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After the steamer Wentworth Carstle has sunk due to an onboard fire, old
man Wentworth (Melvyn Lang), owner of the Wentworth Steamline corp. is
devastated - but not devastated enough to sell out to his competitor old man
Fleming (Guy Usher), or give his daughter Cynthia's (Catherine Craig) hand in
marriage to Fleming's son Dick (William Stelling). But when Dick is still
asking Wentworth to change his mind, Wentworth is shot - & even Dick's
father, who was in just the next room when it happened, has to admit he knew
his son was with Wentworth when he died.
Captain Street (Grant Withers) is of course quick to arrest Dick, but ever
meddling girl reporter Bobbie Logan (Marjorie Reynolds) has other ideas &
brings Oriental super sleuth Mister Wong (Boris Karloff) onto the scene.
Wong soon discovers a plot by the Chinese Tong to smuggle gold into the
country that has to do with the sunk steamliner Wntworth Castle, & with Kai
Ling, a Chinese butler of the Wentworth household who has disappeared ... but
soon turns up dead, murdered - & what's more, Dick is the prime suspect inb
that case, too.
But soon other suspects turn up as well, including Wentworth's crooked
assistant Matthews (Wilbur Mack) - who has seen Fleming hiding the murder
weapon of Wentwoth's killing & blackmails him with it -, Ludlow (Kenneth
Harlan), the suspuicious ex-chjaffeur of the Wentworths who occasionally does a
little breaking in of his own, & attorney Martin (Henry Brandon), who is
just a little too slick to be all that innocent.
In the finale, Dick e3scapes police custody with the help of Bobbie Logan,
& old man Fleming, to save his son from the gallows, decides to take the
blame for the Wentworth killing -. but is only met with a bullet for his
In the end, Wong reveals everything to have been an elaborate plot by
chauffeur Ludlow & attorney Martin to get their hands on Kai Ling's
Tong-gold - but they have proved no match for Mister Wong.
As a murder mystery, this movie is somewhat over-convoluted, as many of its
elements make little sense in the broader context, & again Boris Karloff,
despite another fine performance, fails to convince as a Chinaman. Apart from
that though, this is a quick-moving whodunnit, with Marjorie Reynolds' (her
third appearance in a Mister Wong movie) quick-talking girl
reporter & her snappy exchange with Grant Withers again contributing
largely to the finished product.
Incidently, this was the second to last Mister Wong-movie,
& of the series' central regulars only Grant Withers would make it into the
final entry, Phantom of Chinatown (the Oriental sleuth would then be
played by Keye Luke - finally a Chinese playing a Chinese -, & there would
be no girl reporter in sight).