horatio Dooley)  
    Lloyd Whitlock (Detective captain)  
    Laska Winter (Ming Fu)  
    Michael Visaroff (Varanoff)  

Summary: In Shanghai, Ralph Bonner agrees to deliver a dagger to Lee Fong in San Francisco. Afterward, several attempts are made to steal it from him, but he reaches the United States with the dagger intact. While Ralph and his brother Jim set off into the rainy night to deliver the dagger to Lee Fong, Mr. Varanoff, a crook, conspires with Madame Ying Su to steal the dagger for themselves. Lee Fong is delighted to see the dagger, but just as he reveals a secret jewel in the dagger's hilt, the lights suddenly go out. When they come back on, Lee Fong is dead, and Ralph and the dagger have disappeared. The police suspect Jim, but Lee Fong's white ward, Lotus, has fallen in love with him and defends him. Dissatisfied with the progress of the police, Jim decides to solve the murder himself. He contacts Madame Ying Su and discovers his brother is being held on the premises of her café. Lotus follows Jim to the café. To allay Ying Su's suspicions, Jim offers to question Lotus about the dagger. Instead, he secretly warns her that they are being watched and the two of them try to escape. Lotus manages to get away and arrives with the police just in time to save Jim from death at the hands of Ying Su. They rescue Ralph, who explains the mystery. At last, they discover the dagger where Lee Fong hid it before he died. 

Production Company: Action Pictures, Inc.  
  Ralph M. Like, Ltd.  
Distribution Company: Action Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Stuart Paton (Dir)
Producer: Cliff Broughton (Supv)
Writer: Betty Burbridge (Author)
Photography: Jules Cronjager (Cam)
Film Editor: Viola Roehl (Film ed)
Sound: James Stanley (Rec eng)
Country: United States

Physical Properties: Sd:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Mystery
 
Subjects (Major): Chinese Americans
  Daggers
  Murder
 
Subjects (Minor): Gangsters
  Jewelry
  Kidnapping
  San Francisco (CA)--Chinatown
  Shanghai (China)
  Wards and guardians

Note: No credits were present on the viewed print. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   25 Oct 31   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Nov 31   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald   31 Oct 31   p. 36.
Variety   24 Nov 31   p. 21.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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