Bela Lugosi in Black Dragons (1942)

black-dragons-1942

      Monogram Pictures produced Black Dragons (1942) shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Monogram released the film on March 6, 1942.  Most Monogram films were completed in less than two weeks, so it was not difficult to produce a film so close to the actual bombing.  Bela Lugosi was the biggest name in the film.       “B” movie companies

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Who Is The Scarlet Claw?

basil-rathbone

     A number of the old Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes movies have recently become available through YouTube and other sites.  The Universal series, is well done for a “B” film series.  This film would have warmed the audience up for the main feature like Double Indemnity (1944).      In this particular film, Sherlock Holmes, played by Rathbone, is in Quebec,

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What is Mise-en-Scene?

cabinet-dr-caligari

     Film scholars argued for years about what is mise-en-scene.  I agree with Andre Bazin’s interpretation of the term.  Mise-en-scene consists of set design, props, costuming and lighting but not camera movement, editing or sound.  While camera movement, editing and sound all add to the visual presentation, the focus of mise-en-scene is the look of the scene.    

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Mr. Wong in The Fatal Hour (1940)

still-the-fatal-hour

     The Fatal Hour (1940) is the fourth of the six Mr. Wong films by Monogram Pictures.  Mr. Wong is assisting Capt. Bill Street in investigating the death of his friend Dan Grady.  Grady is a police detective assigned to smuggling.  He is also a childhood friend of Capt. Street.  They joined the police department at the same time and worked

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Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)

still-mr-wong-in-chinatown

     Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939) is the third film in the series.  Princess Lin Hwa, portrayed by Lotus Long, seeks out Mr. Wong to help her but is killed by a poison dart in his house.  Mr. Wong takes the murder as a personal insult and determines to find the killer and solve the princess’ problem.  The princess scrawled

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The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939)

still-mystery-mr-wong

     The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939) is the second in the James Lee Wong series from Monogram Pictures.  Boris Karloff returns as Mr. Wong along with Grant Withers as Capt. Street.  Mr. Wong is assisting Capt. Street in the investigation of a collector, who is killed after coming into possession of a Chinese jewel. The jewel is considered cursed.   The curse seems

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