Lot 39 of 613:
1940 Pressbook for a movie, starring a Chinese-American actor  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$420
$200 - $300

1940 Pressbook for a San Francisco Chinatown movie, starring a Chinese-American actor






Pressbook, with striking graphics, for the film “Phantom of Chinatown” starring Keye Luke (Monogram Pictures, 1940) 12 x 17”, 4pp.+ original pictorial wrappers. Illustrated.

One of the first American films starring a Chinese-American male actor.

Luke was a San Francisco Chinatown  commercial artist, entrepreneur and pioneering Asian-American actor, born in China and raised in Seattle. He made his film debut playing the “Number One Son” of screen detective Charlie Chan in the eight Chan movies that appeared between 1935 and 1937, with the Caucasian Warner Oland in the starring role. These were followed, between 1938 and 1940,  by another “Chinese detective” series, with horror master Boris Karloff playing detective James Lee Wong in five films – until, in this movie, the sixth in the series, someone in Hollywood miraculously decided that the Chinese character could actually be played by a Chinese. 

Lot Amendments

Very good.

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