Thursday, July 28, 2011

Captured in Chinatown (1935)

Short crime/newspaper story centered in Chinatown. The story concerns two warring Chinese families, the Lings and the Wongs. The daughter of one loves the son of the other. When a marriage is agreed upon a valuable jade necklace is to be passed to the couple as a means of sealing the new friendship. However when news of the wedding and the necklace is published villains plot to steal the necklace.

After an intriguing first ten minutes or so set in Chinatown among the two families, where a large portion of the dialog is spoken in Chinese the focus shifts two two reporters who end up in Chinatown covering the wedding (aided by a dog named Tarzan). From that point on the Chinese are pushed to the background as the Caucasians take center stage as heroes and villains. You'll forgive the lack of details but this film is so short and so breezy that I'd like to leave some mystery for anyone who sees this. Its not a "who done it" more a "when will they catch on". There is murder and intrigue and of course a happy ending for everyone.

This is a decent little movie thats worth watching. If it has any real flaws its that the movie seems to be made up of little sections that you can knock out and put together in variety of different ways. There's the Chinatown stuff, the newspaper stuff, the bad guy stuff, the dog stuff, and a few other plot threads which click together like a puzzle but don't really flow together like a natural story. Its not bad, but its not as good a it should have been.

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