Doomed to Die

Doomed to Die is a 1940 American mystery film directed by William Nigh and starring Boris Karloff as Mr. Wong. It is a sequel to the 1940 film, The Fatal Hour.[1]

Doomed to Die
DVD cover
Directed byWilliam Nigh
Produced byPaul Malvern
Scott R. Dunlap
Written byHugh Wiley
Ralph Gilbert Bettison
Michael Jacoby
StarringBoris Karloff
Marjorie Reynolds
Grant Withers
Music byEdward J. Kay
CinematographyHarry Neumann
Edited byRobert Golden
Distributed byMonogram Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • August 12, 1940 (1940-08-12)
Running time
68 minutes
CountryUnited States


When the head of a shipping company is murdered in his office the identity of the killer seems obvious. The killer is the son of the owner of a rival shipping company; the reason is the Romeo and Juliet romance between the killer and the murdered man's daughter. They wanted to get married. The murdered man refused to give them his permission.

The murdered man's daughter asks Mr. Wong to investigate. She hopes that Wong will be able to prove that her fiancé didn't kill her father.

The killing took place a few days after the Wentworth Castle, one of the company's liners, caught fire and sank with the loss of more than 400 lives. Once again, Wong is given important information by the leader of a powerful tong (Chinese secret society) that leads him to other suspects. The tong leader tells Wong that a member of the tong was smuggling a great amount of tong money into the United States aboard the Wentworth Castle. The smuggler is known to have survived the sinking but disappeared with the tong's money.

Wong uses modern (for 1940) technology to recover seemingly "lost" evidence. He uncovers multiple conspiracies within the shipping company and succeeds in proving that the fiancé is not the murderer.



Filming began in mid June. The film uses actual news footage from the burning of the liner SS Morro Castle, which caught fire on September 8 1934 during a trip from Havana to New York City.[2]


  1. Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 259-260
  2. Internet Movie Database Trivia
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