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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 <email@example.com>
Charlie Chan in Egypt isn't my favorite Charlie Chan. For some reason, I'm more used to Sidney Toler in the role, I love Mantan Moreland, and it's always fun when one of Charlie's sons is on the scene.
What this 1935 film does have is an interesting story, footage of Egypt, which even in black and white is pretty impressive, and an appearance by a heavier, brunette, pre-electrolysis Rita Hayworth (using her original name Rita Cansino here). Pat Paterson (Mrs. Charles Boyer) is the lead woman.
Chan is in Egypt on behalf of a French museum to investigate tomb treasures that were to go to the museum but instead are in other European museums. He meets Carol Arnold (Patterson) whose father, on the dig, hasn't been heard from in some time. There's a good reason for that. He's mummified in a sarcophagus that's supposed to hold an ancient priest.
Well, there's another murder and an attempted murder as Charlie attempts to figure out who killed Professor Arnold and why.
Warner Oland is fine as Charlie, though some other performances are a little over the top/melodramatic. Mainly, James Eagles, as Professor Arnold's physically challenged son, sticks out with an absolutely maniacal performance.
I won't bother to go into the controversial Stepin Fetchit's presence in this film. His life story is an interesting one, however, and worth a look. The character he developed, which made him a millionaire, is cringe-worthy by today's standards.
All in all, an okay film.
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