7.4/10
1,220
28 user 8 critic

Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 27 March 1936 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When a friend of Charlie's is found kicked to death by his own race horse on board a Honolulu-bound liner, the detective discovers foul play and uncovers an international gambling ring.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Helen Wood
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A dangerous amnesiac escapes from an asylum, hides in the opera house, and is suspected of getting revenge on those who tried to murder him 13 years ago.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Warner Oland, Boris Karloff, Keye Luke
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When a strategically important new aerial guidance system is stolen, Charlie traces it to the Berlin Olympics, where he has to battle spies and enemy agents to retrieve it.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Warner Oland, Katherine DeMille, Pauline Moore
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

While investigating the theft of antiquities from an ancient tomb excavation, Charlie discovers that the body of the expedition's leader concealed inside the mummy's wrappings.

Director: Louis King
Stars: Warner Oland, Pat Paterson, Thomas Beck
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The heir to a huge fortune is presumed drowned, then shows up, is then murdered.

Director: Gordon Wiles
Stars: Warner Oland, Rosina Lawrence, Charles Quigley
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Charlie visits a wealthy country home in England. Suspects in the murder range from a housekeeper, to a stableman, to a lawyer.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Drue Leyton, Ray Milland
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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.

Director: James Tinling
Stars: Warner Oland, Irene Hervey, Jon Hall
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Although Charlie and Lee are in Monaco for an art exhibit, they become caught up in a feud between rival financiers which involves the Chans in a web of blackmail and murder.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Virginia Field
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Hired to investigate forged bonds, Charlie is thwarted by the murder of his undercover agent, but the arrival of son Lee helps him uncover the true culprits.

Directors: Lewis Seiler, Hamilton MacFadden
Stars: Warner Oland, Mary Brian, Thomas Beck
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Returning from European exile where she avoided testifying against her criminal associates, a former singer with a tell-all diary is murdered to ensure her silence.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Joan Marsh
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Sidney Toler, Cesar Romero, Pauline Moore
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Sidney Toler, Phyllis Brooks, Victor Sen Yung
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
George Brasno ...
Tim
Olive Brasno ...
...
John Gaines
Maxine Reiner ...
Marie Norman
John McGuire ...
Hal Blake
Shirley Deane ...
Louise Norman
Paul Stanton ...
Joe Kinney
...
Tom Holt
Boothe Howard ...
Dan Farrell
...
Nellie Farrell
Wade Boteler ...
Police Lt. Macy
Shia Jung ...
Su Toy
Edit

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 duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan no Circo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Keye Luke reportedly clashed with director Harry Lachman over the latter's treatment of the circus midgets in the movie. 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: Curiosity responsible for cat needing nine lives.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Red Dragon (1945) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Nothing spectacular but fun
10 April 2002 | by (Jacksonville, FL) – See all my reviews

Charlie Chan at the Circus is a pretty standard entry in the series that tries to use the circus as it's exotic locale. The plot concerns the death of a circus man. The main suspects are the workers at the big top and an ape that escapes. The movie uses the circus as a tangent, such as when Charlie visits the midgets. The action is very laid back and relaxed, which creates a pleasant view, as Charlie and Lee ride with the circus train. The detective work is pretty good and has several twists. Just about every Warner Oland Chan flick is at least passable. This one isn't one of his best but is a fun distraction.

6.5/10


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?