An X-ray machine reveals the presence of a corpse in an Egyptian sarcophagus. It is not that of the ancient high priest. Instead the body is that of the archaeologist who was thought to be on a trip to the Upper Nile, but is now found murdered. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was Rita Hayworth's first appearance in a "series" picture, i.e., Charlie Chan. She also made appearances in four other "series" films, "Blondie," "The Lone Wolf," "Nero Wolfe" and "The Three Mesquiteers." See more »
The plot revolves around items from the tomb of a high priest of Sekhmet, and the statue of Sekhmet, which are found in the tomb itself. Although Sekhmet was indeed the goddess of revenge, she was not a mortuary goddess. The writers may have confused Sekhmet with Selket, who *was* a mortuary goddess. See more »
I did not like this one on the first viewing, but I had a very bad tape which didn't help. With the DVD (part of recent Chan Collection that came out in 2006) I enjoyed this more, thanks, in part to have the option of English subtitles.
I still think this is a slightly sub-par Warner Oland-edition Charlie Chan, but only because I think so highly of the other films. It did have some excellent suspense and strange characters and is known because of the appearance of young Rita Cansino who would go on to star status as Rita Hayworth.
THE BAD - None of Charlie's kids are here to help him out, and that's a loss. Instead, for humor, we have Stepin Fetchit with his mumbling drawl and unfunny character (unlike Mantan Moreland in later Chans, even though both are horrible black stereotypes of the day.) Worse than the above, we have a shrill, hysterical female lead character , "Carol Arnold" (Pat Paterson) who got on my nerves, big-time! That's almost another stereotype of the period: women who fall apart easily and act like overemotional cripples. After a few of these outbursts, I just hit the mute button when she went into her act. She had a brother in here who was almost as bad except he had far fewer lines. Also in here was the typical thing you saw more of in the '30s than in modern films: stories that dealt with the occult and a lot of superstitions.
THE GOOD - The action was pretty good and this story gave us more of the weird suspects than what is normally provided. Not only weird people but strange scenes. Combine those with the usual Chan witticism's, profound statements and uncommon courtesy he gives everyone, and it's an entertaining film. I would never have recognized Hayworth if I hadn't been informed it was her. She played a dark-haired Egyptian woman. If you froze some frames and looked carefully enough, you could be convinced it was her, but it wasn't easy. She certainly wasn't the incredible beauty she would be in the next decade.
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