When an experimental plane is hijacked and its pilot murdered, the new guidance system that will allow it to fly unmanned is stolen. Charlie traces the strategically important invention to the current summer Olympic games in Berlin, where myriad spies, enemy agents, and hard-core criminals are ruthlessly pursuing it in order to sell it to another government. Charlie's son Lee, a member of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, is on hand to help his father recover the device and solve the mystery. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stock footage of the dirigible Hindenburg was retouched, frame by frame, to blot out the swastikas emblazoned on the airship's tail. See more »
When Charlie Chan, Jr. enters a room where his father and another officer are, Chan, Jr. says, "Pop, here are some cut-up tea and sandwiches," when what he really means is, "Pop, here are some cut-up sandwiches and tea." See more »
"Charlie Chan at the Olympics" starring Warner Oland was made in 1937, with a backdrop of the 1937 Olympics which were held in Berlin, Germany.
Charlie is going to see Lee Chan compete in swimming when a device for airplanes, that allow them to work without a pilot, is stolen during a test run and the pilot is killed. Obviously someone was hiding on the plane and stole the device. Charlie sets out to help recover the device for the U.S. Lee meanwhile is on a ship with other Olympic hopefuls and a couple of suspects in the robbery.
Once in Germany, Charlie works with the Berlin police to help track down the thieves.
Never in your life have you seen more helpful Nazis. There is not one mention of the German political climate - and the footage of the Hindenburg had every single swastika airbrushed out. What is also interesting is the footage of the Olympics, including some of Jesse Owens.
I found this film somewhat distracting - a bunch of suspects, a bit confusing as to plot, probably because I was too busy looking at Olympic footage. However, I enjoyed it particularly because of Warner Oland and Charlie Jr., played by Layne Tom, Jr., who is delightful. Tom is still alive as of this writing, 85 years old, and became a prominent architect. This is one of his favorite films. I love Keye Luke but Lee here is a bit annoying as he kept misquoting his father and adding, "or something like that." Of course that was the script, but it was too much.
America was really trying to stay out of any potential conflict in Europe, as you will be able to tell from this film.
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