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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Earl Derr Biggers visited the Hawaiian set, presenting a copy of his 1929 source novel to Chang Apana, the local police detective who inspired him to create Chan. 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 »
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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