Starts like it’s going to be a decent crime movie but loses it as too much of a romantic storyline gets in the way. George Raft plays a half White-half Chinese owner of a nightclub in the Limehouse section of London.
Harry Young (George Raft) runs a smuggling racket out of his club the Lily Gardens. Local rival Pug Talbot used to run it all before Harry showed up. Pug’s stepdaughter Toni (Jean Parker) is a pickpocket. She almost gets caught stealing a watch and runs into Harry’s office. He covers for her.
Pug’s henchman Smokey tells him all about it. Angry that Toni had anything to do with Harry he beats her. Harry sends his man Herb to tell Pug that he wants to deal with him and give him a key to Harry’s flat. Pug is happy now. He uses the key and rides the elevator to Harry’s flat. It’s his last ride thanks to Harry’s man Rhama and his knife. Harry and Tu Tuan (Anna May Wong) are doing a dramatic dance routine to “Limehouse Blues” while Pug’s being murdered. Their routine is stopped when a woman outside screams when she discovers Pug’s body.
Harry hires Toni over Tu Tuan’s objections. She says Harry should know the difference between East and West and should leave the white girls alone. It’s obvious she’s jealous. Harry fires Toni but gives her a room. He gives her money to buy herself whatever she wants.
Toni goes to Piccadilly Circus and sees a number of puppies running out of a pet shop. She helps the owner, Eric Benton (Kent Taylor) gather them up. Of course they become romantically involved. Harry doesn’t want her leaving so he spreads the word around Limehouse not to hire her. Tu Tuan gets upset when she sees Harry cut off his long fingernail from his pinkie. It’s supposed to be a sign that a Chinese works with his head.
Tu Tuan hires Smokey to follow Toni. She tells Harry that Toni has someone else. Eric goes to confront Harry. Harry gives him the key to his flat. Rhama will be standing by. Harry also has to try and stay a step ahead of Scotland Yard. Inspector Sheridan gets permission to carry a gun.
The ending isn’t anything special and borders on the unbelievable. Unless you’ve seen everything George Raft has starred in there’s no reason to search this one out.
Kent Taylor is known to TV fans as “Boston Blackie” (1951-53) and Captain Jim Flagg in “The Rough Riders” (1958-59).