7.4/10
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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.

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
George Brasno ...
Tim
Olive Brasno ...
Francis Ford ...
John Gaines
Maxine Reiner ...
Marie Norman
John McGuire ...
Hal Blake
Shirley Deane ...
Louise Norman
Paul Stanton ...
Joe Kinney
...
Tom Holt
Boothe Howard ...
Dan Farrell
Drue Leyton ...
Nellie Farrell
Wade Boteler ...
Police Lt. 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 duke1029

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Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan no Circo  »

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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

Actor Keye Luke reportedly conflicted with director Harry Lachman over the latter's treatment of the circus midgets in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Charlie turns on a gramophone to play some eastern music in order to 'charm' a snake on his bed, but snakes follow the movements of the snake-charmer rather than the rhythm of the music, and Charlie Chan remains still. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: Very wise to know way out before going in.
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Connections

Follows Charlie Chan's Courage (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like most of the Warner Oland Chan films, this one really delivers
25 May 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Fans of the Charlie Chan films should see this film for one reason in particular--it's a very rare chance to see the entire huge Chan clan in a single film. In most Chan films, there are one or two of the Chan children along to "help"(?) their father. However, here there are all twelve plus Mrs. Chan--a real rarity and proof that Charlie had interests other than police work!

The film is set at a circus where there is a mysterious murder--supposedly perpetrated by an ape! However, things don't add up and it's up to Charlie and his romantically challenged oldest son, Lee, to solve the crime. Along the way, you'll see midgets, tall guys, trapeze artists and the like--all providing an unusual and welcome backdrop to the investigation. Practically everything works well, though in 1930s fashion, there is an ape that is obviously just some guy in a gorilla costume (so I'll deduct a point). A bad cliché, but otherwise a great and exciting film--as are all the Chan films starring Warner Oland (the series, unfortunately, sagged a bit after his death).


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