7.2/10
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37 user 7 critic

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.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Tarneverro
...
Shelah Fane
...
Robert Fyfe
Murray Kinnell ...
Archie Smith
William Post Jr. ...
Alan Jaynes
...
Jimmy Bradshaw
Violet Dunn ...
Anna
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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Black Camel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Charlie is inspecting underneath the table, the motion of the light spot on the floor does not correspond to the position of Charlie's flashlight. 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 in Rio (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

I Have a Thought in My Heart for You
(uncredited)
Written by Sol Hoopii Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE BLACK CAMEL (Hamilton MacFadden, 1931) **1/2
8 March 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Primitive but fairly engaging Charlie Chan mystery, the first surviving film featuring Warner Oland as the genial Oriental detective: its major draws are the Hawaiian backdrop, the murder investigation centering around Hollywood elite and the interesting cast (including Bela Lugosi as a phony mystic, Dwight Frye as an impulsive butler named Jessup, and a pre-stardom Robert Young forming half of the bland romantic interest). Some of its greatest pleasure, then, derives from the interaction between Oland and Lugosi – but also the former's relentless amiable mocking of his earnest but dim-witted assistant. The surprising denouement is not entirely plausible (though seemingly anticipating Hitchcock's STAGE FRIGHT [1950]) – with a revelation concerning Lugosi's true identity, and where the presence of a second murderer is ultimately established. By the way, the film's title – as explained by Chan – is a metaphor for death when it arrives unexpectedly.

P.S. As was the case recently with HORROR ISLAND (1941), my second attempt at watching THE BLACK CAMEL proved more successful than the first – where the playback had frozen completely three-quarters of the way in…and left me curious about the eventual solution of the case!


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