Michael Schlesinger on

The Hatchet Man

Released 1932
Distributor Warner Bros.

Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, William Wellman’s 1932 melodrama is as hard-boiled as a pre-code film could get and paved the way for more explicitly bloody action in Hammer’s own Terror of the Tongs. Robinson is Wong Low Get, a man with a particularly sharp axe to grind and a ravishing Loretta Young (almost unrecognizable in her Mandarin make-up) as his ill-fated love interest.

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About Michael Schlesinger

Michael Schlesinger is widely acknowledged as the dean of classic film distributors, having worked for more than 25 years at MGM, Paramount and Sony, keeping hundreds of vintage movies in theatrical release (and later DVD), and instigating the restoration of many more, including the completion of Orson Welles' 1942 documentary It's All True some 50 years later. Behind the camera, he wrote and produced the American version of Godzilla 2000, co-produced such Larry Blamire parodies as The Lost Skeleton Returns Again and Dark and Stormy Night, and has written, produced and directed several short films featuring the faux-1930s comedy team of Biffle and Shooster. No power on Earth will ever convince him that It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World is not the Greatest. Movie. Ever.

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