The Chinatown chase scene in the 1949 movie ‘Impact’

Impactposteruse Sometimes, these things are nothing but fun! Here’s the set up; Brian Donlevy is on trial at the old Hall of Justice Building on Kearny for murdering his unfaithful wife’s lover. (He’s innocent) Anna May Wong has information that may save him but will not testify, although she comes to the courthouse out of guilt. Ella Raines, Donlevy’s new squeeze, spots her and the chase is on. Follow me now as we trail these dames through Chinatown.

Impactcgase1use It starts at Kearny and Washington as Anna jumps into a cab, and turns to head up Washington Street.

Impactchase2use Ella grabs a cab and follows her.

Impactchase3use They race up Washington past Portsmouth Square to Grant.

Impactchase4use Turning left on Grant, they drive south toward Clay Street.

Impactchase5&guse  Anna May looks back to see if she’s still being followed.
“Yeah, I’m still on your ass, sweetheart!”

Impactchase7use There’s an old axiom that I just made up that says that you can’t have a movie chase scene without breaking up the continuity. In the next scene they’re back to a point in the chase that they were beyond in the previous scene. Now they’re back at Grant crossing Washington!

Impactchase8use Now the chase turns into Ross Alley from Washington, another impossibility considering the way they were going, but I’m not complaining, I’m just enjoying the ride.

Impactchase9use They stop part way down the alley where an old passageway leads to Old Chinatown Alley.
“Darn, I hope I don’t lose my hat!”
“Excuse me lady, are either of you two going to pay?”

Impactchase10use Stretching her dress to the limit, (I held my breath at this point, but it didn’t rip) Ella chases Anna May down the passageway.  The passage is closed now.

Impactchase12use They enter into Old Chinatown Alley, and Anna May runs into the house of her father to hide, behind where the pallet jack and the boxes are today.

Impact13use When confronted in the house, Anna May explains that she was only afraid that her testimony would have hurt Donlevy who she cares a great deal about, and agrees to testify. Everybody lives happily ever after except Donlevy’s wife who goes to jail.

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