Billie Bronson secretes a package in the trunk of Charlie Chan aboard a New York-bound transatlantic liner. Chan and his number one son, Lee are met at the pier by Inspector Nelson and two rival reporters, Joan Wendall and Speed Patton. Bille, having left the country hurriedly a year ago when sought as a material witness in a political scandal, has returned to "blow the lid off the town." She follows the Chans to their hotel and attempts to regain her package from the trunk, only to be interrupted by Lee. She then goes to the "Hottentot Club", where "candid-camera night" is in full progress, followed by Lee. Already present are Joan and Speed. Billie is mysteriously murdered and Charlie is summoned from a police banquet in his honor. Present in the room with the body are club manager Johnny Burke; club dancer and Burke's girl-friend Marie Collins and the two reporters. While seeking a motive for the murder, a second killing is discovered in Charlie's hotel room, the package is missing... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Another really well done, atmospheric, Warner Oland/20th Century Fox Chan film. Although the film has nothing to do with the theater, as some might expect from the title, it is set amid the exotic night life of Broadway of the late 30's. It begins with Charlie and Lee aboard an ocean liner. Then in New York, the Hottentot Club is the main setting along with the hotel Chan and other notables stay at. This captures the mood of New York in the 30's--at least from a Hollywood perspective. The supporting cast is top notch with J. Edward Bromberg, Harold Huber in his best Chan role, Leon Ames, Marc Lawrence, Donald Woods, Louise Henry and Joan Marsh. The script is very clever. The hunt is on for a missing diary that could blow the lid off the mobs. Loads of fun!
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