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Shadows of the Orient (1935)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Romance | 6 July 1935 (USA)
A classic "B" featurette about "smugglin' in Chinamen for $300 a load"

Director:

Burt P. Lynwood (as Burt Lynwood)

Writers:

Louis E. Heifetz (story) (as L.E. Heifetz), Charles F. Royal (adaptation) (as Charles Francis Royal)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Esther Ralston ... Viola Avery
Regis Toomey ... Inspector Bob Baxter
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Inspector Sullivan
Oscar Apfel ... Judge Avery
Sidney Blackmer ... King Moss
Eddie Fetherston Eddie Fetherston ... James 'Flash' Dawson
Kit Guard ... Spud Nolan
James B. Leong James B. Leong ... Ching Chu
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Storyline

"Shadows of the Orient" was originally (and still is) a Larry Darmour production made under the Empire Films banner in 1935 and released in August of 1935, although Motion Picture Herald did not review it until February of 1936. Following the reorganization of Monogram, after W. Ray Johnston, Scott R. Dunlap, Trem Carr and Paul Malvern broke away from their short stay at Republic Pictures, Monogram was in need of product to fill their exhibitor committments and picked up the film from whatever state-rights limbo it was in, and sent it back out on August 13, 1937 under a Monogram Pictures logo with nothing to indicate it was a re-issue of a two year-old film. Its first New York showing was at the Central Theatre on October 11, 1937, 27 months after initial release through the Empire exchanges, and it had lost three minutes from its original 68 minutes. The Foreword tells it all: "Since the passing of the Oriental Exclusion Act the smuggling of aliens has been constant. Although the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FRISCO RIPPED WIDE OPEN...BY THRILL-MAD SOCIETY BEAUTY! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 July 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Orientens Skygger See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast Friday 2 January 1942 on New York City's pioneer commercial television station WNBT (Channel 1). In Detroit it first aired Monday 1 November 1948 on freshly launched WJBK (Channel 2). See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[Bob snaps the handcuffs his wrist to Viola's]
Inspector Sullivan: Hey! What am I going to tell Graves about this?
Inspector Bob Baxter: Tell him I eloped with the secret agent that helped me crack this case.
Viola Avery: Whoopee!
Inspector Bob Baxter: And don't forget to turn in your resignation!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
So bad, it's bad!
24 January 2009 | by mritchieSee all my reviews

I'm a fan of B-movies, but this Poverty Row film is so bad, I'm tempted not to bother reviewing it, but that cool title is what suckered me into watching it, so maybe my review will save others who might be equally tempted. This begins with a good scene that was duplicated in a later (and much better) Ronald Reagan B-movie, SECRET SERVICE OF THE AIR, in which a pilot, smuggling a Chinese family of illegal aliens, dumps them out in mid-air to their deaths when he's attacked by another plane. The pilot, angry when his boss won't pay him for the aborted delivery, calls the Feds and offers to give them the goods on the smuggling ring, but is shot to death just before the agents raid the Chinese restaurant which is the front for the gang. The leader, Sidney Blackmer, gets away, but agent Regis Toomey, his older sidekick (J. Farrell McDonald), and a prominent judge's daughter (Esther Ralston) try to infiltrate the gang, only to wind up in danger. The 70-minute movie is filled with inept photography, bad sets, and flubbed lines left in, and the lack of any background music at all only accentuates the sheer boredom of the proceedings. Even the promise of a moderately exciting air chase at the end goes nowhere. The actors, all pros who have done good B-film work elsewhere, are left at sea by bad direction and zero production values. Blackmer gets one nicely slimy, almost campy line, when he says, "Orientals have a peculiar irresistible fascination for me," but despite the promise of the melodramatic title, this one will hold no one's interest.


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