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Oriental Evil

Oriental Evil(1952)

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In Tokyo, Japan, a man known as The Beggar of Fate stoops to pick up cigarette butts but avoids the ones that his master, Unmay, a ghostly figure of fate, identifies as being dropped by evil men who will die a violent death. Meanwhile, in another part of the city, British businessman Roger Mansfield agrees to marry the geisha he has impregnated, Yujiko. After a formal Japanese ceremony, Yujiko's brother, Noritomo Miyagi, offers the newlyweds his house as a gift. Days later, Roger spots pretty American Sheryl Banning and helps her to find a local address, but neither notices when The Beggar of Fate refuses to pick up his discarded cigarette. Roger leads her to the building that houses the import company of her brother, Steven, who recently committed suicide after being accused of smuggling. Roger informs Sheryl that she is probably being watched and brings her to a local bar. Sheryl reveals that she believes Steven to be innocent and wants to clear his name by acquiring evidence from his ex-partner, a stranger named Thomas Putnam, who has also disappeared. Roger spots an investigator at a nearby booth and leads Sheryl to his city apartment, where he offers to use all of his contacts to help her gain information. When Sheryl returns to her own room, she finds Steven's business associate, Yoshida, who states that he never met Putnam. Untrusting of Sheryl, Yoshida insists that they work together. The next morning, Roger finds the two and, upon hearing Yoshida is out of work, offers him a job, but later tells Sheryl that the man is suspicious. Sheryl and Yoshida search the town for Putnam, then return to Steven's office so Yoshida can search for Steven's private papers. Sheryl waits for Yoshida downstairs but, growing restless, creeps into the office herself. She is grabbed by a man who turns out to be Roger, while outside two goons grab Yoshida. Sheryl is suspicious of Roger until he advises her to visit the Allied Criminal Investigation Division. The investigator there admits that the two goons are his agents, and informs her that they know Steven was innocent, but are withholding information to lure Putnam into showing himself. Over the next few days, Yoshida comes to work for Roger, who woos Sheryl and finally kisses her. One day, Roger tells Yoshida that the information he has procured about a black market shipment will be used to set a trap for Putnam. After Yoshida leaves, however, Roger receives a call from a creditor insisting that he has no more time for repayment, and when he then goes to the British Club to ask for a loan, all his friends spurn him. Roger gets increasingly drunk, finally hallucinating about his dismissal from the Army for cowardice. He returns to his wife's house, where he beats her, causing her to lose her baby. In the morning, Roger orders a group of thugs to steal the black market goods from a warehouse and tries to sell them. The buyer, however, recognizes the goods as coming from his own warehouse, and Roger only narrowly escapes being killed. Later, Sheryl receives a note from Danny O'Neill asking for $5,000 in return for information about Putnam. Roger declares that he will take care of it, but when he meets Danny, the blackmailer demands more money to hide the fact that Roger is really Putnam. Roger strangles Danny and races back to Sheryl, easily convincing her to marry him and leave Japan. The next morning, they are married, but when they return to his apartment, the creditor and Danny are there. Roger brings them into his office and promises to pay the debt in twenty-four hours in return for an advance, which he then pays to Danny. Sheryl, however, overhears Danny call Roger "Tom," and after she accuses him of being Putnam, Roger yells at her and races to Yujiko's. Meanwhile, Danny spills his story to the investigator, while Yoshida meets Miyagi, who tells him that Roger's marriage to Yujiko was a fraud. Miyagi calls Yujiko, but she has already stabbed herself after learning she is not really married. Roger then sets the house on fire, running out just as Sheryl, Yoshida and Miyagi arrive. They chase Roger through the streets, but he escapes into a nightclub, where he sees Unmay sitting next to him and runs out again. He then sneaks into Sheryl's apartment and, finding her there, turns out all the lights. Yoshida and Miyagi, however, see from the street that his cigarette is glowing, and call the police. When Roger drags Sheryl outside to help him escape the country, Miyagi attacks him and Roger pulls out a knife. Just then, Yoshida arrives with the police, who watch as Miyagi pushes Roger away. Roger stumbles, and the knife sinks into his own chest, killing him. Danny, who has also been watching from the trees, smiles and drops his cigarette, which The Beggar of Fate refuses to pick up.