Mysterious Mr. Wong, The

1768. THE MYSTERIOUS MR. WONG (1939-usa). With Bela Lugosi, Wallace Ford, Arline Judge, Fred Warren. Do not confuse this enjoyable chiller with any of the “Mr. Wong” films featuring Boris Karloff as the master Oriental sleuth. This Wong (who, interestingly, is played by Bela Lugosi with the thickest of Hungarian accents!) is evil incarnate, His story is based on the intriguingly titled “The Twelve Coins of Confucius;’ its scenario relates the title character’s efforts to obtain the dozen coins given by Confucius to twelve trusted friends while on his deathbed. Once Wong possesses them all, he will become the lord of the Chinese province of Keelat. After investigatÂing a series of brutal Chinatown murders, and almost starting a Tong War, this madman manages to obtain eleven of the twelve coins. As he schemes to get his claws on the final one, he must contend with a nosy, wisecracking (and ever-so casually racist) reporter, who’s investigating the killings. The reporter’s nicely played by Wallace Ford and in spite of his out-of-place accent, Lugosi is delightfully menacing as Wong-and is also fine as the criminal’s alter ego, a timid old herb dealer named Lychee. 63 minutes. Crime-Mystery-Suspense