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Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Mystery  -  27 March 1936 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,007 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 9 critic

While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

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(original screen play), (original screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
George Brasno ...
Tim (as George)
Olive Brasno ...
Tiny
Francis Ford ...
John Gaines
Maxine Reiner ...
Marie Norman
John McGuire ...
Hal Blake
Shirley Deane ...
Louise Norman
Paul Stanton ...
Joe Kinney
J. Carrol Naish ...
Tom Holt
Boothe Howard ...
Dan Farrell
Drue Leyton ...
Nellie Farrell
Wade Boteler ...
Lieutenant Macy
Shia Jung ...
Su Toy
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Storyline

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 (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan no Circo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The eleventh of sixteen Charlie Chan movies starring Warner Oland. See more »

Goofs

The ape is shown peeling the banana from the top. Primates, except for humans, peel them from the bottom, thus doing away with those pesky stringy bits. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: Cannot tell where path lead until reach end of road.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan in City in Darkness (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chan: "Silent witness sometimes speaks loudest"...
10 June 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

This is a diverting, pleasantly enjoyable Charlie Chan film with WARNER OLAND as CHARLIE CHAN AT THE CIRCUS. In this outing, he takes his entire family to the circus while they're all on vacation and has to put up with the fumbling assistance of #1 son KEY Luke, who serves as comic relief.

Even more so than in most Chan entries, every utterance from Oland sounds like a Chinese fortune cookie--non-stop. And none of them sound authentically Chinese. That's the main quibble I have with the screenplay. But for the most part, it moves at a fast pace while it examines a group of suspects, all of whom had a motive for wanting the murdered man (the financial manager) out of the way.

The circus dancing team of midgets GEORGE and OLIVE BRASNO opens the story with some neat ballroom dance steps, but most of the plot focuses on an angry ape locked up in his cage but sometimes set loose. The murderer even makes it appear that the ape might have been responsible.

The only attempt on Chan's life comes from a poisonous snake that his son dispatches with a shotgun. Other than that, he's never in any real danger and that's where the plot falters slightly.

Meantime, we hear lots of his clichés and they don't sound very Oriental: "Size of package does not indicate quality within." "Give man plenty of rope and he will hang self." "Troubles rain on man already wet." And when he has a plan to catch the murderer, he says: "Silent witness sometimes speaks loudest." Enjoyable stuff for any mystery fan of the Chan series, but the material is all too familiar even for most Chan fans.


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