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Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 843 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 8 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)

Charlie Chan's Secret (1936) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Rosina Lawrence ...
Alice Lowell
Charles Quigley ...
Dick Williams
Henrietta Crosman ...
Henrietta Lowell
Edward Trevor ...
Fred Gage
Astrid Allwyn ...
Janice Gage
Herbert Mundin ...
Jonathan Hale ...
Warren T. Phelps
Egon Brecher ...
Gloria Roy ...
Ivan Miller ...
Arthur Edmund Carewe ...
Professor Bowen (as Arthur Edmund Carew)


An ocean liner sinks off Honolulu and Allen Colby, heir to millions, is presumed dead...but local sleuth Charlie Chan is not so sure, and flies to San Francisco to investigate further. Somehow, the missing Colby is there ahead of him...but is knifed in the back before seeing anyone. Further events revolve around spiritualist Mrs. Lowell, her family of suspicious characters, and the spooky, untenanted Colby mansion, where the body turns up during a seance! Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


San Francisco is the scene of Chan's newest and most baffling mystery!






Release Date:

10 January 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan's Secret  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The thirteenth of forty-seven Charlie Chan movies. See more »


When Charlie is searching the house while using a flashlight, the beam of light is not from the flashlight, angle is wrong and his wrist is exposed in the beam of light. See more »


Baxter: Now, I think ...
Henrietta Lowell: You don't think. You think you think. I think!
See more »


Followed by Murder Over New York (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best Chans
14 August 2002 | by (Tokyo, Japan) – See all my reviews

A murder is revealed at a seance. All in attendance had motive and opportunity. There are a lots of nice tricks employed at the seance that Charlie has to figure out. Even after a plethora of red herrings, it still could be anyone when all are assembled in a typical ending in which Charlie pulls a surprise to reveal the criminal. There is no #1 or #2 son here, and Herbert Mundin, as the butler, who stands in for #1 and #2 to provide the laughs, is really annoyingly silly, more in the mode of Mantan Moreland in the later bad Chan films only minus the racism. However, he gives the crusty matriarch of the family a chance to deliver some rib-tickling lines at his expense. Listen for them. Oland is the best of the Chans and performs the role with dignity and some humor. You get the feeling that, although he isn't a Chinese actor, he respects the character. No "Confucius Say" here. I enjoy watching this film now and again and think anyone into old-style mysteries will too.

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