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
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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 »
The 2nd real Charlie Chan film, the earliest to survive of the 38 that Warner Oland and then Sidney Toler churned out over the next 16 years for Fox and Monogram. Pretty faithful to Earl Derr Bigger's book, this only suffers mildly from the echoey staginess associated with early talkies, with some erratic acting but also some lovely smoky visuals of "Honolulu".
A woman with a dark past is stabbed to death at a hotel - of course all of the guests along with the butler and maid are involved for Charlie to sort through and mull over. Unravelling the threads of the mystery Charlie proved his eyes had microscopic capabilities (wonder how much DNA fingerprinting would've slowed him down?) - and that he was one of those "very clever men able to bite pie without breaking crust". There's a beautiful scene with the entire Chan Clan at the breakfast table that's worth a look on it's own. It all runs delightfully true to form, the excellent polished cast playing up well, especially young Robert Young and Bela Lugosi.
I can't speak for everyone else of course but I still cherish the hope films 1/3/4/5 will one day be found for the additional 5 hours pleasure.
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