A Pathe serial in ten chapters of two-reels each: Dan Winterslip, a wealthy man in Honolulu, has not spoken to his brother, who owns a hotel next to Winterslip's estate, in over twenty ... See full summary »
Sir George hires Hillary Gatt to find out more about Eric who wants to marry Lois. Gatt is murdered and the couple, married, run off to India. Old friend John Beetham sympathizes with the bride who sees that her hubby is a liar and drunk. John and Lois fly to San Francisco. Eric shows up and tries to kill John, but Scotland Yard's Lt. Charlie Chan intervenes. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A typical very early talkie or "Pierre, you shouldn't have come!"
This 1929 film is included on Charlie Chan Volume 3 as part of the complete history of Chan's character at Fox. For that reason it is good to have it. Viewing it, however, is another matter entirely. It is a great example of a bad early talkie in almost every category except cinematography. Fox used sound-on-film versus vitaphone, thus their early talkies don't have that static claustrophobic quality other 1928 and 1929 talkies have.
However the dialogue in many ways is held over from the silents as is the acting. At one point Warner Baxter is declaring his love to the leading lady by repeating "I love you! I love you! I love you". In the words of Singin' in the Rain, did someone get paid to write this dialogue? The overacting is unbelievable and the speech is tortuously slow.
The point of interest for most of us watching this film, the first appearance of Charlie Chan in a Fox film, doesn't take up much screen time. He appears near the beginning to identify a crucial piece of evidence and for a few minutes during the end. The murderer is identified almost at the beginning of the film and most of the time is taken up by a poorly acted love triangle tale. This is not the first appearance of Warner Oland in the title role, though. That doesn't occur for another two years. This film is only for hardcore Charlie Chan fans the same way that "An Old Spanish Custom" is for Buster Keaton fans.
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