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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.




(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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

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A dangerous amnesiac escapes from an asylum, hides in the opera house, and is suspected of getting revenge on those who tried to murder him 13 years ago.

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Hired to investigate forged bonds, Charlie is thwarted by the murder of his undercover agent, but the arrival of son Lee helps him uncover the true culprits.

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The heir to a huge fortune is presumed drowned, then shows up, is then murdered.

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While investigating the theft of antiquities from an ancient tomb excavation , Charlie discovers that the body of the expedition's leader concealed inside the mummy's wrappings.

Director: Louis King
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When a prominent official is murdered at a banquet honoring Charle Chan, the detective and son Lee team up to expose an opium-smuggling ring.

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While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

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Returning from European exile where she avoided testifying against her criminal associates, a former singer with a tell-all diary is murdered to ensure her silence.

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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.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
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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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Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Helen Wood
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Mary Whitman, an old friend of Charlie's in Reno for a divorce, finds herself accused of murdering the woman her husband planned to marry after the decree became final.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Sidney Toler, Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks
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Although Charlie and Lee are in Monaco for an art exhibit, they become caught up in a feud between rival financiers which involves the Chans in a web of blackmail and murder.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Virginia Field


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


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


CHARLIE CHAN'S Latest Thriller


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Release Date:

21 June 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Black Camel  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


The fifth of 47 Charlie Chan movies starring Warner Oland and others. See more »


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 »


Kashimo: Think we make mistake?
Charlie Chan: Who can say? Even wisest man sometimes mistake bumblebee for blackberry.
See more »


Followed by Castle in the Desert (1942) See more »


Written by Charles E. King
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User Reviews

One of the best Chans and the earliest extant
3 October 2000 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

This film, taken from one of Earl Der Biggers original novels is one of the very best of the Chans. It is the second of the series, and the first, third, fourth and fifth are lost films. We can see the early Chan only through this film, and we see a very human Chan, rather than the more restrained Chan in the later films.

It also features a near tour-de-force scene by Bela Lugosi in which he, as the fortune teller to the stars Tarnaverro, forces a confession from Shela Fane, a movie star making a film in Honolulu. A confession that he witholds from Charlie Chan...

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