Charlie receives fourteen free passes to the circus for him and his entire family but soon realizes that there are strings attached as the big top's co-owner asks his guest to investigate threatening letters that he's received. Before the famous detective can, the man is murdered. Charlie soon finds out that the co-owner was not a particularly pleasant or well-liked individual, and among the many suspects are his partner, a snake charmer and the menagerie's gorilla. Son Lee, usually an enthusiastic assistant for his father, is distracted by the show's beautiful contortionist. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable Chan vehicle with the ever- adroit Warner Oland carrying off the Chan role this time in a circus venue. Charlie and his large family are out with a free pass enjoying the circus when(to use a cliché) death strikes under the big top. One of the partners and it seems a man virtually no ones likes dies from what appears to be by a rampaging fake -looking ape(sorry, this is even early for George Barrows!). Charlie must determine what could have taken place in this locked box car that might have a different explanation. Along the way we are treated to intriguing circus types - in particular two "midgets" wonderfully played by the brother/sister team of George and Olive Brasno. Some interesting red herrings are delivered as well as the light comedy touches that are customary with a good Chan film: pithy sayings laced with much wisdom, Charlie and his son Keye Luke's wonderful chemistry and humor, and Oland's general pleasant/pleasing portrayal of a man who has twelve children. Charlie Chan at the Circus isn't a great Chan film but it is a very good one and a fun one to be sure. Join the circus!
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