Fun Size Review: The Tong Man (1919)

Sessue Hayakawa stars as the San Francisco Tong’s deadliest hatchet man but then he is called upon to assassinate a fellow with an incredibly beautiful daughter. I bet you’ll never guess what happens instead!

Hayakawa brings his trademark intensity but the film is stymied by racial stereotypes and a sloppy script that relies on the heroine fainting every ten seconds. Sigh. For Hayakawa fans only.

Yes, she's fainted. Yes, again. Look, I don't criticize your girlfriends, do I? Sheesh!
Yes, she’s fainted. Yes, again. Look, I don’t criticize your girlfriends, do I? Sheesh!
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.

The heroine’s dad dies but Hayakawa is able to save her and they depart on a ship to China. This is not very surprising and I’m not even sure if a spoiler hiding mechanism is needed for this. It’s like revealing that Cinderella lived happily ever after.

If it were a dessert it would be: Yogurt-covered almonds. The good stuff (almonds!) is covered in partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, emulsifiers and sugar. Blech!

Read my full-length review here.

Availability: The Tong Man has been released on DVD.


  1. David Shepard

    I’m happy people can get to see the film, but it’s a race to the bottom to see who (among the three low-end DVD publishers offering this) can grab and release their own copy of a unique film rescued and restored by Blackhawk Films.

    1. Fritzi Kramer

      Yes, the screen caps show that the releases leave much to be desired. Any chance of a DVD release for the Blackhawk edition? I would love to be able to recommend it to my readers!

Comments are closed.