A Scream In The Night (1935)

Lon Chaney,Jr.-Zarah Tazil

A fun flick about the search for notorious jewel thief Johnny Fly. Lon Chaney, Jr. plays two parts..Detective Jack Wilson and Butch Curtain, a crooked dimwit who owns Curtain’s Half Moon Cafe.

Joe Bentley buys a ruby known as The Tear Of Buddah. Later he goes to the hotel cafe with his niece Edith. She spots her old pal Jack Wilson sitting with Inspector Green and famous Chinese Detective Wu Ting (Philip Ahn). She asks the waiter to deliver her card to Jack.

While they talk Joe goes back to his room. A rope is tossed over his neck. Not in the nick of time is Jack and Edith. Joe’s okay but he’s been robbed of some diamonds and some cash. The ruby is safe with Edith. It sure looks like the M.O. of Johnny Fly. 

Over at Butch Curtain’s cafe he’s winning at darts and then talking with a disguised Wu Tang. Upstairs are Johnny Fly and his girlfriend Mora (Zarah Tazil). His informants tell him about the detective. Johnny orders Butch to take care of him.. He does. Jack and his boss see a drawing in blood that Wu Tang made while expelling his last breath. The audience knows what it means but it takes Jack and the Inspector a while to figure it out.

Edith hops a rickshaw to put the ruby in the bank. She’s kidnapped and taken to Johnny’s room. Now he has the ruby. He also has a very jealous girlfriend. He tells Butch to go to the pawn shop and tell the owner he wants to see him. Johnny plans to leave that night. He’s taking Edith with him. Mora’s not too happy about that.

At the pawn shop, Jack arrests Butch. It was pretty easy to shoot Lon talking to himself. At the police station, Jack disguises himself as Butch. More talk between Lon and Lon. Butch is locked up and Jack heads to the cafe. He tells Johnny that he was arrested at the pawn shop but the owner will be along. After being paid for the ruby, Johnny tells “Butch” to take care of the pawn shop owner just like he did the detective. While he’s at it, get the ruby back.

It all leads to the usual speeded up fight scene. Also mixing it up in a speeded up cat fight are Edith and Mora.

Yeah it’s silly in spots but I don’t care. This stuff is fun and if you take it as a good time passer you’ll have fun too.

Zarah Tazill was also a writer and on this film she was the technical director. Philip Ahn was Master Kan on “Kung Fu” (1972-75).

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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