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Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Horror  |  8 September 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,140 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 11 critic

Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.



(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Mary Whitman, an old friend of Charlie's in Reno for a divorce, finds herself accused of murdering the woman her husband planned to marry after the decree became final.

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When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.

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

Director: Gordon Wiles
Stars: Warner Oland, Rosina Lawrence, Charles Quigley
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
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Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While in Paris for a reunion on the eve of World War II, Charlie finds that the murder of an hated businessman leads him to a conspiracy to smuggle arms to Germany.

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While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

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Inspector Chan investigates a group of travelers, one of whom is a saboteur.

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An escaped convicted murderer hides out at a New York wax museum where he hopes to get plastic surgery, which will help him revenge himself on Charlie Chan.

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When a friend of Charlie's is found kicked to death by his own race horse on board a Honolulu-bound liner, the detective discovers foul play and uncovers an international gambling ring.

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While investigating the theft of antiquities from an ancient tomb excavation , Charlie discovers that the body of the expedition's leader concealed inside the mummy's wrappings.

Director: Louis King
Stars: Warner Oland, Pat Paterson, Thomas Beck


Complete credited cast:
Pauline Moore ...
Victor Sen Yung ...
Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Pete Lewis
June Gale ...
Thomas Gregory (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Stella Essex
Billie Seward ...
Bessie Sibley
Wally Vernon ...
Elmer Kelner
Donald MacBride ...
Chief J.J. Kilvaine
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Paul Essex


A novelist friend of Charlie's appears to have committed suicide. At the international Exposition held on San Francisco Bay's Treasure Island Charlie shows that Zodiac, a phony mystic who blackmails clients, is the culprit. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The strange case of murder by magic!






Release Date:

8 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan en la isla del tesoro  »

Box Office


$120,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Treasure Island referred to in the title is a man-made island in San Francisco Bay that was built in 1936 & 1937 in anticipation of it hosting the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 & 1940. After the fair closed the U.S. Navy used the site for many years. Since the 1980's the site has been used by many film & television production companies with aircraft hangars 2 & 3 converted to sound stages. See more »


Just before the plane from Hawai'i to San Francisco lands, Chan and the other passengers are told they have to go through customs. Though not yet a state, Hawai'i was already under U.S. jurisdiction and therefore passengers flying from there to the U.S. mainland would not have had to go through customs. See more »


Charlie Chan: We are destroying web of spider. Now let us find spider.
See more »


Followed by Shadows Over Chinatown (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

The Best of the Sidney Toller Charlie Chan Movies Period!

The movie starts out with Charlie and #2 Son on an ill fated plane trip to San Francisco and the mysterious death of a writer on board. This all leads to several twists in the sub-plot and the entrance of mind reader, the mysterious Dr. Zodiac and his fake spirt world trappings. It is a very good flick and if you enjoyed Warner Oland's Chan, Sidney Toller lives up to his acting especially in this film. The Treasure Island refers to the '39 Worlds Fair exhibit and is part of the plot and includes some very interesting, period photography The ending is very dramatic and I won't spoil it but you "will" like this movie so watch for it, only on Fox Movie Network or TCM, as it is not on VHS.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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