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)
This was another very-solid entry in the long-running series that mainly featured either Warner Oland or Sidney Toler as "Charlie Chan." It's generally considered that Oland's films were superior. I enjoy both of them and, after just completing watching the Chan DVD set that were all Toler's films, this return to Oland was a shocker in a way.
I say "shocker" mainly because Chan was so nice and respectful to his kid. In the latter films, Toler's Chan does nothing but insult his son, whichever one accompanies him on various cases. Here, Oland's warmth for his Number One Son "Lee" (Keye Luke) is more than evident and "Lee" helps keep the case alive with a daring rescue of his kidnapped father.
The story is played much straighter, too, than the Toler versions. There is still levity with Chan' many profound-yet-funny proverbs but this is an action-packed short story played more like the mysteries they were supposed to be. Good stuff
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