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
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.
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