Detective James Lee Wong is on the scene as archaeologist Dr. John Benton, recently returned from an expedition in China where a valuable ancient scroll was recovered, is murdered while giving a lecture on the expedition.
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 (email@example.com)
P.C. meters should be re-calibrated for 30's films
Hi there all you IMDb reviewers. Aren't we having fun? I just watched 'Charlie Chan in Shanghai' for about the 4th time. For some reason, I just love these 30's films. Silly, isn't it? Looking at the previous reviews, I don't recall any mentions of Irene Hervey. I think she's a real dish. She has one of those mouths that stays slightly open unless she consciously closes it - suggesting open-mouthed kisses are almost guaranteed. I looked at her filmography and was surprised to see that she had a very long and full career - surprised I was, because her name is not a household word. One of the things about this movie that I think is funny is the ending. Warner says to Keye that he can go back to the hotel and make one "female telephone call" (he can call his girlfriend) - Keye says "Thank you - so much", and Warner waves his hand like - "let's forget you said that". Does anybody know whether Warner and Keye got along well? Their greetings in these films seem so heartfelt. But, of course, they're actors, so who knows? I watched the very first Charlie Chan movie, which has an actual Chinese person as Charlie Chan. He is, in my opinion, boring. Perhaps Hollywood made an attempt to find a Chinese person to play Charlie Chan, but was unable to find anyone charismatic enough. Yes, Warner's portrayal undoubtedly sickens present-day Chinese, but they should recognize that he represented the Chinese to a credulous 30's American audience as a highly intelligent, globally respected person, and in the process undoubtedly created a positive impression of the Chinese at a time when they were under attack by the Japanese - perhaps that's what Hollywood had in mind.
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