Hong Kong Nights


59m 1935

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 15, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Futter Productions
Distribution Company
State Rights
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m

Synopsis

After gunrunner Gil Burris offers to obtain weapons for a Chinese village, Wong, a highly respected villager, accompanies Burris to Hong Kong wearing an antique bracelet given to him by a village elder. In Hong Kong, American Secret Service agent Tom Keene sees Wong selling jewelry in the marketplace and admires the bracelet, becoming suspicious when Wong refuses to sell it. While Tom sizes up Wong, his bumbling sidekick Wally meets Viennese beauty Trina Vidor, who is on her way to catch the boat for Macao. Back at Tom's hotel, Mr. Colder, his boss from the American Embassy, arrives to give Tom his next assignment, which involves tailing Burris to Macao and putting a stop to his gunrunning activities. In Macao, Tom spots Burris in a nightclub, and Wally realizes that the woman with him is none other than Trina. After Wong informs Burris of Tom's presence, Burris and Trina quickly board a boat going back to Hong Kong and are followed by Tom and Wally. Trina overhears Burris and Wong plotting the murder of Tom and later confronts Burris, who had sworn to her that he had gone straight. After Trina warns Tom that he is in danger, he offers her refuge in his stateroom and is later attacked by a knife-wielding Wong. Tom manages to wrestle the knife away, but instead of turning Wong in, he warns him that he should never trust the white man who sells guns. Back in Hong Kong, Burris begs Trina to give him another chance, and when Tom telephones to invite her to a polo match, Burris encourages her to go so that he can convince them both that he is innocent. At the polo game, Trina reveals that she had come to China to marry Burris and begs Tom to give him a chance to defend himself, but when Tom accompanies her to Burris' warehouse office, he is attacked from behind and taken prisoner. Burris forces Trina onto the boat carrying the guns to Wong's village and orders Wong to kill Tom. Wong, however, remembering Tom's act of kindness, spares him, and Tom subsequently returns the bracelet, which had fallen off Wong's wrist when the two men fought on the boat. Taking no heed of Wong's warning not to follow him, Tom swims out to the departing boat and finds a hiding place with the help of Trina. After the guns are unloaded at Wong's village, Tom sneaks off the boat in order to stop the transaction, but when a villager throws a torch at him, a fire starts that soon ignites the entire village. Attempting to return to Trina and the boat, Tom is shot in the arm by Burris, who takes him and Trina captive. Burris tells Wong that it will be necessary to hide the ammunition on a nearby deserted island until things blow over, and Wong becomes angry and suspicious because his village has already paid in full for both the guns and ammunition. When they reach the island, Tom and Trina are forced into a cave where at high tide they will drown, and before he leaves, Burris boasts of his plan to double-cross the Chinese by keeping their silver and selling their munitions to another village. After overhearing Burris brag about his scheme, Wong confronts him and is shot, but manages to attack Burris with a knife. At nightfall, a ship's captain notices an explosion on the island and, going ashore to investigate, finds the cold body of Burris and the still warm one of Wong, who he surmises was killed by the explosion he set off to attract the passing ship. Tom and Trina are rescued from the cave just moments before being engulfed by the tide, and the next day, newspaper headlines announce that they have married. On board the ship taking them to their new home in the States, Tom slips Wong's bracelet on Trina's wrist, and they kiss as the ship puts out to sea.

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 15, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Futter Productions
Distribution Company
State Rights
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although a copyright statement was included in the opening credits of the viewed print, the title was not found in copyright records. An advertisement in Hollywood Reporter headlined the picture as the "First of the Chinese Cycle." According to Hollywood Reporter, Vera Engels replaced Molly O'Day in the lead. A Hollywood Reporter news item also notes that Fenn Kimball took over for producer Walter Futter when he became ill during filming. Modern sources contend that shooting took place at Mack Sennett Studios (not California Studios, as indicated by contemporary sources), Los Angeles' Chinatown community (where a small tong war involving an extra took place on the third day of filming) and on Santa Catalina Island. For the scene in which Wong's village burns down, more than an acre of the Sennett backlot was set on fire, according to modern sources.