7.2/10
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The Black Camel (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 21 June 1931 (USA)
The unsolved murder of a Hollywood actor several years earlier and an enigmatic psychic are the keys to help Charlie solve the Honolulu stabbing death of a beautiful actress.

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Charlie visits a wealthy country home in England. Suspects in the murder range from a housekeepe to a stableman to a lawyer.

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When a friend of Charlie's is found kicked to death by his own race horse on board a Honolulu-bound liner, the detective discovers foul play and uncovers an international gambling ring.

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When a strategically important new aerial guidance system is stolen, Charlie traces it to the Berlin Olympics, where he has to battle spies and enemy agents to retrieve it.

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Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Lionel Atwill
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Tarneverro
...
Shelah Fane
Victor Varconi ...
Robert Fyfe
Murray Kinnell ...
Archie Smith
William Post Jr. ...
Alan Jaynes
...
Jimmy Bradshaw
Violet Dunn ...
Anna the maid
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Thomas MacMasters
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. MacMasters
Rita Rozelle ...
Otto Yamaoka ...
Kashimo
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Storyline

Movie star Sheila Fayne is seeing wealthy Alan Jaynes while filming in Honolulu, Hawaii, but won't marry him without consulting famed psychic Tanaverro first. Tanaverro confronts her about the unsolved murder of fellow film star Denny Mayo three years earlier, and she decides to reject Jaynes' proposal. When Sheila is found shot to death in her beach-front pavilion, Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police investigates. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

CHARLIE CHAN'S Latest Thriller


Certificate:

Passed
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Details

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Release Date:

21 June 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Black Camel  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the five Warner Oland Charlie Chan films based on the original Earl Derr Biggers novels, only this one still survives. The other four are believed to have been lost in one of two fires, one in the 1930s and the other in the 1960s. See more »

Goofs

The plot of this otherwise quite entertaining mystery contains a hole the size of the Grand Canyon. Part of the solution hinges on a close resemblance between a murdered actor and one of the suspects. In fact, two other characters hide portions of a torn photograph to cover up that resemblance - this despite the fact that most of the suspects admit to having been acquaintances (at least!) of said earlier murder victim. All the suspects would, therefore have to have been quite familiar with the resemblance between one of them and the dead actor, and only the murderer (and possibly one or two other characters) would have any reason to conceal the resemblance. Surely the innocent suspects would have immediately have informed Chan of what they knew, yet no-one mentions it! See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: [solemnly] There is old saying, 'Death is a black camel that kneels unbidden at every gate.' Tonight black camel knelt here.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan's Courage (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Na Lei O Hawaii
(uncredited)
Written by Charles E. King
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User Reviews

 
Earliest surviving Warner Oland Chan Film!
16 April 2000 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This was the second Chan film to star Warner Oland in the role. It is also the earliest film of the series proper to survive. (1929's Fox film "Behind That Curtain" is still extant, but has Chan in a very minor part and isn't a true Chan film). It was actually filmed in Honolulu and captures that city as it was in the early 30's. Two "Dracula" alumni appear: the great Bela Lugosi, and Dwight Frye who played Renfield in the horror classic and is a butler here. Based on the Earl Derr Bigger's novel, this was later remade as "Charlie Chan in Rio" with Sidney Toler in the lead. This one is better. Sadly, it appears available only on the collectors' film market. It is worth the search and the viewing. Beware of copies with scenes missing!


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