Saturday, January 12, 2013

On DVD: The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939)

Boris Karloff is back as Oxford-educated Oriental sleuth James Lee Wong in the 2nd film based on Hugh Wiley's series in Collier's. "The Mystery of Mr. Wong" has the detective on the hunt for a killer, this time over an ancient Chinese bauble that isn't supposed to leave its native land.

Wong quietly dissects the clues and makes the stunning reveal at the end. I stress quietly, because it doesn't have the sturm und drang of his contemporaries, such as Charlie Chan or even Sherlock Holmes.

Uploaded by the Video Cellar.

Wong is vastly underrated, and if Hollywood can successfully revive Sherlock Holmes as a movie franchise, why not Wong?

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

I've posted before that my father and I have enjoyed not only Charlie Chan films, but also Mr. Moto & Mr. Wong.

The trouble with an update (or reboot) would be familiarity with audiences. People who never read a word of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories still know who Holmes is and more or less what he's supposed to be like. Only afficiondos like us know other sleuths of the era.

Although, since the relationship with China has changed a bit, maybe Hollywood would consider it.

I'd love to see a Charlie Chan update myself.

hobbyfan said...

I too would absolutely mark out for a Chan revival. Problem is finding the right actor for the part. Same goes for Wong.