After receiving congratulations from the Home Secretary for solving his most recent case, Charlie is sought out by Pamela Gray, a beautiful but desperate young socialite whose brother Paul awaits execution for the murder of a weapons inventor. She is so convinced of his innocence that she becomes distraught when she overhears Neil Howard, her brother's lawyer and her fiancee, confide to the detective his belief in his client's guilt. Angered at this disclosure, she returns his ring and breaks off the engagement. Although the execution will take place in 65 hours, Charlie pledges to expose the murderer. All potential suspects are reassembled in the country mansion of family friend Geoffrey Richmond, where the murder took place, as Charlie tries to expose the real murderer before time runs out. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This film is mentioned in the mystery film Gosford Park (2001). It is mentioned because a fictional producer named Morris Weissman went to Gosford Park to do research on British customs. Actor Alan Mowbray, cast member in the Chan film, is also mentioned. See more »
The character of Paul Gray, accused of the murder, is clearly identified by newspaper headlines as well as in the dialogue, but is billed at the end of the film as 'Hugh Gray'. See more »
I had watched CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA (1936), considered the best of the series, sometime ago on Italian TV - mainly due to the involvement of Boris Karloff, but which I enjoyed a great deal. Last year I managed to get 5 other titles in the long-running series and did get to watch BEHIND THAT CURTAIN (1929) which, incidentally, also featured Karloff in a minor role. I next tried THE BLACK CAMEL (1931) - co-starring another great horror star, Bela Lugosi - but, unfortunately, the disc froze permanently around the 50-minute mark and, consequently, I never bothered with the rest of the films on the disc! However, my interest rose again after the upcoming Fox DVD (containing some of these very titles) was announced...
This is a very enjoyable entry in the series with Warner Oland the quintessential Charlie Chan, delivering a plethora of his trademark witticisms. Though we've seen many a murder mystery with this setting, the plot twists still come off as fresh and quite unpredictable - and the limited time-frame in which it all happens (and around which hangs, no pun intended, the life of Douglas Walton, a convict awaiting execution) makes for a genuinely suspenseful little thriller. The film also features a vivid - and thankfully not too stereotyped - recreation of the aristocratic British way of life, a surprising villain, and an early role for Ray Milland (whose character functions more or less as a red herring).
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