Chinatown Squad. 1935. USA. Directed by Murray Roth. Screenplay by Dore Schary, Lawrence G. Blochman, Ben Ryan. With Lyle Talbot, Toshia Mori, Leslie Fenton
A virtual encyclopedia of dated notions of the exotic Orient, this spirited programmer features Lyle Talbot as a detective turned tour guide drawn into political intrigue in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Much of this atmospheric thriller was filmed on location by director Murray Roth, whose last film this proved to be. (He died two years later at the age of 44, depriving Hollywood of a promising talent.) Among the few Asians in the cast is the remarkable Toshia Mori, a Japanese-born beauty who danced for Theodore Kosloff and played Barbara Stanwyck’s rival in The Bitter Tea of General Yen.