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Daughter of the Dragon

USA 1931
produced by
directed by Lloyd Corrigan
starring Anna May Wong, Warner Oland, Sessue Hayakawa, Bramwell Fletcher, Frances Dade, Holmes Herbert, Lawrence Grant, Harold Minjir, Nicholas Soussanin, E. Alyn Warren, Nella Walker, Olaf Hytten
screenplay by Lloyd Corrigan, Monte M.Katterjohn, based on the novel Daughter of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer, dialogue by Sidney Buchman, music by Rudolph G. Kopp, John Leipold

Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu (Warner Oland)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Until very recently, Oriental dancer Ling Moy (Anna May Wong) had no idea who her father was Doctor Fu Manchu (Warner Oland) - and upon meeting him for the first time, he promptly dies on her, after having just killed his arch enemy John Petrie (Holmes Herbert), after having failed to do so 20 years ago (in Return of Dr Fu Manchu). But since then, Petrie has fathered a child who has grown up to be a man, Robert Petrie (Bramwell Fletcher), so he makes his daughter promise to kill young Robert with his dying breath.

Good thing then that Ling Moy lives next to the Petries, that her father has seen to it that she is surrounded by accomplices, that nobody knows that she is Fu Manchu's daughter, and that both young Petrie and Ah Kee (Sessue Hayakawa), the detective responsible for Petrie's safety, have fallen in love with her. However, Ling Moy's first attempt to stab Petrie to death amounts to nought because she feels something for Petrie as well.

A second attempt is made on Petrie's life soon afterwards, an attempt that involves an elaborate plan that has Ling Moy seducing Ah Kee while Petrie and the police are lured away to Limehouse, Petrie's fiancée (Frances Dade) is kidnapped, and Petrie is separated from the cops and trapped. However, Ah Kee sees through her game too soon. Ling Moy has him tied up because of that, but he makes a daring escape jumping out of a window just when the police arrives, to attract attention. Sure, he dies for it, but with his dying breath fills the police in on the whole plot. This is not the only hero's death Ah Kee is allowed to die though: Later, when Ming Loy tries to stab Petrie and his fiancée, already cornered by the police and desperate to fulfill her father's mission, Ah Kee shoots her dead instead, again with his dying breath ... makes sense to me, too, since man has two lungs, he has two dying breaths, right?

Anyways, apart from Ah Kee's death, everything ends happily.


This last in a trio of films starring Warner Oland as Fu Manchu is also the slickest of the bunch, it's decently paced and there is enough action to keep one entertained. However, that doesn't make Daughter of the Dragon a good film - in fact it's little more than a routine thriller filled with two-dimensional characters that at times seems to virtually shy away from giving the plot even a modest amount of depth. Instead it merely relies on the mechanics of the plot, even if they at times seem disappointingly far-fetched.

In all, certainly not the worst film ever, but nothing to really make one happy, either.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD