Gravelle, a former baritone believed dead after an opera house fire, has been languishing in a mental institution for the past seven years, an anonymous amnesiac. When he fortuitously sees a news story about his former wife's current appearance at the local opera, his memory returns. He escapes, and, disguised in costume, seeks revenge for a failed attempt on his life years earlier. When the guilty parties are found stabbed to death, Charlie Chan and son Lee try to find out if the dangerous fugitive is the one responsible. Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
The Mephistopheles costume from "Faust" worn in the film was originally made for Lawrence Tibbett to wear in "Metropolitan" (1936). See more »
When they characters are all gathered in the dressing room after the murders and they are questioning Childers, he says he knew Madame Barelli well. What he actually meant to say Madame Rochelle (or Madame Lilli as she was being referred to). See more »
Sanitarium Guard 1:
What's the mater Joe? Nervous?
Sanitarium Guard 2:
Aw this job gives me gooseflesh. You're new here, but in a couple of months you'll get as jumpy as me.
Sanitarium Guard 1:
Hey I've worked around sanitariums before, it's not so bad. I like the cuckoos myself. They're the same as anyone else only they're smart enough to admit they're nuts.
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This was my first-ever look at Charlie Chan. It wasn't one of his better adventures but I've seen worse, too. It sports a famous guest actor, Boris Karloff, and a semi-famous, if you will, actor in William Demarest.
Demarest plays a cop and his lingo and his prejudices are very early '30s. He couldn't say those lines (cracks about Asians) on film in this day-and-age.
The usual witty and profound Chan proverbs are in here and the usual loyal son (Keye Luke, number one son) is there to help. The ending left me a bit confused. Granted, I was tired when I watched this but Charlie's last-minute explanation and conclusions came so fast they confused me. I'd have to see this at least one more time to understand it. I think this is coming out on DVD soon and I'll get that and watch it again.
I'll always have a fond memory for this since it introduced me to this extremely entertaining film series. I've seen around 20 of them since this one and enjoyed them all.
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