Detective James Lee Wong is on the scene as archaeologist Dr. John Benton, recently returned from an expedition in China where a valuable ancient scroll was recovered, is murdered while giving a lecture on the expedition.
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 <email@example.com>
Warner Oland, the Swedish-born actor famous for his Asian portrayals and in particular his portrayal of the famous Charlie Chan, gives a fine performance as Chan in this, one of his last screen performances before his untimely death. This time out, Charlie and #1 son, played as affably as ever by Keye Luke, are aboard a ship soon to dock in New York. A woman aboard stows something in #1's luggage and tries getting it later in Chan hotel room. Woman who mess with Charlie like fly that play in spider's web. OK, enough of that. Anyway, you get the usual good stuff you would find in most Chan films: a good mystery(I didn't figure this one out), some nice comedic touches with Chan's sayings and his by-play with his son, solid character acting from the likes of Luke, Donald Woods, Joan Marsh, etc..., and a look back at what New York was like in the late 30's. I enjoyed the film a good deal. It doesn't creak either like some of the earlier Chan films. It has a lively pace throughout.
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