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Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  11 October 1935 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 980 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 4 critic

When a prominent official is murdered at a banquet honoring Charle Chan, the detective and son Lee team up to expose an opium-smuggling ring.



(original story) (as Edward T. Lowe) , (original story), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Irene Hervey ...
Diana Woodland
Philip Nash (as Charles Locher)
Russell Hicks ...
James Andrews
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Chief of Police
Frederick Vogeding ...
Burke (as Frederik Vogeding)
Neil Fitzgerald ...
Max Wagner ...
Taxi Driver


On his return to China, Charlie is honored at a Shanghai banquet for his many accomplishments. Prior to his speech Sir Stanley Woodland, a prominent official in the colony, confides to Charlie that he has discovered some sinister activities and wants to share the information with the detective as soon as they are alone. When Sir Stanley is silenced by a booby-trapped box, Charlie seeks to discover the undivulged secret as well as the killer. Along with Col. Watkins, the police commissioner, and G-Man James Andrews, Charlie works to expose an international opium-smuggling ring operating out of Shanghai. With the help of son Lee, he survives a kidnapping and murder attempt while exposing the identity of the head of the drug ring. Written by G. Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


AND NOW YOU SEE HIM IN CHINA! (original print ad - all caps)


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 October 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan i Kina  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Halliwell Hobbes plays Colonel Watkins, although the closing credits simply list his character as Chief of Police. See more »


Frederick Vogeding's character is called Ivan Marloff in the actual movie, but is listed as 'Burke' in the credits for some reason. See more »


Charlie Chan: Only foolish dog pursues flying bird.
See more »


Followed by Dead Men Tell (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

A Solid Entry In The Charlie Chan Film Series
10 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Filmed in 1935, CHARLIE CHAN IN SHANGHAI is the 9th film in the Fox series. It is also, rather curiously the only Chan film that would be set in Asian--the only time Hollywood allowed Chan to make it back to China.

In this episode, Chan travels to China--presumably on holiday. But Chan's holidays have a way of being investigations in disguise, and no sooner does his ship dock than he receives a warning note; later that evening a close personal friend is unexpectedly killed by an ingenious booby trap which may have been directed at Chan himself. Needless to say, Chan assumes a major role in the investigation, and quickly finds himself the target of several murderous assaults. Could it all be tied to an infamous opium smuggling ring? Could be! Although this particular Chan film does not offer a notable supporting cast, Keye Luke is once more along for the ride as Chan's "Number One Son" Lee, and every one plays a smart pace. The plot, while typically gimmicky, is superior and offers a final twist that Chan fans may see coming in advance--but only if they know Chan's character and very high standards.

Chan films are often accused of being racist, and critics often complain that the actors playing Chan wore "yellowface" make up. The films, however, must be seen within the context of their era. In the 1930s, Hollywood presented most Asian characters as either servile or as Fu Manchu-like entities; Chan was actually just about the only positive Asian character going, and as such the films were tremendously popular with Asian-American audiences of the era.

True enough, Chan is inevitably played by an occidental actor, but this was typical of the era, in which star status was considered more important than racial accuracy. (Other Asian characters were always portrayed by Asian actors, Keye Luke being a case in point.) Whatever the case, neither Warner Oland or the later Sidney Toler wore significant make-up for the role, and Oland--although a Swede by birth--actually had a strong strain of Asian ancestry in his family tree.

While I cannot say that CHARLIE CHAN IN SHANGHAI is among my favorite Chan films, it is well-made, a solid entry in the series. Chan fans should enjoy it quite a bit.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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