here instead. The below is just judging the movie as a movie and not delving too deeply into other obvious issues.
Karloff is back as Chinese detective Mr. Wong. This time he gets involved in the murder of an antiquities collector who has recently come into possession of The Eye of the Daughter of the Moon, a rare gem from China that is supposedly cursed. Wong is called in because the collector has had death threats, which come true when he is killed by a gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks. They were playing charades, which I guess is different from what we know as charades today. Instead, they were acting out a play of sorts with a husband finding his wife cheating on him… hey wait a minute! Yeah, this is a loose remake of Murderat Midnight that I recently watched and covered for the site.
Wong must sort out who killed the collector, and later his maid. There are some twists and turns with a missing letter in which the man speculated at who was trying to kill him and why. There are also those trying to return the stolen gem back to China where it belongs, and finally a wife who was made rather miserable by the man. So many suspects and so little time. Though in the end Wong assembles them and reveals the killer.
As before Karloff is very good in the role of Mr. Wong. Again, the idea of casting him as an Asian character is problematic but he does his best to avoid the pitfalls of speaking in the heavily accented and stereotypical Asian accent. That lessens the blow a bit. He commands every scene he is in and is surrounded by a decent supporting cast. This movie was from a “B” studio, so the budget was low again, but this sort of formulaic movie doesn’t require much in the way of sets and locations beyond the basics.
I’m going to recommend The Mystery of Mr. Wong. It is a straightforward and fun little murder mystery on a budget that knows what the audience wants and delivers the goods. Karloff is great and fun to see on the screen and if you pay close attention to what is transpiring on screen you have a decent chance to figure it out before the big reveal. I hoe the other four are originals or at least based on something that I’ve not already seen.
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