Hong Kong Nights

"Smugglers, bullets, and Chinese knives!" read the ads for this independent thriller. Keene and Hymer are a pair of customs agents on the trail of some gun runners. The trail leads to some expected dangers when they're ordered to stop Keefe, a hustling businessman. Engels is the girl who becomes involved with Keefe, despite the good advice of Keene. Komai...read more

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"Smugglers, bullets, and Chinese knives!" read the ads for this independent thriller. Keene and Hymer are a pair of customs agents on the trail of some gun runners. The trail leads to some expected dangers when they're ordered to stop Keefe, a hustling businessman. Engels is the girl who

becomes involved with Keefe, despite the good advice of Keene. Komai (a Japanese gentleman who, thanks to Hollywood prejudices, always played Chinese villains) is in cahoots with Keefe, but by the end he has switched loyalties, killing his former partner and shooting into a clump of oil drums to

set off a spectacular fire. For a small film this isn't bad at all. The plot is a little confusing, but the action never lets up. It's all played in a hardy style that's fun to watch. For the oil drum explosion over an acre of land on the Sennett lot was set ablaze. Most of the film was shot at

the Mack Sennett Studio, with Los Angeles' Chinatown and Catalina Island substituting for the mysterious Orient. The director was an old hand with the Sennett Studio, having directed a few Mabel Normand comedies. Shooting was interrupted on the third day when a Tong war, complete with gangs

brandishing knives and throwing rocks, broke out on the location set. Keene, under the name George Duryea, had been the star of King Vidor's classic OUR DAILY BREAD. That film, made just before this one, proved to be his only memorable role, as the actor faded into obscurity, with countless

westerns and a few romantic roles comprising the majority of his career.

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