Chan goes to Paris for a reunion with friends from World War I. There he investigates the murder of a munitions manufacturer who was supplying arms to the enemy. At the end Charlie preaches to us about the dangers of peace conferences. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Maybe it was the play that forms the basis of this tale, maybe the return to previous screenwriters, or a new director, or whatever but this is one of the weakest Sidney Toler Chan films done at 20th Century Fox. Not much of a mystery more a propaganda film about the coming war and the need to beware of traitors who would sell and ship arms to the enemy and who need clearance papers that disguise munitions as fruit.
One of the few films without one of his offspring (he admits to having 5 sons here). Chan plays instead off Marcel, secretary and godson to the Paris Chief of Police. Audiences were probably being conditioned to regard the French as future allies; hence Marcel explains that he is really the son of the Bucharest Chief of Police thus maligning Romania instead. Harold Huber has done a much more subtle and effective job at comedy in the Chan series. Pedro de Cordoba does splendidly as a dignified gentleman's gentleman Antoine and WWI veteran who sees his son off to the next conflict. AMC gives second billing in this film to Lon Chaney, Jr., but in reality his is a bit part preceding his more memorable appearance in `Of Mice and Men' the same year. He must have needed the work.
There are enough clues, misdirections, and suspects to keep the outcome up in the air but we are not made to really care. The murdered man deserved to be murdered and who did it matters little. There are sufficient clues for an observant viewer to arrive at the solution along with Chan.
Not one of the better or even good Chan films. See this only to round out the series. As Chan said in this film: `To describe bitter medicine will not improve its flavor.'
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