While steaming from Honolulu to Los Angeles the owner of a prize racehorse headed for the Santa Anita Handicap is killed, apparently kicked to death by his stallion. Not so, deduces Charlie. Later he exposes efforts to fix a race at the famous track. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Warner Oland kept falling asleep during a race track scene so director Bruce 'Lucky' Humberstone included a lot of noisy extras in the shot to keep the actor awake. See more »
When the climactic race begins, only half of the horses announced (Gringo, Wild Bill, Shrapnel, Gallant Lad, Golden Fleece, Elsie Lee, Avalanche, Hold Away) match the names seen earlier on the odds board (Golden Fleece, Money Maker, Shrapnel, Blue Boy, Court Jester, Gallant Lad, Avalanche, Pico). See more »
This 'Charlie Chan' movie, like so many others, picks a background for its 'usual' complicated murder mystery that's very attractive and familiar for a lot of people: horse racing. The scent of the stables, the sight of the 'noble animals', as Charlie calls them, the excitement of the race itself - that alone must be enormously stimulating for a big part of the audience.
But, unfortunately, just like with prizefighting and so many other sports, along with horse racing many times comes - the gambling racket. Because there are millions at stake just for that great little moment when the first horse crosses the finishing line... And the great favorite of the season is 'Avalanche', who belongs to Charlie's old friend Major Kent. But, at the big Australian racing event, although he wins he is disqualified for a foul - which obviously was caused intentionally by his jockey. That makes Major Kent suspicious - and a few days later, during the sea voyage to the USA for the next big race, Kent is found dead, allegedly killed by his own horse's kicks; but Charlie Chan has got a different theory: murder!
Of course, there are lots of suspects and strange events that make the plot twist more and more; and besides, a whole gambling ring is a VERY powerful enemy... Will Charlie, with the help of 'number one son' Lee (who provides us with some magnificently comical scenes here, first as a ship's steward and then as a laundry boy!), be able to track down the racketeers AND to find his friend's murderer? A great, suspenseful, intricate mystery, with NO lack of entertainment whatsoever!
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