Mr. Wong, Detective - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mr. Wong, Detective Reviews

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½ February 1, 2015
Definitely a B picture from Monogram pictures. Boris must have been slumming down on Poverty Row, needing a job. Anyway, He is good, his make-up not so much and the other actors are pretty bad. There is no soundtrack music at all, but still with all these flaws, its not bad. The story clips right along, the mystery is compelling, it's only an hour, they have to wrap things up fast.
September 6, 2014
I have a scale of offensiveness for White Actors Portraying Asians. At one, the least offensive, there's David Carradine playing Caine in Kung Fu. At five, the most offensive, there's Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Boris Karloff rates about one on this scale. His Mr. Wong doesn't adhere to too many of the stereotypes of the day, there are very few parables, and he isn't afflicted with the Hollywood idea of a Chinese accent. In fact, the makeup they use is so subtle that, well, he doesn't look remotely Chinese. If you were to squint, you might assume someone had left Karloff in the sun for too long and he had acquired a tan??and a mustache.
March 9, 2014
Interesting whodunit with lots of wisecracks.
October 6, 2013
Interesting Mystery Feature With a Good Performance From Karloff--This movie is a campy hoot!!
July 20, 2012
Boris Karloff is amazing. He does the job right.
½ January 1, 2012
Sometimes we witness things without being aware of their importance.

When a potential client and two other associates are killed Mr. Wong springs into an investigation that happens to be lead by a naive detective. As Mr. Wong operates, the detective learns some tips and tricks about observation, motives, and criminology. Can the two men work well enough together to capture the killer?

"You can be very clever when you're not careless."

William Nigh, director of The Soul of a Man, Mr. Wu, Monte Carlo Nights, The Mysterious Mr. Wong, Dizzy Dames, Streets of New York, and Mutiny in the Big House, delivers Mr. Wong Detective. The storyline for this picture is fun and contains a very entertaining character. Boris Karloff is stunning in the lead role and the cast also contains Grant Withers, Maxine Jennings, and Evelyn Brent.

"Even Mr. Wong can be fooled."

My wife and I are huge fans of Boris Karloff and have always loved him in these eccentric roles. He delivers an interesting character that is both clever and funny. The movie kind of feels like a twist between Batman and Sherlock Holmes. Ultimately, this is a worthwhile picture if you're a fan of the mystery genre.

Grade: B-
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2009
Lets See Boris Karloff as an Asian Detective, humm, no I liked him better in his horror roles, maybe its me. But this is coming from a Native American who grew up watching white European men play the part of most American Indians in most westerns prior to 1980. The least you could have done was glue his eyes back a little more. It was funny to see how Mr. Wong held his smoke, more like a German in war movies, were we stereo type when these films were made??? If you get it in a group I say go for it but as a single, naw stay away from it.
½ August 28, 2008
Karloff is appealing - but not particularly Chinese - as Mr. Wong.
April 1, 2007
When business magnate Simon Dayton is found dead inside his locked office moments after police detective Sam Street (Withers) saw him standing at the window, reknowned private James Lee Wong (Karloff) joins forces with the homicide squad to interpert the only clues found at the scene--tiny fragments of delicate glass. When Dayton's business partners start dying under equally mysterious circumstances, and sinister agents of foreign powers start appearing in the shadows, Wong and Street have to race against time to prevent more murders, including, possibly, their own.

"Mr. Wong, Detective" is a fast-paced, well-scripted complex mystery with lots of twists, turns, and misdirections. The array of suspects and the way suspicion moves on and off them, the way motives come into focus and blur again, the clever way the murder weapon is triggered, and the way Wong ultimately unmasks the very clever murderer, all add up to a mystery movie that deserves more attention than it gets.

Another element that adds to the film's quality is the acting. Boris Karloff is excellent as Wong, playing a more subdued and refined character than in just about any other role he played before or after, with Wong's sarcastic, stereortypical "oriental politeness" in the face of the bad guys adding flavor to the character and comedy to the film. Grant Withers as Street is likewise excellent in his part, shining particularly brightly in the scenes with Maxine Jennings, who brings effective comic relief to the picture as his feisty girlfriend, Myra. The supporting cast and co-stars also all turn in top-quality performances.

"Mr. Wong, Detective" is a film well worth the time a fan of 1930s mysteries should devote to watching it. It's a great kick-off for an excellent series.


Mr. Wong, Detective
Starring: Boris Karloff, Grant Withers, John St. Polis, Maxine Jennings, Lucien Prival, and Evelyn Brent
Director: William Nigh
October 8, 2006
One of the best entries in the Mr. Wong series. Boris Karloff is way over the top though, and what is up with that slicked down hairstyle?! Good mystery. Short and sweet.
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